Led by A.J. McCarron, Trent Richardson, and a fierce defense, the Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions by a score of 27-11 on Saturday.
McCarron, who has emerged as the Alabama starting quarterback, completed 19-of-31 passes for 163 yards including one touchdown.
The Tide sophomore looked calm and collected as he led the Crimson Tide offense in front of 107,846 spectators. The packed house at Beaver Stadium was the largest crowd on record to ever witness a University of Alabama football game.
While A.J. McCarron had a solid afternoon as the primary quarterback for Alabama, the Penn State Nittany Lions, as expected, employed a two-quarterback system.
Starter Rob Bolden held his own and finished the game 11-of-29 for 144 yards including one interception.
Matthew McGloin on the other hand…was dreadful. McGloin was 1-of-10 for a grand total of zero yards.
Quarterback stability on the Alabama side of the ball, and lack of stability by PSU, was one of the many keys to victory for the Crimson Tide.
The Trent and Eddie Show
Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy combined for 196 yards and two touchdowns as the “two-headed monster” proved too much for the Penn State defense.
The ability to run the ball with success was critical on Saturday and will remain so as the season progresses.
Richardson: 26 Carries 111 Yards 2 TDs
Lacy: 11 Carries 85 Yards
A.J. McCarron was solid, but a quarterback is only as good as his supporting cast.
Alabama received solid contributions in the “good hands” department from a plethora of players, including Marquis Maze, Michael Williams and Kevin Norwood.
Williams, the ‘Bama tight end, was on the receiving end of A.J. McCarron’s first quarter touchdown.
Maze: 4 Receptions 42 Yards
Williams: 3 Receptions 34 Yards 1 TD
Norwood: 3 Receptions 25 Yards
Richardson: 4 Receptions 19 Yards
Smelley: 2 Receptions 18 Yards
Bell: 1 Reception 14 Yards
Lacy: 1 Reception 6 Yards
Gibson: 1 Reception 5 Yards
Stone Wall of Crimson
In what was without question the biggest difference in the game, the Alabama defense kept the Penn State offense reeling for most of the contest.
Alabama forced three Nittany Lion turnovers which included two fumbles and a Mark Barron interception of quarterback Rob Bolden.
The Nittany Lions did garner 251 yards of total offense, but during the critical moments when it mattered the most…the Tide defense didn’t budge an inch.
Team Stats of Note
1st Downs: Alabama 19 Penn State 16
3rd Down Conversions: Alabama 8-17 Penn State 8-17
4th Down Conversions: Alabama 1-1 Penn State 1-1
Total Yards: Alabama 359 Penn State 251
Passing: Alabama 163 Penn State 144
Comp-Att: Alabama 19-31 Penn State 12-39
Rushing: Alabama 196 Penn State 107
Turnovers: Alabama 0 Penn State 3
Fumbles Lost: Alabama 0 Penn State 2
Interceptions Thrown: Alabama 0 Penn State 1
Possession: Alabama 34:05 Penn State 25:55