"Yeah, I did a few spin moves out there today," Lacy said after the game with a sheepish smile. It's that spin move that earned him the nickname "Circle Button" from his teammates, a reference to the circle button on a Sony Playstation controller. "His spin move is so powerful," sophomore linebacker C.J. Mosley said. "You wouldn't expect his spin move to be pretty powerful, because you'd think it would be elusive, but he breaks most of the tackles off of it. We have a whole spin-tackle drill for the linebackers just for that."
The last time Alabama played in Joe Paterno's yard the Tide preserved a 17-16 victory thanks to Thomas Rayam, who used his 6-foot-7 frame to help block a 16-yard field-goal attempt by Ray Tarasi. That gave the Tide a 3-2 advantage at Beaver Stadium. Overall, Alabama leads the series 9-5 after last year's 24-3 win at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Nick Saban didn’t proclaim the quarterback race was over after Alabama’s 48-7 win. He didn’t criticize either candidate harshly. He acknowledged McCarron, by virtue of "having a little more experience," subsequently "played with a little more poise." But he hastily added "we have a lot of confidence in Phillip and in most cases, he plays extremely well."
Walk-on defensive back Ranzell Watkins and walk-on snapper Kelly Johnson also were among the 69 Alabama players who participated. In the 2010 opener, a 48-3 victory over San Jose State, 63 Alabama players participated.
Kent State has a solid defense, and 'Bama gained 482 yards and scored 48 points. I'm not going to worry too much about the Tide. Still, Tide quarterbacks A.J. McCarron and Phillip Sims combined for four interceptions (McCarron's INT rate was 9%, Sims' 14%), and that's alarming. So, too, is the fact that Trent Richardson gained just 2.8 yards per carry. When you're holding your opponent to 90 total yards, you are allowed some mistakes, but ... not all is sunshine and moonbeams here.
Alabama will not find out if it holds onto its No. 2 ranking in each of the major polls until Tuesday. No. 4 LSU's decisive victory over No. 3 Oregon could shake things up.
The Southeastern Conference has done plenty of winning on the gridiron in recent years, as evidenced by its five consecutive BCS National Championships. But as we reported in this week's print edition of the Birmingham Business Journal, the Birmingham-based conference is winning on the balance sheet as well.
This, I believe, was the beginning of the end. That is a reality about which I remain conflicted, though many devoted Georgia fans are not conflicted about that reality, and have not been for some time; certainly, the fact that, in the fourth quarters of both contests, the Georgia Dome was as deserted on Labor Day weekend as the Liberty Bowl was on New Year’s Eve attests to the way the wind is blowing. You can like it, dislike it, or be uncertain about it, but this exhibition by the Bulldogs and their coaches means it is more likely than not that Kirby Smart is going to be introduced by Greg McGarity at a news conference in Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall this December. In saying so, I am neither advocating nor opposing a position; rather, I am stating what I believe to be the truth.
That's where much of this non-conference throwaway game might really matter down the road. One line of thinking goes that if the Nittany Lions' offensive line struggled to block a Football Championship Subdivision team (formerly Division I-AA), then how can it be expected to block Alabama next Saturday? Remember that the Crimson Tide will bring possibly the nation's best defense to town in less than a week.
Starting placekicker Evan Lewis struggled, missing both of his field goal attempts and an extra point before getting pulled in favor of true freshman Sam Ficken in the third quarter. Lewis showed plenty of leg strength, but pushed both field goals wide to the right, and only had one touchback. Though senior corner back Chaz Powell took the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown and the coverage team was solid, there was enough missing that Paterno was concerned. "I thought the placekicking wasn’t good," Paterno said. "You miss a couple field goals and it makes you wonder a little bit."
"Obviously when I'm in there, I think there's more of a comfort feeling [in the huddle],'' McGloin said. "Guys, I guess, are behind me. Call it whatever you want to call it. We just have a better vibe and we move the ball a lot better. ''I want to be the guy, I'm not comfortable [now],'' McGloin added. "I mean, if that's what coach wants, then I have no other choice. It's what I'm going to do, whatever's best for the team. But I would really like to be in a one-quarterback system.''
And when it was all over, Joe Paterno remained utterly noncommittal about who's the starter next Saturday: "I think both of them can play. Again, they've been under an awful lot of pressure because, obviously, the media and everybody else wants to know who's gonna play quarterback. I think they did fine; they'll get better. "Bolden threw those two nice passes that should've been caught, the two long ones. And, outside of McGloin throwing that one away, I thought overall they did a good job."
University of Oklahoma president David Boren says multiple conferences have shown interest in the Sooners recently and he expects to decide whether to leave the Big 12 or not within the next three weeks. Boren said Friday that Oklahoma is seeking stability in its conference relationship with "partners that are both outstanding athletically and academically as well because a conference that's strong is not only stable but it's one in which there are multiple relationships, along with sports, between the university members."
The next major move in conference expansion will not happen until the first major one becomes official. That would be Texas A&M’s move to the Southeastern Conference, which has long been viewed as a formality and is expected to be completed this week, perhaps as early as Tuesday.