Kick Into Gear Collin Wagner went five for six on field goals, posting all of Penn State's post until late in the fourth quarter. He's developing into a solid weapon for PSU.
Got the Touch: Fera remains up and down on punts, but has emerged into a consistent force on kickoffs forcing regular touch-backs and neutralizing Temple's kickoff return game.
Second Chance: OK the early play of the defense wasn't pretty (see more on that below), but the defense finally woke up and held Temple to eight first downs and only a single converted third down on 11 attempts.
Sweet M&M: Pete Massaro and Michael Mauti deserve a special should out for sparking the defense after coming out flat early on. Both applied some great pressure, made some big plays and sparked some emotion on the defense.
Nick of Time: Nick Sukay made two pivotal interceptions for the Nittany Lions, snuffing out a key Temple drive early on and sealing the deal for PSU late in the game. The second grab was particularly impressive with how he jumped the rout and exploded for a solid return.
Rushin' Power: OK, he wasn't spectacular on the day, but Evan Royster deserves a tip 'o the hat here for a record day of 26 carries for 187 yards. He made some big pickups and played with more heart as the game wore on.
Mr. Smith: Devon Smith deserves a nod here as well for creating some real excitement in the return game. He's fast and furious on runs. It adds another dimension to special teams for the Lions.
Crowded House: The fans deserve credit for coming out en force with 104,000+. It wasn't a marquee lineup, but it was good to see a full house. Also Temple has some nice representatives in the house.
THE LOW FIVE
Dead Zone: Penn State's red zone play was painful, setting for six field goals. Temple deserves some credit, but PSU was simply inconsistent inside the 20 and resulted in the game wearing on all afternoon.
Gotta Flat: The simple lack of emotion all-around for Penn State to open the game was frustrating. Temple was sky-high which gave them the early edge and the early lead.
First is Worst: The defense almost looked bored at times in the first quarter. They simply looked apathetic which allowed Temple to swoop out to an early lead. The good news is that they had some key players step up, but on the day they had a solid outing, forcing four turnovers and holding Temple to 202 yards. A team like Iowa won't be as forgiving though if PSU comes out in a similar manner next week.
Broken Line: The offensive line not only gave up their first sack of the season, but they did a poor job of keeping the Owls off of Rob Bolden. Bolden took some big hits which this team simply can't afford.
Pierced Heart: The injury to Temple's running back Bernard Pierce was a back-breaker to Temple. Granted, PSU's defense held him to 42 yards on 10 carries, but the loss of his explosiveness will be a blow down the road to Golden's Owls.
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