Goal Line Stand Crowd Reunites

It was almost like a reunion of the goal line stand crowd. Former Alabama defensive players who were key in stopping Penn State at the goal line in the Sugar Bowl at the end of the 1978 season to give Bama the national championship.

Former linebacker Barry Krauss, who has been immortalized for his fourth down tackle of Mike Guman, is at all Alabama games as a member of the Crimson Tide radio broadcast team. Other members of that 1978 Tide defense who wee on hand included Don McNeal (who is the great uncle of Penn State freshman quarterback Robert Bolden), Marty Lyons, Mike Clements, Murray Legg, and Rich Wingo.

There were no boos for Penn State Saturday. The Nittany Lions took the field simultaneously with Alabama in Bryant-Denny Stadium, so even if there were some booing the visitors it would not have been audible over the cheers for Bama. Earlier in the week Alabama Coach Nick Saban had urged Crimson Tide fans to end the habit of booing the opposing team.

Alabama improved its record against Penn State to 9-5, including an 8-5 mark against the Lions' legendary coach, Joe Paterno.  

The Crimson Tide entered the Penn State game with a No. 1 ranking in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls while Penn State was 18th by AP and No. 14 in the coaches' poll. With Alabama's win over Penn State, in the last 15 years the Associated Press's No. 1-ranked team is 27-0 on its home field against a ranked opponent. That streak dates back to a 36-33 Auburn win at Florida in 1994.  

With the win over Penn State, Alabama has won 16 consecutive games at Bryant-Denny Stadium dating back to the home opener against Tulane in 2008. It is tied for the fourth-longest streak in school history at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The longest winning streak at Bryant-Denny Stadium is 57 games from Oct. 26, 1963 to Nov. 13, 1982. During the current streak, the Crimson Tide is 8-0 against SEC competition and 3-0 against top-25 teams.  

With the win over Penn State, Alabama has reeled off 26 consecutive regular-season wins dating back to the 2008 season opener against Clemson. UA's last regular-season loss came at Auburn on Nov. 24, 2007. During that stretch, the Crimson Tide boasts a 28-2 overall record with its only losses coming to Florida in the 2008 SEC Championship Game and Utah in the 2009 Sugar Bowl. The Tide is also a perfect 16-0 in SEC play over the last two years, becoming just the second team (Florida - 1995 & 1996) in conference history to post back-to-back undefeated 8-0 records since the league split into a divisional format in 1992.

With the win over Penn State, Alabama has won 28 games dating back to the start of the 2008 season, which is tied for the most in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The Crimson Tide won 12 games in 2008, followed that with a perfect 14-0 record in 2009 and is off to a 2-0 start in 2010. Alabama is joined by Florida with 28 wins over the past two years.  

With the win over Penn State, Alabama owns a 14-9 (.609) record against the programs that currently make up the Big Ten Conference. Saturday's game marked the Crimson Tide's first regular season game against a Big Ten opponent since Oct. 27, 1990, when Penn State beat Alabama, 9-0, in Tuscaloosa.  

With the win over Penn State, Alabama has compiled a 172-122-4 all-time record in 298 televised games. This does not include pay-per-view, tape-delayed or closed circuit telecasts.  

When Bama tailback Trent Richardson went over the 100-yard rushing mark against Penn State, it marked the fist time in the Lions had allowed a 100-yard rushing performance since 2008, a steak of 17 games. Richardson had over 100 yards in the first half. and finished with 22 carries for 144 yardes.

Meanwhile, Alabama extended its streak of not allowing an opposing rusher to get 100 yards to a national best 36 consecutive games.

Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy passed the 3,000 yard mark in passing yards in the first half of Saturday night's game against Penn State. McElroy was 9-15 for 172 yards and two touchdowns in the first half to go over 3,000 yards for his career. He finished the game 16-24 for 229 yards and now has 3,151.

Kevin Norwood's first quarter reception resulting in a 36-yard touchdown play and an early 7-0 Alabama lead was redshirt freshman Norwood's first reception.

On the first play of the second quarter, quarterback Greg McElroy completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to senior H-back Preston Dial for Dial's fist Alabama touchdown.

Later in the quarter, Jeremy Shelley kicked a 31-yard field goal, the first in his Tide career. He previously had made extra points, but had missed his only field goal try (in 2009).

The 75-yard fumble return by Tide safety Robert Lester is believed to be the longest in Crimson Tide history. The longest fumble return previously in Alabama history is thought to be a 66-yard return for a touchdown by Gerald Dixon against Tennessee in 2002.

Walk-on safety Will Lowery had the first interception of his Alabama career.

Mark Ingram was not dressed for the game. He was on the sidelines in jersey and warm-up pants. The 2009 Heisman Trophy winner was injured the Wednesday of the season opener and had arthroscopic surgery the next day. He has missed the first two games of the year. Mid-week. Saban said Ingram is getting close to being able to play.

Defensive end Marcell Dareus also missed his second game to start the season. Dareus is sitting out an NCAA-mandated two-game suspension for having accepted benefits from an agent. He will return next week.

Alabama's 17-0 lead at the half was the biggest margin Penn State has trailed by at the break since trailing USC 31-7 in the 2009 Rose Bowl.

The loss marked just the second for Penn State vs. a non-conference opponent in its last 18 games vs. such opponents with the other

Penn State is now 4-11 vs. No. 1 ranked teams all-time. Paterno falls to 4-9 vs. No. 1 ranked teams  

Penn State fell to 17-17 all-time vs. current members of the SEC and 14-15 under Paterno.

Saturday marked the first time outside of Big Ten play (Ohio State & Michigan) Penn State has played before more than 100,000 fans on the road. Saturday's attendance was 101,821.

Next week's opponent, Duke, was a loser Saturday when apparently there was no defense. After Duke and Wake Forest battled to a 35-35 tie at halftime (was that a basketball game?), the Demon Deacons beat Duke, 54-48. Alabama makes its first road trip of the 2010 season with a visit to Durham, North Carolina, to take on the Duke Blue Devils at 3:30 EDT (2:30 p.m. central). It will be the fourth meeting between the two schools but the first trip to Durham for the Tide. UA has won the last two meetings, a 30-14 win in Tuscaloosa in 2006 and a 35-12 victory in Birmingham in 1972. Duke's only win in the series came at the conclusion of the 1944 season with at 29-26 victory in the 1945 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

The officiating crew was from the Big Ten. When Alabama goes to Penn State next year, on Sept. 10, there will be a Southeastern Conference officiating crew.

It was not a great surprise with a Big Ten officiating crew that Alabama's offensive line streak of not being charged with a holding call came to an end. Bama had gone 42 quarters, back to last season, the equivalent of 10 1/2 games without a holding call against the offense. On the second series of the game, in the first quarter, Bama was flagged. On the next play, Greg McElroy connected with Kevin Norwood on a 36-yard touchdown pass to overcome the holding call.

Captains for Alabama were wide receiver Julio Jones, linebacker Dont'a Hightower, and H-back Preston Dial.

Preston Gothard, the Alabama tight end who was ruled out of bounds on a potential game-winning touchdown reception at Penn State in 1983, was the honorary captain for Alabama Saturday.

In a video board welcome, the Alabama spokesperson was Joe Namath, the legendary Crimson Tide quarterback from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

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