Penn State Focused on Passing Attack and Forcing Turnovers against Temple

Story posted September 21, 2012 in CommRadio, Sports by Mike Esse

After getting their first win in the Bill O’Brien era, the Penn State (1-2) football team is focused on making a statement against in-state foe Temple (1-1).

Last week against Navy, the dynamic duo of senior quarterback Matt McGloin and sophomore wide receiver Allen Robinson proved dominant as the tandem hooked up for three touchdowns in a 34-7 Penn State victory.

O’Brien knows he has a stud in Robinson, but he also has faith in the other wide receivers, like Brandon Moseby-Felder and Trevor Williams.

“I believe if we just keep working at it, we just take what the defense gives us, we throw to the open guy, we throw to the one-on-one guy, and hopefully we can continue to do that and these guys will continue to work hard and improve,” said O’Brien.

The running game has been the biggest offensive question mark for Penn State thus far as they are without a rushing touchdown through the first three games of the season. Senior Michael Zordich took most of the carries against Navy and sophomore Bill Belton is still listed as possible. However, no matter who O’Brien has put in the backfield thus far, he knows he has a variety of backs he can use in the running game and said his team is in a good spot against a stout Temple defense.

“I believe we're fortunate here at Penn State because we have a decent amount of guys there,” said O’Brien. “One guy is a little bit bigger than the other guy; one guy is more of a third down guy; other guy may be more of a first and second down guy.”

On the other side of the ball, the Nittany Lions bring a hot defense against a pounding running game of Temple led by senior running back Matt Brown and junior quarterback Chris Coyer.

Ted Roof’s defense has forced eight turnovers in the past two games including three forced fumbles against Navy. Senior linebacker has assumed the role of the leader of the whole Nittany Lion team as well as the defense, but the presence of redshirt freshman defense end Deion Barnes has provided balance for the Penn State defense.

Barnes, a Philadelphia native, knows how big of a game this is for his team. He is focused on forcing Brown and Coyer to make mistakes on Saturday.

“It's a battle every time we play,” said Barnes. “Going against Temple is exciting for me, coming from Philadelphia and watching them a few times. It's something I'm looking forward to doing.”

Bill O’Brien said Tuesday that most of his injured players are still day-to-day including running backs Belton Derek Day and offensive tackle Donovan Smith.

Saturday will be a “Blue Out” at Beaver Stadium to show awareness and an effort to stop child abuse around the country. O’Brien talked about how important the ‘Blue Out” will be and how it will affect both teams on the field.

“From the day I arrived here I felt like it was so important to be involved in the community, like Penn State Football has been in the past, and especially as it relates to putting an end to child abuse,” said O’Brien. “I think it's going to be a very, very tough football game, but I believe there will be another great crowd.”

Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ComRadio starts its’ coverage with the Tailgate Show at 11 a.m., the Opening Drive at 1 p.m. and the Pregame Show at 2 p.m. featuring Southern Cal running back Silas Redd.

Mike Esse is a sophomore majoring in Broadcast Journalism and is a ComRadio Sports Director. To contact him, email