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The only week two match-up between two ranked opponents, this game features two of the most storied schools in college football—Alabama and Penn St. It also features two of the most influential coaches in the game in Alabama’s Nick Saban and Penn St.’s Joe Paterno.
Last year in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide won 24-3, though the game wasn’t even that close in all actuality. Despite all of the offensive weapons Alabama possessed last year—running backs Mark Ingram (now with the New Orleans Saints) and Trent Richardson (pictured), receivers Julio Jones (now with the Atlanta Falcons) and Marquis Maze and quarterback Greg McElroy—the Nittany Lion’s defense still “held” ‘Bama to only 24 points. Look for defense to play a key role in this year’s contest, as both teams feature solid (great in Alabama’s case) squads.
One other area where Penn St. and Alabama share some commonality is at the quarterback position where neither team is sure of their starter just yet. Last week Alabama’s quarterbacks combined for 299 yards and a score but had an astounding four INTs against a lackluster Kent St team.
AJ McCarron was the better of the two, having thrown for 226 yards and a touchdown, which should give him the starting job full time. Penn St., meanwhile, saw its two QBs combine 114 yards with no scores but also no interceptions. With Matt McGloin having the better game statistically look for him to start the game. Robert Bolden should make an appearance as well.
Regardless of who starts for these two teams, the deciding factors in this game will be the defenses, as well as the running games which complied 245 yards and five scores for Penn St and 183 yards and five scores for Alabama, respectively. In the end, this game won’t be as fast paced as the number two game but should be just as good.
My Prediction: Alabama 23, Penn St. 13