Happy Birthday, Bear Bryant: Alabama Crimson Tide Destroy Penn State, 24-3

John ReevesContributor IISeptember 12, 2010

Coach Bear Bryant of the Alabama Crimson Tide watches his players during a game.
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Coach Paul Bryant

If legendary Alabama head coach Bear Bryant were alive for his 97th birthday, what would he want?

I bet you a win against Joe Paterno, who replaced him as the all-time wins leader in NCAA history, would be high on the list. Paul Bryant was a different kind of coach; he ran a football program like a military boot camp. He went deep inside his players to find something in them they didn't even know was there. 

Coach Bryant had a way of making the average player great, and the great players Alabama legends. Whether it be at the game of football, or the game of life, he made them winners. 

As a head coach Coach Bryant led the Alabama football team to six national championships. As an eighth grader. he played on his high school football team in Fordyce, Arkansas. In 1930, he won the high school state championship as a senior.

Bryant accepted a scholarship from Alabama in 1931. He practiced with the team, although he had to attend a Tuscaloosa high school to get his diploma. He officially enrolled that fall where he played tight end for the Tide. In 1934, Alabama won the national championship, and Bear Bryant was a champion again.

He knew how hard it was to become a champion. He played with a broken leg, and he expected the same intensity from his players latter as a coach.

"If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride, you'll be a winner. The price of winning is high but, so are the rewards." -Bear Bryant

Alabama vs Penn State

Alabama came out very strong, knocking Penn State off the ball and running it perfectly behind the great blocking. There have been questions about the Alabama defense, those questions were not answered after they demolished San Jose State, 48-3 last weekend. Some people might not think everything has been answered after this week, but I do.

I realize that Penn State had a freshman quarterback. I also know that they aren't an SEC team. Still, I feel any lingering questions that college football fans have about Alabama have being weak on defense have been answered. I've already heard an Alabama fan ask, "Who could beat them?"

Give him some credit for the statement, because they looked ready to play with anyone in the league. This was a tough second game for both teams, and they'll both be better for having played it. For Penn State and their freshman QB, he just played in a loud hostile environment. Besides the Horseshoe or the Big House, he might never hear fans that loud again.

Quarterback Greg McElroy, who has not lost since the eighth grade, had no intention of losing today. McElroy was 16 of 24 attempts, throwing for 229 yards and two touchdowns.

No Mark Ingram, no problem. Trent Richardson ran for 144 yards and two touchdowns. I'm really not sure Ingram could have done better. When he comes back, there's going to be a two-headed monster. That won't be easy to stop.

The questions weren't on offense, bringing back most of the championship unit indicated they'd be strong there. The questions and players lost came from the defense. Those questions have been answered as of today.

Penn State had two big receivers that were thought to give the Alabama corners some real problems. Three interceptions and no touchdowns, I'd say those receivers were no problem at all.

The Alabama defense hasn't given up a 100-yard rusher since 2007. That streak wasn't broken today, despite going against Evan Royster, an elite running back. Penn State had three 20-plus yard backs, but Royster, the leading running back, only had 32 yards on nine carries.

Alabama shut Penn State down the way they usually do Vanderbilt. The absolutely dominated Joe Paterno and Penn State. It was a total effort from defense to offense. Alabama had them 17-0 and, I really do think they were beat by halftime. Penn St had saw the bigger, faster and stronger Alabama outplay them in the first half. In the second half, Penn State didn't look as if they believed they still had a chance.