Virginia Tech vs. Alabama: Full Grades for Crimson Tide's Top Offensive Stars

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer ISeptember 1, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 31:  AJ McCarron #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after their 35-10 win over the Virginia Tech Hokies at Georgia Dome on August 31, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Alabama's 35-10 victory over Virginia Tech on Saturday has to be taken with a grain of salt.

While the Crimson Tide won by more than three touchdowns, only two of their five touchdowns came from the offense. Christion Jones ran back a punt return and a kickoff return for touchdowns, while junior Vinnie Sunseri ran back an interception for a score.

A lot of it had to do with Alabama's offensive line—which has plenty of work to do—but several key members of the offense also have to be held accountable.

Here are my grades of Alabama's top offensive players against Virginia Tech on Saturday.


A.J. McCarron, QB: C-

A.J. McCarron's stat line was ugly on Saturday. The senior went 10-of-23 for 110 yards with one touchdown to one interception, and the Crimson Tide converted on only six of 17 attempts on third down.

The only reason I'm not giving McCarron a worse grade is that his offensive line was awful. Alabama, which features three new starters on the line, allowed four sacks on Saturday, per

McCarron's 110 passing yards were the fewest he's had in a single game since becoming a starter in Tuscaloosa.


T.J. Yeldon, RB: B-

Given the fact that Virginia Tech collected 12 tackles for loss against Alabama, T.J. Yeldon actually did pretty well to post 75 yards and a touchdown on 4.4 yards per carry.

Yeldon scored one of Alabama's two offensive touchdowns in the game. The two-yard plunge gave the Crimson Tide a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.

Again, Alabama's offensive line wasn't getting much push at all, as the Crimson Tide failed to gain 100 rushing yards for the first time since the 9-6 overtime loss to LSU in 2011. So, while Yeldon wasn't spectacular, he did well with what he was given.


Amari Cooper, WR: C-

A.J. McCarron wasn't given much time to throw, which led to few opportunities for Amari Cooper, but still, four catches for 38 yards was not what we expected from a guy who compiled 1000 yards and 11 touchdowns as a freshman last season.

I can't exactly give Cooper a great grade when he not only caught just four balls, but also averaged a mediocre 9.5 yards per reception.

There should be better times ahead for Cooper, but he failed to break free on Sunday. 


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