The quarterback question still appears to be a bit open after two weeks, but the feeling is that the offense would benefit from making a decision on the position soon.
The offensive line and defensive lines played well early, but showed signs of wearing down as the game progressed. Nobody was able to come up with a big play, on offense or defense, against a talented Crimson Tide squad. After the game, there was not much to brag about for Penn State.
Here is a look at the Week 2 report card for Penn State, position by position.
Two weeks into the season, and neither Penn State quarterback has thrown a touchdown pass.
Against Alabama, no matter who was leading the offense, Penn State only had one red-zone opportunity.
Should there be cause for concern?
"Absolutely not," Matt McGloin said. "Last week, we really didn't throw the ball much. We ran it a lot of times. We weren't really worried about how many touchdown passes we throw during the game. We're just worried about winning the game."
Rob Bolden had some positive strides against Alabama, converting three first downs out of a timeout in the first possession of the game, but he was intercepted once after a couple of errant throws in to double coverage. McGloin completed just one pass for zero yards and threw a number of poor passes.
It has gotten to the point where somebody needs to become the full-time quarterback, because Penn State cannot carry on with two players under center.
"I just think that I have to step up to the plate," Bolden said. I don't try to compare myself to McGloin or anyone else on the team. I never have. To me, this is all just football and how capable you are of doing things. I think I'm fairly capable of being a good leader for the team."
Penn State got off to a decent start moving the football, but was unable to make adjustments.
The running game thrived a week ago by scoring five touchdowns against Indiana State, but against Alabama, the Nittany Lions managed just more than 100 yards on the ground (107 rushing yards) and one touchdown, which came late in the fourth quarter.
"Well it's not the result we wanted," Silas Redd said. "We need to learn to be physical. They were physical. We knew what they were but we just couldn't execute."
Penn State's wide receivers failed to come up with some big catches right out of the gate.
Devon Smith could not haul in a nice pass from Rob Bolden on the first play of the game, although it may have been just out of reach. Smith also fumbled the football on a Penn State drive in the fourth quarter, as the Nittany Lions pulled a reverse and looked to be gaining some rhythm.
"We still have a lot of work to do," Justin Brown said. "At some points of the game, we played hard, but we have a lot of work to do. We have to put this loss behind us and get ready for the Big Ten and Temple."
The quarterback switching also seems to be playing a factor in the production of the receivers.
"It's tough, but we as receivers are supposed to make plays and catch the ball," Brown said.
The offensive line got off to a decent start by allowing the playmakers to move the football against a stingy Alabama defense, but as the game progressed, the protection in the passing game started to weaken, as well as the run-blocking.
That tends to happen to most teams playing against Alabama.
"We didn't really show what we can really do and play a complete game," said guard DeOn'tae Pannell. "We didn't make enough plays to make anything happen and help our defense out."
The first two defensive series for Penn State could not have gone much better until Alabama converted a fake punt for a first down on the second series.
Before that trick play, Alabama's offense had gone three-and-out in the first two series of the game.
From there, things started to change on the field.
Alabama's offensive line gave Trent Richardson the ability to rack up more than 100 yards for a second straight season against Penn State, and the pass protection got a little better for the Crimson Tide, although Jack Crawford and Devon Still had multiple good plays in the backfield.
"They played pretty well," Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley said of his defensive line. "We substituted pretty regularly. We were out there for some seventy plays today. We substitute so I don't know how much each guy played, we'll have to wait and see."
"I think we did hold our own but there were a lot of things that we could have done to help our offense a little bit more like cause some turnovers and put the ball on their side of the field so it was easy for our offense to score," Still said. "We just need to work on things as a defensive and offensive unit so we can score."
Linebackers Michael Mauti, Gerald Hodges and Glenn Carson each had at least 11 tackles in the game to lead Penn State's defense.
"I think we came out today to play," Mauti said. "I was proud of our defense. We forced a lot of three-and-outs and were flying around making tackles, but the main thing is we didn't cause turnovers and they did. It's a big determiner in wins and losses; we've been trying to emphasize that all week. It's one area we've got to capitalize on."
Despite the good-looking numbers on the stat sheet, there were a few key plays where Alabama took advantage of linebackers possibly trailing behind the play or who were out of position for whatever reason. Short passes underneath the coverage worked well for Alabama, and the Crimson Tide's first touchdown of the game sneaked through a small window right by Hodges and Carson.
Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron missed his first four passes of the game, but went 19-of-27 for 163 yards and a touchdown.
The PSU secondary failed to record a turnover in the game
"Alabama did a good job of securing the ball," cornerback Drew Astorino said. "Sometimes the opponent just does a good job of making sure that you don't get the ball at all. I think that's what the Crimson Tide did today."
Alabama did do a nice job of hauling in some key passes against Penn State's secondary, and they came up with the big plays when needed the most.
Anthony Fera returned to the field to handle the punting responsibilities for Penn State, and although he showed a decent leg and an ability to pin the football deep in Alabama's own territory, those running downfield looking to down the football failed to keep it from reaching the end zone for a touchback.
Fera also kicked off twice for an average of 67 yards per kickoff.
Evan Lewis kicked his first career field goal, a 43-yard attempt on the first drive of the game.
Penn State's longest kickoff return was just 17 yards and accounted for just 81 yards on six kickoffs.
On the flip side, Marquis Maze returned one punt for 44 yards from deep in Alabama territory.
Three timeouts on the opening drive of the game was inexcusable, according to Joe Paterno, who once again coached from the coaches' box upstairs in Beaver Stadium.
Penn State also seemed to be incapable of making adjustments on offense and defense, and the quarterbacks continued to switch on a schedule, which continues to hold the offense back from finding their identity.
"We have to get right back at it tomorrow and get going," Tom Bradley said. "I don't know what Temple did today [Temple won at Akron 41-3], but they shut out Villanova in the first game and Villanova has a heck of a football team every year."