Category Archives: Alabama Crimson Tide

NCAA Week Three: Kent State vs. Penn State

Penn State's receivers held their own against #1 ranked Alabama(John Raoux/AP)

PSU: 2010 record – 1-1
KSU: 2010 record – 1-1
Spread: Penn State by 21
Where: Beaver Stadium
When: Saturday, 12:00 PM on ESPN2
Last time met: Sept. 20, 1990 – Penn State dominated Kent State on its way to a 32-10 win at home.  Freshman Austin Scott rushed for 100 yards and three touchdowns.
Last Week: The Nittany Lions were plagued by turnovers against Alabama in a 24-3 loss.  Kent State fell to Boston College in a 26-13 loss on the road.

Opposing player to watch – QB Spencer Keith: Any team needs a solid quarterback and the Golden Flashes seem to have one in sophomore Spencer Keith.  Keith is a very accurate passer going 47-for-71 for 476 yards so far this season.  He has also tossed four touchdowns along with three interceptions.  Keith led the way in their season opener against Murray State throwing for three touchdowns in an easy win.  He struggled a bit against Boston College throw two interceptions but still went 23-for-36 proving he can still be accurate against a tough defense.

Offenses: Penn State never could seem to punch the ball into the end zone last Saturday against Alabama.  Robert Bolden led the Nittany Lions down the field several times but the drives ended with turnovers once they entered the red zone.  It was the first national test for Bolden and he proved his youth against the Crimson Tide defense.  He should have a much easier time against Kent State.  It is one of the easiest games on Penn State’s schedule next to the opener against Youngstown State.  Bolden show be able to throw for 250 yards and three or four touchdowns.  The Golden Flashes are allowing 238 passing yards per game this season.  Derek Moye and Brett Brackett should continue to excel in the receiving game and should be solid games.

Kent State looks like they have a solid offensive team.  They waxed Murray State in their season opener but only managed one touchdown against Boston College last week.  Quarterback Spencer Keith has still managed to keep his quarterback rating relatively high due to his solid accuracy.  The Golden Flashes are clearly a passing team.  Their top two running backs only rushed a combined 35 times for 88 yards.  Look for Kent State to struggle if their passing game can’t solve the Nittany Lions’ defensive backs.

Advantage: Penn State has the advantage and should be able to mix up the pass and run with Royster and their slew of wide receivers.

Defenses: The Nittany Lions’ defense wasn’t at its best last Saturday against Alabama.  They could not seem to stop Trent Richardson on the ground.  They also were picked apart by quarterback John McElroy.  But this isn’t number-one ranked Alabama: it’s the Kent State Golden Flashes.  Aside from Spencer Keith being a decent quarterback the Kent State offense isn’t going to pose too many problems for the Penn State defense.  The pass rush should be able to get to Keith.  If they are in the backfield like they are capable of being, the Nittany Lions should tally a few sacks and bring the pressure.  Penn State should be able to get a few turnovers and should see the same results as the 2003 contest.

The Golden Flashes have their hands full with Penn State.  While Bolden is a freshman, he sure has looked very impressive aside from his turnovers last week.  Kent State is giving up an average of three touchdowns per contest against opponents Murray State and Boston College.  An AP Top-25 team should be able to steamroll the Golden Flashes.  They only have one interception so far this season so they aren’t making their living on takeaways.

Advantage: Penn State will bring the pressure and be in Keith’s face all game long.

Injury Report:
Penn State: LB Gerald Hodges (bone bruise in left leg) * Could miss up to five weeks
Alabama: RB Eugene Jarvis (groin) *Out for Penn State game

Prediction: Penn State has just too much firepower and blows out Kent State 38-10.


NCAA Week Two: Penn State vs. Alabama

Freshmen QB Robert Bolden faces a tough test. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

PSU: 2010 record – 1-0
BAMA: 2010 record – 1-0
Spread: Alabama by 12.5
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium
When: Saturday, 7:00 PM on ESPN
Last time met: Oct. 27, 1990 – Penn State beat Alabama in a defensive game 9-0.  Craig Fayak kicked three field goals in the victory.  Neither team was ranked in the AP Top 25 that season.
Last Week: The Nittany Lions opened up the season with a 44-14 win over Youngstown State.  Alabama easily beat San Jose State 48-3 in Tuscaloosa. 

Best case scenario: The Nittany Lions get off to a great start and Robert Bolden marches them down the field for an opening touchdown.  The true freshmen signal caller passes for about 250 yards and a few touchdowns.  Brett Brackett keeps his great play going and has 75 receiving yards and a touchdown.  The defense shuts down Mark Ingram (if he plays) along with the rest of the Crimson Tide offense. 

Worst case scenario: It’s a beat down on the road.  Ingram actually plays and has a few touchdowns.  Bolden struggles throwing a few interceptions and gets sacked a few times. 

Opposing player to watch – WR Julio Jones: Jones is one of the best wide receivers in college football and is likely a top pick in the draft this offseason.  Senior quarterback Greg McElroy will be looking Jones’ way quite a bit throughout the game.  Jones has tremendous athleticism and has some of the best hands in football.  His amazing one-handed catch was seen on highlight reels all over the nation.  Penn State defensive backs will have to work to shut down Jones.  Their job will be a lot easier if Mark Ingram isn’t able to play. 

Offenses: Penn State looked good last week with Bolden at the helm against Youngstown State.  Bolden looked solid and made very few mistakes.  His favorite target easily was Brett Brackett who had a career day with 98 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns.  Derek Moye was also very successful turning in five catches for 61 yards.  Evan Royster never seemed to get going and only rushed for 40 yards.  Stephon Green added a touchdown for the Nittany Lions and seemed to pick up right where he left off in 2009.  Freshmen Silas Redd also showed a bit of a burst in mop-up duty in the fourth quarter.  Bolden’s game will coming down to how the offense performs around him.  His receivers having big games again will go a long way in possibly upending the defending National Champions. 

When you think Alabama, you think Heisman trophy winner Mark Ingram.  However Ingram may be out due to left-knee surgery.  Just because Ingram is out does not mean the Crimson Tide have no running game.  Backup Eddie Lacy looked very good against San Jose State, rushing for 111 yards.  Again it was against San Jose State but the Nittany Lions still need to account for the run game.  Julio Jones is a big target for Greg McElroy and McElroy will be looking his way often.  McElroy led Alabama to a national title last season and looks to have picked up right where he left off.  If McElroy is able to find Jones, it may be a long night for Penn State. 

Advantage: Alabama has the edge for experience and overall talent. 

Defenses: The Nittany Lions lost a few starters on defense last season.  But Jack Crawford and Eric Latimore lead the pass rush and will look to make McElroy uncomfortable.  The leadership once again comes from the linebacking core.  Nate Stupar, Bani Gbadyu, and Chris Colasanti.  All three being seniors, they will look to the Crimson Tide running game and help to avoid the tight ends getting open downfield.  It will be a tough task for a defense that doesn’t have as much experience together. 

The Crimson Tide took a big blow last week when it was announced that defensive tackle Marcell Dareus was suspended for two games.  Missing the 306-pound mammoth defensive tackle should play to Penn State’s advantage.  Alabama still has a strong defense and will try to pose problems for Bolden.  The Crimson Tide is coming off a game in which they only allowed three points.  We’ll see how they cope without Dareus against a strong opponent.  

Advantage: Alabama is very talented, but the loss of Dareus hurts them. 

Injury Report:
Penn State: no injuries.
Alabama: Marcell Dareus & Mark Ingram is unlikely to play. 

Prediction: Penn State is going to play tougher than everyone thinks.  But Alabama wins a close one 23-17.