His doctors, however, are advising against it, making it more likely that Paterno will coach Saturday's game from the Beaver Stadium press box, a person close to the situation told ESPN's Joe Schad.
Earlier this week, Paterno, still using a crutch as he recovers from shoulder and pelvis injuries sustained when wide receiver Devon Smith accidentally bowled him over during practice, said he thought he had a good chance to coach from the sideline. He has previously said he prefers to coach from field level.
"So, I'm like you guys, I'm anxious to see us play. ... I know they've worked hard," Paterno said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. "We've been looking forward to playing against a team the caliber of Alabama with ... the tradition and the way they play."
Paterno, 84, coached No. 23 Penn State's home opener against FCS opponent Indiana State from the press box. He said Tuesday that he's still in pain, and that he still may not be moving as quick as he would like for a three-plus-hour coaching stint on the sideline.
At the same time, the notoriously stubborn Paterno remained optimistic.
"But I've got my fingers crossed," he said. "I think I've got a good chance to be on the sideline."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.