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The Jumbo Package: 09-07-10

Alabama's Saban says Bolden and Penn State impressive | Philadelphia Inquirer

I don't think you can ever really accuse Saban of "pour mouthing" his own teams, but man does he ever talk up the opposition:

Publicly, Saban...stated how impressed he was with Bolden. The rookie, from Orchard Lake, Mich., completed 20 of 29 passes, two for touchdowns, and was named Monday as co-rookie of the week in the Big Ten.

"He played really well," Saban said. "You'd never know he was a freshman, that's for sure. He's got a very good arm. He's very accurate. He had a lot of poise.

"They didn't have any game-management issues - fumbled snaps, delay of games. He hard-counts like a veteran and draws the other team offsides. He didn't make really any bad decisions, stood in the pocket, took a couple of licks, and completed balls. It's hard to believe the guy's a freshman watching him play that game."

That's not to say the praise is unfounded, of course.  In a game where Evan Royster only had 11 carries after an offseason's worth of "Penn State is gonna pound the ball to keep the pressure off their QB", even against a D1AA cupcake a stat line like this is still impressive:

vs Youngstown St. / 9.4.10 Passing Rushing
Comp Att Pct Yds TD Rush Yds Avg TD
Robert Bolden 20 29 70.0 239 2 1 1 1.0 0


For Penn St., this is Alabama week |

Oh yeah, they are probably looking forward to this one, too:

There's no more pretending. A Penn State player no longer will quote the company line about how no one is looking ahead to Alabama because he needs to worry about the season opener against Youngstown State.

"Now we don't have to talk about that, we have something else before that," said wide receiver Brett Brackett, one of the heroes of the Nittany Lions' win on Saturday. "It's definitely the first thing on our list to do now."

Tide turns attention to No. 19 Penn State |

Even though I was kind of glad to have a patsy in the opener with all the losses from last year's team, I still really missed the "big game" excitement of having marquee opponents open the last two seasons, and it sounds like the team feels a little like that, too:

"We’re definitely getting ready to head into the big game (this) week," he said. "I know we’re all looking forward to playing them."

Tide notes: Sprained ankles slow Upshaw, Fluker, but probably just for a day |

About the only two things we could consider "bad" from the San Jose State game were the injuries to Courtney Upshaw and D.J. Fluker.  Neither is serious and both should play this weekend, but Fluker's is maybe a little more serious than we thought:

"D.J. Fluker, who we didn't really feel like he had that serious of an injury after the game, had a little more swelling and a few more problems, so he'll be very limited in practice today and do very little. ... We also feel he should be able to practice tomorrow."

Neither player was held out of contact yesterday, so don't expect either to sit against Penn State.

'We don't have a QB controversy,' Saban says |

Well, that didn't take long:

"We don't have a QB situation here," Alabama coach Saban said Monday. "We don't have a QB controversy. There were reasons for what we did last week, but that's over and done with."

Saban is, of course, talking about A.J. McCarron, who got in the game in the second quarter and looked sharp in mop up duty behind McElroy.  We all knew that if McElroy struggled any during the season there would be calls for McCarron, but for Saban to have to come out and defend putting McCarron in for learning purposes after a game we won and in which McElroy looked spectacular....

and etc.

The Penn State Hot List for Alabama |

The full story on Tide's Ingram (doubtful) and Dareus (out) |

A murky Tide - Sports | Centre Daily Times - State College, PA