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“The coaches have the gameplan. We’re still going to run the ball. You can’t stop us from running,” said Alabama running back Eddie Lacy, who had 134 all-purpose yards and a rushing touchdown last week.

“But A.J. and Phillip Sims are going to be able to make the big plays down the field to take them out of the box.”

At least the Nittany Lions can field a healthy defense again, a problem for much of last season. Slowed last year by a foot injury, Crawford played well last week against Indiana State. Hill and fellow tackle Devon Still are considered strengths up the middle.

Mauti leads a deep, talented linebacking unit. The veteran secondary features four senior starters including safety Nick Sukay, who is back from a chest injury.

Cornerback D’Anton Lynn said the defense will draw on their miserable experience in 2010 in Tuscaloosa.

“We’ve learned from our mistakes last year. We’re breaking down their film, we’ve improved. Everyone we have has been able to experience big games,” Lynn said. “It’s not going to be new to anyone. So we feel like we’re prepared.”