Alabama's offense never had the ball without the lead, as Christion Jones returned a punt 72 yards on the Tide's first touch of the game. It was a lead they would never give up.
Jones was the definite star of the day, with three total touchdowns and 238 total yards on just seven touches. By way of comparison, Virginia Tech finished with 212 total yards.
After a third consecutive Virginia Tech punt forced by the smothering Alabama defense, A.J. McCarron brought the Tide down the field, completing four of six pass attempts on the way to a two-yard score from T.J. Yeldon. The Hokies were able to respond instantly, as Trey Edmunds took the first play of the next drive 77 yards for a touchdown, cutting the Tide lead to 14-7. It was the closest Virginia Tech would be for the rest of the game.
After Alabama opened the second quarter with a punt, Vinnie Sunseri intercepted Logan Thomas on the second play of the Hokie drive and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown. Virginia Tech was able to bring it back somewhat with a field goal late in the second, but the Tide responded immediately with their second special teams score of the day, when Jones returned the kickoff 94 yards for the score.
The Tide defense lived up to the unbelievable amount of hype, and Thomas had the rough day to prove it. He finished a jaw-dropping 5-of-26 for 59 yards and an interception. Alabama was even able to contain him on the ground, allowing just two runs on five carries
McCarron delivered a touchdown of his own in the third quarter, when he found Jones for a 38-yard strike to give the Tide a 35-10 lead.
Alabama's offense did not put up a lot of yardage, but it didn't need to. The Tide finished with 206 total yards, but between three touchdowns on special teams and defense and the consistently great field position provided by the defense and Jones's return ability, Nick Saban's squad did not have any trouble putting up points.