Cyrus Jones Sets School Record With 2 Punt Return TDs in Same Game [VIDEOS]
Before last week, Alabama hadn’t returned a punt for a touchdown since 2013. On Saturday, it scored twice in one game, thanks to Cyrus Jones.
Jones, who broke open the Crimson Tide’s scoring last week at Mississippi State with a 69-yard return for a touchdown, had two more punt-return scores in Saturday’s 56-6 victory over FCS-level Charleston Southern. It’s the first time a Crimson Tide player has returned two punts for scores in the same game in records dating back to 1944.
“Cyrus has got really good running skills,” coach Nick Saban said. “He was a receiver when he first came here and did a really good job. The last two weeks, we’ve made some big plays in the punt return game, and I think that’s something we want to continue to build on.”
Including last week’s return in the Tide’s 31-6 win over the Bulldogs, it was also Alabama’s first set of punt returns for a touchdown in consecutive weeks by the same player in school history in records dating back to 1944.
In 1991, former Alabama wide receiver David Palmer came the closest to accomplishing such a feat when he scored on a 56-yard punt return against Vanderbilt on Sept. 28, before returning another 69 yards for a score two games later against Tulane on Oct. 12.
Jones, who only returned two punts for the game, had 115 combined punt return yards total for the game, placing him fifth in school history. Javier Arenas owns the single-game record of 153 yards set on Sept. 6, 2008 against Tulane.
Following his two scores, Jones returned a fumble 18 yards to the Charleston Southern 6-yard line. The Buccaneers, who run an option offense, had their pitch stolen in midair by Jones.
Before last week’s touchdown, Christion Jones had Alabama’s last punt return touchdown, a 75-yard return against Chattanooga.