The Crimson Tide (2-0) hardly slowed down without Ingram, and a young defense forced freshman Rob Bolden and the Nittany Lions (1-1) into several turnovers to end promising drives.
It was the first time Penn State was held without a touchdown since a 13-3 loss at Wisconsin in 2006. The shutout lasted until the final 10 minutes.
With Ingram sidelined for the second straight game with a knee injury, Richardson pulled a pretty good imitation. He plowed through and sidestepped tackles and scored on a 1-yard touchdown run. He also had four catches for 46 yards.
Greg McElroy completed 16 of 24 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns for Alabama.
The traditional powers hadn't met since 1990, also the last time Penn State played a Southeastern Conference team.
It didn't live up to the tradition of classic contests started in the late 1970s with Penn State's Joe Paterno and Alabama's Bear Bryant roaming the sidelines. But the physical, fast Tide played its part as the defending national champions.
Most of the 101,821 fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium stayed put until the end, with some chanting "SEC." The Big Ten vs. SEC matchup was one-sided pretty much from the outset.
Alabama harassed Bolden into two interceptions in his first road start. He was 13-of-29 passing for 144 yards.
A defense that replaced nine starters hasn't allowed a touchdown yet and hit Bolden with some jarring blitzes. The Tide gets suspended end Marcell Dareus back next week against Duke.
Richardson had 102 yards in the first half against a defense that had gone the previous 17 games without a 100-yard rusher. Iowa's Shonn Greene gained 117 yards on Nov. 8, 2008.
Richardson had 22 carries and has filled in seamlessly for Ingram, who missed his second consecutive game.
Penn State's Evan Royster finished with just 32 yards on nine carries.