Penn State vs. Temple Preview
ComRadio's own David Arroyo, Brian Mclaughlin, Travis Sutton and Dan Correa break down this week's matchup between the Nittany Lions and the Temple Owls. Coverage begins Saturday at 10 a.m. on ComRadio.
After failing to come from behind in their loss to Pitt last week, the Penn State Nittany Lions (1-1, 0-0 Big Ten) look to this Saturday’s matchup against the Temple Owls (1-1, 0-0 AAC) in State College.
Up until last year the Owls had lost 31 straight games to Penn State, every game every game since 1941. On September 5, 2015, the Owls scored 27 unanswered points to grab the 27-10 victory. In that game, Temple sacked Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg 10 times. Hackenberg was only able to complete 11 out of 25 pass attempts for 103 yards and an interception.
The Nittany Lions are nine point favorites to win and are aiming to start the winning streak against Temple back up again. With the tools they have this year it looks promising. After two games as starting quarterback, Trace McSorley is still a little wet behind the ears. Being back at home and playing a Temple team that can’t stop the run should take some of the pressure off the young QB. If McSorley can get a good start to the game Penn State should be in the clear. In both games so far this season they have shown to be slow to start.
Even with Temple’s poor run defense there is one thing that the Blue and White need to remember however, they couldn’t stop the run last week either. In their 42-39 loss to Pitt last week Penn State gave up 341 yards on the ground. If they don’t tighten that up, it could continue to be costly. Temple surrendered 329 rushing yards in their loss to Army at the beginning of the season.
The weak run defenses mean all eyes will be on the running backs Saquon Barkley for the Nittany Lions and Jahad Thomas for the Owls, if he plays. Thomas has been out for both games so far this season due to a dislocated thumb. In last year’s matchup, Thomas rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns. Thomas’s replacement, Ryquell Armstead has only rushed 30 times for 125 yards and two touchdowns in both of Temple’s games this season. Temple is certainly hoping Thomas will be well enough to play this Saturday.
The Nittany Lions have had offensive line woes for a couple of years now, they have certainly improved but they are far from perfect. In both games so far for the Lions quarterback Trace McSorley was sacked hard from the blind side causing a fumble and leading to points for the opposite team on both occasions. Brendan Mahon, Penn State’s senior left tackle was beaten on both huge sacks. Last year, with the terrible offensive line, Penn State struggled to convert third-down chances. So far this year the Blue and White are only seven for 24 on third town attempts. Another thing this team needs to work on if they want to win games.
The Penn State Nittany Lions and the Temple Owls are scheduled to kick off in Beaver Stadium at 12 p.m. on Saturday. You can listen to the game on ComRadio.
Tommy Butler is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.