Football Continues Dominance over Temple with 24-13 Win
Playing through constantly changing weather elements, the Penn State Nittany Lions (2-2) emerged with a 24-13 win Saturday afternoon against the Temple Owls (1-2) at Beaver Stadium.
The crowd of over 93,000 fans, wearing blue in support of the Blue Out to raise awareness for child sex abuse, were treated to a Nittany Lion offense that put up 491 total yards.
It started with a gutsy play call by Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien on the third drive of the game. Faced with a fourth down on the Temple 46-yard line, O'Brien elected to keep his offense on the field. Quarterback Matt McGloin found wide receiver Allen Robinson for a 41-yard touchdown and gave his team a 7-0 lead.
“Just a really good young player who works extremely hard,” O'Brien said about Robinson’s development on offense. “He has a huge, huge future, he really does. He’s got a chance to be an excellent football player.”
The touchdown catch was Robinson’s fifth of the season, showing just how big of a target he has become for Matt McGloin.
“Allen’s a great athlete, he has a knack for getting open,” said McGloin. “They tried to play some cloud on him today, put two guys around him, but still got open sometimes. You have to get the ball into Allen’s hands, whether it’s a few times a game or a lot and you have to let him do his thing.”
After the touchdown, Owls quarterback Chris Coyer led the Temple offense down the field into the Penn State red zone, thanks to a pass interference call on Penn State’s Da’Quan Davis that put the ball at the Nittany Lions’ 13-yard line.
Temple quarterback Chris Coyer drove his team into the Penn State red zone after the Robinson touchdown, but Penn State's front seven answered the call. Linebacker Mike Hull came up with a third down sack that forced a Temple field goal.
With less than two minutes to go in the first half and a 7-3 lead, Penn State's Jesse Della Valle return a punt to the Temple 35-yard line. On the drive, McGloin found tight end Kyle Carter for a couple of big catches, leading to a quarterback sneak by McGloin for the touchdown. The Nittany Lions would take a 14-3 lead into the half and never look back.
Perhaps the best performance of the half came from fullback Michael Zordich, who played tailback in place of injured backs Bill Belton, Derek Day and Curtis Dukes. Zordich finished the half with a total of 101 yards, including 62 rushing.
“Mike’s a football player and he’s another guy that’s a bright guy,” said O’Brien. “He’s been a guy that’s really worked at it and he ran hard today and did some really good things.”
The second half showed symmetry to the first as Penn State continued to dominate the Owls both in the air and on the ground. On the second drive of the third quarter, the Nittany Lions went into hurry-up mode again and got deep into Temple territory, aided by a 22-yard catch by tight end Matt Lehman. The drive ended in another sneak by McGloin for the touchdown, putting Penn State up 21-3.
Temple was not ready to call it quits. A 25-yard completion from Coyer to Deon Miller put the Owls on the Penn State 15-yard line. But a holding penalty and a pair of pass breakups by defensive end CJ Olaniyan and safety Stephen Obeng-Agyapong killed the Temple momentum and forced a field goal to bring the score to 21-6.
The fourth quarter saw fifth-string Penn State running back Zack Zwinak see plenty of carries, as Zordich left the game in the third quarter with a leg injury. But Zwinak was up to the task, averaging 5.2 yards per carry and amassing 94 yards on the day. Embattled kicker Sam Ficken would add a field goal in the fourth, putting Penn State up 24-6.
Temple would add a late touchdown as Coyer found Matt Brown for a 1-yard touchdown, and the game ended with a 24-13 win for Penn State. The Nittany Lions moved to 2-2 thanks to good games on the ground from Zordich and Zwinak and from Matt McGloin, who threw for a career high 318 yards.
The Nittany Lions now look forward to their Big Ten schedule starting next week when they travel to Illinois to take on the Fighting Illini. After wins against Navy and now Temple, O’Brien is looking forward to coaching this team in conference play.
“These guys know that they only have twelve opportunities to play,” said O’Brien. “And they practice hard, they work hard, they really care about each other. It’s a very, very fun group to coach and to be around. It’s a lot like, in many ways, just the feelings that I’ve had around the other good teams I’ve been around.”
Penn State takes on Illinois at noon on Saturday in Champaign. The game will be broadcast in its entirety on ComRadio. Tune in at psucomradio.com at 11 a.m. for the ComRadio Football Pregame Show.
Kevin Gallagher is a senior majoring in Broadcast Journalism and the ComRadio Production Director. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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