2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 3 - Penn State at Temple
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Sept. 17 Penn State 14 … at Temple 10
CFN Analysis: Not getting the offense going against Alabama is one thing, but the Nittany Lions couldn't move the ball on Temple, either. The 312 yards of total offense weren't bad, but getting points on the board was a nightmare with horrendous special teams thanks to a blocked punt two missed field goals, and a blocked field goal. Worse yet, the running game went nowhere with just 92 yards, even though Silas Redd ran well with 86 yards on 16 carries, He didn't get enough work, and he needs to be the main man for the offense with so many problems at quarterback. Matt McGloin was fine, completing 13-of-19 passes for 128 yards, while Rob Bolden was off connecting on just 9-of-17 passes for 92 yards. Up next is Eastern Michigan to try to work all the kinks out.
Temple had Penn State beaten. After decades of futility, this was the chance to finally pull off a win, but a bad interception thrown by Mike Gerardi late, and the inability to get Bernard Pierce and the running game going, proved to be too much to overcome. The Temple defense was tremendous, especially against the run, and it showed off just as much production up front as Penn State did on its defensive line. As disappointing as this was, it also showed that the team really can play with just about everyone. Beating Maryland next week would all but erase this disappointment.
(AP) PHILADELPHIA -- Michael Zordich scored on a 1-yard run with 2:42 left to stretch Penn State's winning streak against Temple to 29 straight games in a 14-10 victory on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Owls led for most of the game and gave their intrastate rival one of the biggest scares in this series. For all the strides Temple has made in its program the last five years, it still can't beat Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lions.
Temple has not defeated Penn State since a 14-0 victory on Oct. 18, 1941. The teams tied 7-7 in 1950.
After missing two field goal attempts, Penn State converted a fourth-and-1 on the 3 late in the fourth. Zordich then scored to make it 14-10.
Aided by a defensive penalty, the Owls drove to the 34 on their final possession. Mike Gerardi was sacked on fourth down to end the drive and the upset bid.
Watching from the press box because of injuries again, Joe Paterno improved to 28-0 vs. the Owls. But he almost saw a monumental upset a week after Penn State lost at home, 27-11, to Alabama.
The Owls squandered a pair of fantastic chances to stretch the lead in the second half. Temple did not take advantage of cornerback Kee-ayre Griffin's interception that put the ball on the 50, and came up empty after Rod Streater had an open path and blocked a punt that let the Owls start on Penn State's 39.
When Temple struggled, Penn State pounced.
Penn State last visited South Philadelphia in 2007, and it was then that the blue-and-white faithful overtook the Linc and turned the place into a virtual Penn State home game. Not this year. Temple's improvement in the standings has led to renewed interest in the team. The parking lots were stuffed with Owls fans, who tailgated and belted out the fight song hours before kickoff. Still, the game was well short of a sellout and the white shirts that colored large chunks of the stadium made it look like a signature Happy Valley "Whiteout."
Temple announced a paid total of 57,323 fans, the third-largest crowd in team history.
The Owls opened like a team playing for a BCS bowl berth, pressuring Rob Bolden and rattling ball carriers that set an early tone. It was clear that they wouldn't be pushovers. They got it done on offense early, with Mike Gerardi connecting to Deon Miller for 33 yards that set up Bernard Pierce's 2-yard score and a 7-0 lead.
Matt McGloin replaced Bolden in the second quarter and led the Nittany Lions on a tying scoring drive, capped by Silas Redd's 17-yard scoring run.
Redd ran straight into the Temple red -- the end zones were painted red and inscribed with "TEMPLE" on one end and "OWLS" on the other.
The makeover might not seem like a big deal at most college powerhouses, but Temple had never before used painted end zones at the stadium they share with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Brandon McManus put the Owls, 10-7, ahead with a 40-yard field goal with 37 seconds left in the half.
Penn State's Sam Ficken had his 49-yard tying attempt blocked by Shahid Paulhill as time expired to help the Owls take a lead into halftime -- and set the stage for a historic win.
But the Nittany Lions had other ideas.
In the end, Temple was held to just 197 total yards and Gerardi threw two interceptions as the streak continued.
Penn State (1-1) at Temple (2-0) Sept. 17, 12:00, ESPN/ESPN3
Here's The Deal … How long has it been since Temple beat Penn State? Joe Paterno was 14 years old.
In one of the ugliest series in the history of sport, Penn State has gone 35-0-1 against Temple since losing 14-0 in 1941. The lone blemish came in 1950 in a 7-7 tie, but after going decades without coming closer than 13 points to the Nittany Lions, Temple made a dent last year losing 22-13. And now, this Owl team really and truly has a chance to finally break the brutal streak.
The Owls have come out roaring under head coach Steve Addazio, ripping up Villanova 42-7 and destroying Akron 41-3. While the competition hasn't been that great, both the Wildcats and Zips are far better than Indiana State, and Penn State won its opener over the Sycamores 41-7.
The Nittany Lions have the defense to do big things this season, but the offense is inconsistent and mediocre thanks to a passing game that's struggling to find the right fit. Temple isn't a tune-up game anymore, and this should be a fight before getting easier tests against Eastern Michigan and Indiana. After putting up a good fight against Alabama in a 27-11 loss, there can't be any sort of a letdown or this could be an all-timer of a moment for the Owls.
Why Penn State Might Win: The defense really has been terrific. Temple has run wild in the first two games, rolling for 545 yards and eight touchdowns to mask a mediocre passing attack. While the Owls have been efficient through the air so far, that's partly because they haven't faced anyone who can get into the backfield.
Glossed over a bit in last week's loss to Bama was how the Nittany Lion defense made it a fight. The lack of production from the other side gave the Tide several chances and allowed them to not take any chances, but the defense kept Trent Richardson to a workmanlike 4.3 yards per carry on 26 attempts, and didn't give up too many big plays to a struggling Tide passing game. Temple has been able to throw so far because the running game has worked so well. It's not going to work so well this week.
Why Temple Might Win: Penn State's quarterback play has been awful. Even when Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin are connecting, they're not coming up with big plays. The receiving corps isn't bad, and the running backs are solid, but the production simply isn't there. Going against the Alabama defense will make everyone look bad, but this is Penn State and its quarterbacks combined to complete 12-of-29 passes for 144 yards and a score. McGloin completed one of his ten passes. It didn't gain a yard.
The Temple defense has turned it loose into the backfield so far with 11 sacks in the first two games coming from all angles and several spots. The defense has the athleticism to sell out and pressure the passer, and the last thing the Penn State quarterbacks need is to be hurried in any way. The Nittany Lion offensive front has done a decent job so far, but it's about to be under attack.
What To Watch Out For: Everything is working for Temple so far, including a return game that's helped turn the first two games into blowouts. Not only has Matt Brown rushed for 117 yards in the first two games, but he's been phenomenal returning punts taking one back 37 yards against Villanova and two back for 21 yards against Akron. Penn State's punting game has been an issue, averaging 32.22 yards per boot.
But it's not all doom and gloom for a sluggish Penn State team that looked so poor last week against a team that would beat almost anyone else by 30. Temple's red hot running back, Bernard Pierce, who rushed for 297 yards and six touchdowns over the first two weeks, is about to meet a linebacking corps that's playing as well as any in the Big Ten. Michael Mauti wasn't needed much against Indiana State, making just one tackle, but he was all over the place against the Tide with 13 tackles and two broken up passes, playing like the best linebacker on a field of NFL linebackers. He missed all of last year hurt, but he's living up to all the expectations that he really might be the next great Nittany Lion linebacker.
What Will Happen: Never, ever, ever mess with a streak. Yes, Temple is good. Yes, it has good enough lines to give Penn State a hard time. Yes, Penn State's quarterbacks have been awful. It's still Temple vs. Penn State, and through good times and bad, decade after decade, one thing has been a constant: Temple doesn't beat Penn State. The Nittany Lion passing game will start to click, and Silas Redd will outgain Pierce to control the game from the start. Penn State's defense will be the Penn State defense, dominating the Owl passing attack on the way to a low-scoring win.
CFN Prediction: Penn State 24 … Temple 13
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