I came across this article today. Apparently the Alabama defense gave up nine passing touchdowns in this weekend's scrimmage, leading to talk of a lack of intensity and slow development, and ultimately, a players-only meeting.
I am more optimistic about PSU's chances against Alabama than most. Both teams have weaknesses, but neither team has a corresponding strength which would allow them to take advantage of the other team's weakness. Albama has a potent offense, but PSU's defense is as good as any, with plenty of veterans in the secondary and along the line. Penn State's offensive line isn't fully developed, but Alabama's best hope to exploit that weakness, Marcell Dareus, likely won't be on the field. And finally, Alabama's young defense won't be good enough yet to exploit PSU's young QB, and vice versa.
Any QB who takes the field in Tuscaloosa--as a starter or otherwise--will have a daunting task before him, no doubt. But articles like this support my belief that he will have the chance to keep the offense on the field and put some points on the board. Of course, there is still a whole lot of practice time between now and September 11th, but the fact that Alabama's defense isn't as far along as players and coaches had hoped or expected can only be good news for Penn State fans.