TEMPLE: The High (and Low) Five

See the highs and lows from Penn State's 24-13 victory over the Temple Owls in Beaver Stadium on Saturday, giving Bill O'Brien his second win at PSU.

Penn State managed to keep the Owls at bay to get their 38th consecutive victory over Temple. The game had a series of highs with some lows intertwined in the Nittany Lion effort.

Here is a review of the highs and lows from the win:

The High Five

Passing Grade: Matt McGloin had his ups and downs (more about the downs later), but on the day he got the job done and continues to look "light years" head of where he was last season with his reads and decision making. He certainly deserves credit for his 323-yard, three-touchdown day (one through the air and two on the ground).

Storm Front: Facing another offense that likes to use the triple-option in back-to-back weeks, the defensive line played against the scheme well, limiting Temple to 113 total yards. The only real Achilles heel they had against the Owl offense was the keepers by QB Chris Coyer, but they still bottled him for 61 yards.

Tick Tock: Clock management at the end of the first half was masterful, using three timeouts to give PSU the ball back with a short field to put a late tocuhdown on the board. It's great to see some clock management as an asset rather than a liability for the Lions.

One-Two Punch: PSU's ground game ground out 173 yards on the legs of Michael Zordich (who told our Mark Brennan after the game "I'm good" after getting pulled for a knee injury) and Zach Zwinak. Zordich rolled up 75 yards on 15 carries (5.0 YPC) and Zwinak had 94 yards on 18 carries (5.2 YPC). By the end they had ground down the Temple defensive front to a fine powder.

Kickin' It: A tip of the hat to Sam Ficken for putting three extra points and a field goal through the uprights. That's not to say the concerns are over for the kicking unit, but it was a good day for the placekicking unit.

Bonus Highs

Third World: We tossed a lot of criticism at the PSU defense in recent weeks for their third down struggles. This week the contained Temple to a mere three conversions on 12 attempts. Marked improvement men.

State Streak Say what you will about the opponent, but any team who can win 38 games in a row against an opponent deserves a nod. Apparently the Owls felt very confident about beating a down-trodden PSU squad. It was nice to see the boys in Blue and White step up.

The Low Four

Broken Line: Sure, the offensive line blocked for 491 total yards, but they also got pushed around a times by the Temple defensive front. They got into their groove, but they have to nail down their blocking and get the corners tied up as they move into Big Ten play.

Hang Time: So as mentioned previously, McGloin played very well overall and is much improved with his reads and deliveries. However, flashes of McGloin of old showed up in the Temple game with more than a few passes that were forced, hung up and would-be interceptions if the Temple defenders were either awake or with semi-competent receiving skills.

Flag Day: I am sure a lot doesn't need to be said about it, but man were the officials downright bad today with their flags flying on a variety of questionable calls including a pass interference on PSU that was a good 20 or so yards away from the play. On the day they tossed 15 flags (nine against the Lions) for 146 penalty yards (105 against PSU).

All Talk: If you were at the game consider yourself lucky from being spared from the ABC announcers. Between their repeated in-depth analysis comparing penalized hits to their inability to read the amount of yardage on a simple play it almost make me long for Pam Ward...OK they weren't that bad.


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