In Week Two of the college football season, there is only one game that features two ranked opponents, and it promises to be a good game: No. 23 Penn State hosts No. 3 Alabama in Happy Valley on Saturday afternoon.
The story with Penn State is their quarterback -- or quarterbacks. Head coach Joe Paterno will use both sophomore Rob Bolden and junior Matt McGloin again. Against Indiana State, Bolden attempted 12 passes, and McGloin attempted eight.
Running back Silas Redd is the key player on the Nittany Lions' offense. Last week, the sophomore running back rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.
Paterno needs to be concerned with putting points on the board. Alabama's defense held Kent State to just 90 total yards last week, and are stacked with talented players.
While Paterno has two quarterbacks to chose from, so does Nick Saban. The Alabama head coach has yet to name a starter for this Saturday, though there appears to be a better chance that sophomore AJ McCarron would get the nod over reshirt freshman Phillip Sims.
Running back Trent Richardson is coming off a subpar game against Kent State where he ran for only 37 yards on 13 carries, but the junior still managed to score three touchdowns. Behind Richardson, the Crimson Tide also have two solid running backs in sophomores Jalston Fowler and Eddie Lacy. Senior Marquis Maze is the most prominent wide receiver for Alabama.
Alabama has fantastic speed, said Paterno. If you give them the ball in good field position because of turnovers, you're in for a lot of trouble.
Saban is aware that succeeding in Happy Valley won't be easy, and Paterno's squad can surprise people. In the Outback Bowl, SEC rival Florida needed a fourth quarter surge to overtake the Nittany Lions.
Penn State I think is a very good team. Better than they played a year ago. They traditionally play better at home. There's a lot of challenges for Alabama, Saban said. Penn State is always the kind of team that doesn't give you anything. You have to play sound fundamental football.
POINT SPREAD: Alabama by 10
PREDICTION: Playing at home will have it's advantage for Penn State, but in the second half expect Richardson to step up his game and the Tide's speed to be too much for the Nittany Lions.
PREDICTED SCORE: Alabama 28, Penn State 10.