McCarron shows poise as Bama grabs lead

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron just grew up a bit.

Can Penn State's quarterbacks answer?

McCarron, making his first career road start in a very tough environment, made several clutch throws on an 11-play, 69-yard touchdown drive. He showed he can thread the needle and got a boost from Marquis Maze, who made a terrific grab over safety Nick Sukay. The sophomore had to gain a lot of confidence from the drive.

Penn State, meanwhile, is using its second quarterback as Matthew McGloin entered the game late in the first quarter. The Lions must find a way to stretch Alabama's defense, which could be next to impossible. They also need to pressure McCarron and get their hands on his passes.

Alabama leads 7-3 at the start of the second quarter.