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Alabama Crimson Tide Panel: Penn State week

Who was more impressive in Mark Ingram’s absence, Eddie Lacy or Trent Richardson?

Kenny Freeman: You have to keep in mind that Alabama was playing San Jose State so it is hard to get a good read off of that game. To me they are so much alike I think you could put them in a sack, shake them up,pour them out and not be able to tell the difference. I also liked the way Goode played.

Shannon Ferguson: I have to say Eddie Lacy. He showed his power and speed when he finally got over what I think were first-game jitters! Even though he fumbled, he made up for it with his 37-yard touchdown afterward. So I think he made the most of his opportunities.

Roger Hoggle: Both were impressive, but Lacy as a freshman carrying the load was a little more impressive. I think it showed, even without Ingram, we can run the ball effectively. I know it was against a weaker opponent, but being able to execute against anyone this early was good to see.

What do you see that is  different about the Alabama passing game?

Kenny Freeman: Practice, mindset, giving the QB time to throw and playing San Jose State. I hope it remains the same against Penn State.

Shannon Ferguson: At first look, the passing game started the season where it left off with Texas. But after the first game this season they look a little different. To me the passing game is a little more spread out with the receivers. I think Jones, Hanks and Maze will have a breakout season with the long pass down field working in their favor. I just hope it lasts the whole season!

Roger Hoggle: Last year we took a few shots downfield but really only stretched the defense on third and long. It was good to see us throw the ball when we wanted to, not just when we had to. Throwing a few deep balls on first and second down keeps the defense honest. If they stack the box against us to stop the run, we can hit them for some big yardage.

The Tide has decided not to appeal Marcel Dareus’ suspension. Do you agree or disagree with that decision?

Kenny Freeman: This question is hard to answer not knowing what is going on in the inside. I just hope other players are watching and learning from Marcel’s stupid mistake and I hope they come up with some way to punish agents.

Shannon Ferguson: I’m glad the University didn’t appeal the ruling that was handed down by the NCAA. I personally think Marcel is lucky he only got suspended two games because it could have been more. Plus, I don’t believe the school really had a leg to stand on for an appeal.

Roger Hoggle: I agree with it. From the information that has come out, he broken a rule, no matter how grey that area is, and he has to pay the price for it. Yes, I would love to see him on the field against Penn State Saturday, but this can be a learning tool for all the players.

How different is Alabama’s game plan if Mark Ingram cannot play  Saturday? Should Alabama fans be concerned at all if he cannot play?

Kenny Freeman: I don’t see the game plan changing much if any. With Richardson, Lacy and I think you can put Goode in there with them, the running game is in good

shape.

Shannon Ferguson: I don’t think any of us should be concerned with Ingam supposedly not playing today. We have Richardson and Lacy that have proven they are going to be impact players for the offense. They stepped up in the San Jose St. game and did a great job! Plus we have Julio Jones out there

Roger Hoggle: I don’t think our game plan changes without Ingram. Trent is as powerful, and as smart a runner as Ingram, and maybe a tad faster. There shouldn’t be a drop-off from Ingram to Richardson. I have thought since Ingram’s injury last week, we should hold him out until the fourth game against Arkansas, and only play him a short while then to get him in game shape for the remainder of the season.

What is your prediction for the final score Saturday and who is your key player?

Kenny Freeman: Alabama 27, Penn State 14. For a key player I would say the entire O-line.

Shannon Ferguson: Alabama 38, Penn State 17. My key players this week are Dont’a Hightower and Damion Square. With Macel Dareus sitting out due to suspension and Courtney Upshaw still nursing an ankle injury, both Hightower and Square are going to have to step up and apply even more pressure.

Roger Hoggle: 34-17 Alabama, and I look for Dont’a Hightower to have a big game this week.