The Crimson Tide Alive and Well

Tom Chieppo

The Alabama Crimson Tide sprinted down to the gridiron as they crushed the Penn State Nittany Lions (24-3) at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama with 101,821 fans in attendance to see the Tide cap their second win of the season.

Mark Ingram, the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner and the only one to win the award in Alabama University history, had a left knee injury and didn’t participate in this contest. He also didn’t see any action to begin the 2010 regular season.  Ingram’s stats through 2009 are 414 carries, 2,386 rushing yards, 388 receiving yards, and 29 touchdowns.  Ingram will return to action at Duke on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.  Also, the Tide didn’t have defensive end, Marcell Dareus, who has been declared as ineligible and suspended for the first two games, accepting nearly $2,000 in improper benefits during two trips to Miami.  Dareus was ruled ineligible for receiving preferential treatment and agent benefits, including airfare, lodging, meals, and transportation during Miami trips.  The NCAA ordered Dareus on Thursday to pay $1,787 to a charity of his choice before regaining eligibility. So far an agreement has not been reached yet. A question remains whether he will be returning against the Duke Blue Devils.

Trent Richardson, running back for the Crimson Tide, had an exceptional game.  He had 22 carries for 144 yards and one score.  However, Richardson had 102 of those yards against the Nittany Lions, who had gone the previous 17 games without a 100-yard rusher in the first half. (Iowa’s Shonn Greene gained 117 yards on Nov.8, 2008.)  “This will be something I remember for a long time,” Richardson said, according to Yahoo Sports. “I tried to put the offense on my back and run with it.”  Head Coach of the Alabama Crimson, Tide Nick Saban, explained the importance of Richardson’s role.  “Trent Richardson played a fantastic game,” he said, according to Yahoo Sports.  “He’s the first one to get 100 yards against the defense in a long, long time, which says a lot about their defense, but it also says a lot about Trent.”

The Crimson Tide had a total of 409 yards, 229 passing, and 180 yards rushing.  Greg McElroy, Senior quarterback for the tide was 16 for 24 and threw for 229 yards with two touchdowns.  The game didn’t live up to the rivalry’s history. The Nittany lions were completely out-manned by this Alabama defense.  Robert Bolden, freshman Penn State quarterback, ran into trouble because he is still very inexperienced in this position. The same goes for their defense. Bolden was 13 for 29 with 144 yards passing with two interceptions.  The Tide’s defense was able to come up with three interceptions and take advantage of two Penn State turnovers at the red zone.

“A tough crowd and a tough football team,” Penn State Head Coach Joe Paterno said, according to Yahoo Sports.  “That made it tough on, Bolden.  We didn’t do a good job coaching and getting him ready for this one.  I think [we’ve] got a long way to go to be a good football team.”

Paterno also explained about his visit to Alabama in week two.  “I didn’t think about being back in Alabama,” he said, according to Yahoo Sports.  “I was just thinking about whether we have a little better of a football team then we showed today.”

Credit also goes to the Tide’s defense for shutting down the Lions running game, which consists of Evan Royster, who had nine carries for 32 yards and Silas Reed who had five carries for 26 yards.  These two schools were ranked in the top ten at least six times throughout the fourteen times they faced each other.  Alabama has outscored Penn State with a total of 227-174.  Nick Saban’s record is 35-8 in his fourth year with the Tide.  Last season they were 51 for 59 in the red zone, which is 86.44%. Their total offensive last year was consisted of 947 plays for 5,642 yards total.

It’s been more than 20 years since the last time Penn State and Alabama faced each other.  The Crimson Tide’s squad is insurmountable and the Nittany Lions need to turn their season around in a hurry if they want to get to a big bowl game.