Nittany Lions Downed by No. 3 Alabama
Sept. 10, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; Sept. 10, 2011 - In the first matchup between the national powers in Beaver Stadium since 1989, No. 3 Alabama downed No. 23 Penn State, 27-11. Penn State saw its 23-game home non-conference win streak, tied for second-longest in the nation, come to an end.
The Nittany Lions' last non-conference loss in Beaver Stadium had been to Boston College on September 6, 2003. Penn State is 65-15 in non-conference games since starting Big Ten play in 1993.
Alabama took a 10-5 lead in the series with Penn State. The Penn State-Alabama game is the only Big Ten-SEC regular season contest this season. The Nittany Lions fell to 5-5 vs. Southeastern Conference teams since joining the Big Ten, losing their last three over the past two seasons (Alabama in 2010 and `11, Florida in 2011 Outback Bowl)
The electric Beaver Stadium crowd of 107,846 was the most fans ever to watch an Alabama contest.
The Nittany Lions (1-1) had three turnovers, which Alabama (2-0) converted into 14 points. The Crimson Tide did not turn the ball over.
"Linebacker U.'s" starting unit all set career-highs in tackles. Junior OLB Michael Mauti recorded a career-high 13 tackles and had two pass break-ups. It was the third game of his career where he recorded at least 10 tackles. His previous high was 11 last season against Northwestern.
Junior OLB Gerald Hodges made a career-best 11 tackles. His previous high was six against Florida in the 2011 Outback Bowl. Sophomore MLB Glenn Carson also tallied a career-best 11 tackles. His previous high was six last year against Indiana at FedEx Field.
Junior DT Jordan Hill recorded a career-high eight hits, including a one tackle for loss. Hi previous high was seven stops last year at Alabama. Senior co-captain Devon Still tied his career-high with seven tackles. He also had seven hits against Florida in the 2011 Outback Bowl.
Co-captain Derek Moye made three catches for 51 yards, giving him 111 grabs in his career. He moved into seventh place at Penn State, behind Jack Curry (117 catches). Moye's 51 receiving yards give him 1,849 yards in his career, good for eighth place in the Penn State annals. Moye trails Joe Jurevicius (1,894 yards) for seventh.
The Nittany Lions won the coin toss and elected to receive. Penn State faced a fourth and short from the Crimson Tide 30-yard-line and Rob Bolden rolled out toward the Penn State bench and ran for the first down. Evan Lewis hit a 43-yard field goal to give Penn State a 3-0 lead, as he connected on the first field goal of his career after moving from wide receiver last spring.
Penn State took 7:32 off the clock during its 16-play scoring drive to open the game. The drive was the longest by the Nittany Lions in terms of plays since a 17-play field goal drive against Kent State last season.
In the fourth quarter, Bolden led the Nittany Lions down the field, starting with a 12-yard pass to true freshman Allen Robinson, his former high school teammate. Bolden ran for 15 yards and hit Derek Moye on a 12-yard completion. On third and 20 from the Crimson Tide 27, Bolden hooked up with Shawney Kersey for 26 yards, the longest play from scrimmage for the Nittany Lions. Silas Redd leapt into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown and Bolden ran for the two-point conversion to close the gap to 27-11.
Sophomore WR Curtis Drake took the field in the first quarter, his first action for the Nittany Lions since the 2010 Capital One Bowl. He missed the 2010 season with a leg injury.
Penn State will visit Temple on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 12:00 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU, with the televising network announced by Monday.