Blue White Roundtable: Alabama Week Edition
September 7, 2011 – | 1 Comment

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Penn State moves to 3-0, Iowa looms

Submitted by on September 20, 20094 Comments
Temple Penn St Football
Evan Royster had his first big game of the 2009 season
Penn State (3-0) is unblemished in the loss column heading to Big Ten play but they continue to do so in ho-hum style. Sure, the Nittany Lions sent Temple (0-2) home packing with a 31-6 defeat, their 27th straight loss to Penn State. And yes, they showed some signs of playing better, but there are still some concerns as Penn State prepares for a revenge game against Iowa.

The story of the Penn Stat offense in the first two games this season has been the success of the passing game and the struggles of the running game. On Saturday afternoon against Temple the roles seemed to be reversed. The offensive line helped create some lanes for Evan Royster out of the backfield, and the top running back at Penn State did his job well in getting around some defenders from time to time. Royster accumulated 134 yards on 19 carries and scored a touchdown. Chaz Powell added 24 yards on one end around play and Stephfon Green chipped in with 19 yards on six carries. In all Penn State’s offense totaled 186 rushing yards, almost equaling their season total entering the game.

Temple played a tough game against Penn State and hurt themselves in a number of ways themselves. Penalties were costly for the Owls. Eight penalties for 65 yards kept Temple from making a serious run at Penn State, but regardless of when penalty flags were thrown the Owls failed to beat the Penn State defense. For the fourth straight time in this series, Penn State kept Temple from reaching the end-zone. Temple did put a dent on the scoreboard in the first half, something Penn State did not allow in their first two games in the first half. Temple’s field goal at the end of the first quarter cut the Penn State lead to 7-3, but Temple seemed to be playing on a different level than the Nittany Lions.

For a third straight week there seemed to be a lack of intensity from the Penn State sidelines from their players and some coaches. Are they dis-interested? Are they believing they can just show up and win against Akron, Syracuse, and Temple? Well, yes, they probably can win on talent alone against those first three opponents, but that mentality will have to be taken care of for next week’s meeting with Iowa.

Temple coach Al Golden had his team prepared for a run at an upset, bringing his team in to Beaver Stadium Friday afternoon in their suits to get a feel for the atmosphere. With some gutsy defense early on and perfect execution of a surprise on-sides kick in the first half, Temple certainly had the look of a team that was more determined to win. But Penn State’s defense took care of business, holding the Owls to 5-17 on third down situations, and 1-3 on fourth down plays.

Each team recorded one turnover, with Penn State’s coming on an interception thrown by Daryll Clark after getting caught under heavy pressure from the Owls defense. Penn State’s offensive line had poor pass protection for most of the day, but Clark was taken down for a sack just twice in the game for a loss of seven yards.


For the first time this season tailback Evan Royster went over the century mark on the ground. Royster had 134 yards and a touchdown. He averaged 7.1 yards per carry behind his offensive line and showed a determination to score a touchdown on his lone trip to the end zone. After sprinting to the end zone with a long touchdown pass last week against Syracuse, Royster did not record a pass reception this week. Perhaps the coaching staff decided to focus more on his running abilities against Temple.


Well, Penn State still will hold on to a top five ranking most likely, but they do not look like a top five team. What we do know is that Penn State has one of the best defenses in the country, regardless of who they have played so far. It will be interesting to see how they perform in a Big Ten game now.


Penn State welcomes Iowa to Beaver Stadium for the Big Ten opener for each team. Revenge will be on the mind for the Nittany Lions as Iowa was the only team to defeat Penn State in the regular season a year ago. The loss to Iowa knocked Penn State out of the discussion for a shot at a national championship. Penn State has struggled against Iowa since joining the Big Ten. Next week’s game will be a prime time game on national television and is the season’s first official stadium-wide White Out.

Temple starts their MAC schedule with a home game against Buffalo. The Owls lost to Buffalo last season on the final play of the game with a Hail Mary pass for a touchdown. Like Penn State, revenge will be on the mind of the Temple Owls as they look to make a run at the MAC East division championship.

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