Alabama began defense of its national championship on Saturday with a resounding 48-3 win over visiting San Jose State.
Now the question will be can the Tide make it 2-0 when a much better Penn State squad comes to Tuscaloosa on Saturday? Penn State rolled past Youngstown State 44-14 in its opener in Happy Valley.
For Alabama, the top-ranked team in the nation compiled nearly 600 yards of offense, while giving up a mere 175 yards before nearly 102,000 fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Among the top performers was senior QB Greg McElroy, who completed 13-of-15 passes for 218 yards and a TD, and red shirt freshman running back Eddie Lacy, who rushed for 113 yards on 13 carries and a pair of scores.
With junior Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram resting his knee following minor surgery earlier in the week, sophomore back Trent Richardson amassed 114 yards of total offense, while junior receiver Julio Jones caught six passes for 93 yards and a score.
The defense was equally impressive, limiting San Jose State (2-10 a year ago) to under 100 yards in both passing (89) and rushing (86).
Freshman linebacker C.J. Moseley led Alabama with seven tackles while junior linebacker Chris Jordan accounted for six.
” I think the real emphasis with our team was, all along, to develop an identity for this team for 2010,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said afterward. ”And focus on the things that we need to do to create that in terms of the effort, the toughness, the discipline to execute, and I was pretty pleased with that.
“We started fast and finished strong,” Richardson added in his post-game comments to the media. “We came together as the game went on. It was good to finally be in a game situation. A lot of people were able to see the field tonight and gain valuable experience for future games.”
Among those future games is a date this Saturday night with old rival Penn State at 6 p.m. (CST, ESPN).
FIFTH QUARTER: Alabama now readies for 19th-ranked Penn State, who is doing a home-and-home with Alabama this year and next. Alabama will travel to Penn State on Sept. 10, 2011 to meet the Nittany Lions. In their opener against Youngstown State on Saturday, true freshman QB Rob Bolden compiled 239 yards passing and two touchdowns in the victory. The 18-year-old was making the first start in a season opener for a true freshman quarterback in Joe Paterno’s 45 years as head coach in Happy Valley. To see a recap of the Penn State-Alabama series through the years, visit: http://www.statecollege.com/news/local-news/penn-state-football-alabama-through-the-years-457672/
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Written by Dave Thomas