UNIVERSITY PARK - Following are the highlights and lowlights from Penn State's 27-11 loss to Alabama on Saturday at Beaver Stadium:
Play of the game: With Alabama leading 20-3, Lion receiver Devon Smith took a reverse and rushed 4 yards to the Tide 34 before fumbling with 8:30 left. Alabama recovered, and the play summed up PSU's performance.
Offensive player of the game: Alabama's Trent Richardson, a Heisman Trophy candidate, rushed for 111 tough yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns. He also caught four passes for 19 yards.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Penn State wide receiver Derek Moye can’t hang on to the ball as Alabama’s Will Lowery defends.
Defensive player of the game: Tide safety Mark Barron made seven tackles, tied for the team lead, intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble.
Most telling statistic: Penn State scored on its first and last possessions. The nine in between produced six punts and three turnovers.
Hidden statistic: In the second and third quarters, the Tide had a combined time of possession advantage of 21:09-8:51.
Best run: Richardson exploded through a hole, ran over D'Anton Lynn and dragged Drew Astorino for a 22-yard rush to the Lion 9 in the second quarter.
Best pass: On third-and-5 at the PSU 5, down 3-0, Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron threaded a touchdown pass to tight end Michael Williams, perfectly splitting Nit linebackers Gerald Hodges and Glenn Carson.
Worst pass: Matt McGloin ordered up an Outback special in the second quarter, underthrowing the sideline and only avoiding a pick-six because 'Bama corner Dre Kirkpatrick dropped it.
Best catch: Tide wideout Marquis Maze snagged a 29-yarder over the middle on Alabama's first scoring drive. Derek Moye had an impressive one-hander for 27 yards in the third quarter.
Catch it, will ya: A very bad day for the PSU receiving corps. Moye had two shots at big plays and didn't make the catch. Devon Smith missed a 30-yard pass from Rob Bolden on the Lions' first series. PSU linebackers Gerald Hodges (see best pass) and Mike Hull both missed interceptions in the end zone that may have forced first-half field goals. Instead, Alabama scored touchdowns on both possessions.
Hold it, won't ya: Aside from Smith's aforementioned fumble, down 10-3, Lion tight end Andrew Szczerba fumbled away a third-down reception that gained a first down at midfield.
Best call: Credit the Crimson Tide's moxie and playing to win - a novel concept - by faking a punt from their own 40 on fourth-and-1 in the first quarter. Protector Brad Smelley gained a yard, and a generous spot kept Alabama's first TD drive alive.
Worst call: Why, why, why was Penn State punting on fourth-and-6 from the Alabama 40 with 13:10 left and trailing 20-3?
Best tackle: Devon Still broke through in the second quarter and dumped Richardson for a 5-yard loss.
Best block: Alabama's Vinnie Sunseri decked Lion defensive James Terry, springing Maze for a 44-yard punt return in the third quarter. And do the Lions really want a defensive tackle covering punts?
Best kick: Penn State kicker Evan Lewis, who struggled last week in his debut, opened the scoring with a 43-yard field goals.
Worst kick: Didn't see one.
Worst penalty: Down 7-3, PSU center Matt Stankewitch was hit with holding, wiping out Silas Redd's second-effort with a screen that produced 12 yards and a first down. Instead, the play was brought back and led to a punt.
Best effort: The Penn State Sports Information staff displayed its version of northern hospitality with steak and crab cakes in the press box.
Unsung hero: Kirkpatrick made only two tackles but caused both PSU fumbles.