Harvey Levine/FOS

PSU-TEMPLE: The High Five

Penn State managed to exact some revenge on the Owls for last year's loss. The Nittany Lions had ups and downs, but thanks to some big plays got a critical home victory.

It wasn't the prettiest of wins for Penn State, but the squad managed to get back at Temple for the loss last season. On the whole the Nittany Lions saw some ups and downs, and could have walked away with the victory early if not for some sloppy play and turnovers.

Here's a look at the highs and lows from the game:


It's An Honor: First off, a tip of the hat for Penn State taking a moment to honor Joe Paterno for the amazing impact he made on his players, the program, the sport, the university and the community at large. It's easy for some to take uninformed swipes, but kudos to PSU for ignoring them

Win It: We stressed this week that this was essentially a must-win game for the Nittany Lions, so getting the job done, even with some ugly sloppiness, was critical for this team to make progress.

Nice Work: While he had some issues, including another interception (more on that later), Trace McSorley had a solid outing, going 18 for 24 passing for 287 yards and a touchdown while running in another score. It was a solid performance that the Lions needed.

Big Time: It was nice to see the offense pull together some big plays that changed the trajectory of game. Saquon Barkley's late 55-yard touchdown run was huge, as was Chris Godwin's 52-yard reception-and-run score. The Lions also mounted some key sustained drives.

Line Up: The offensive line continues to have ups and downs. On the whole the didn't given up any sacks and blocked for over 400 yards of offense. That's a positive, but the run blocking is sporadic and needs to be better for the backs.


Back to Basics: The team continues to struggle at times with some blocking and tackling fundamentals, something that has to be cleaned up quickly. Yes, many of these guys are young, but that excuse will quickly wear out if it continues.

The Other Way: While Penn State had some big plays, the PSU defense gave up some big plays out of the gate, including allowing Temple's Phillip Walker to hit Romond Deloatch for a 67-yard pickup to set up a tying score to make the game 7-7.

Same Old: While the passing game seems to have caught a bit of a flame, the running game seems to be stuck with the same handful of plays. It seems that the staff may be relying a bit much on Barkley's ability to make defenders miss in lieu of getting him some open lanes and off-tackle opportunities.

Turn, Turn, Turn: Coughing up the ball is still a huge hinderance for the team. In this one the Lions had three turnovers, including two lost fumbles and an interception. This is just giving free opportunities to opponents that most Big Ten foes will not squander.

Focal Points: While the team is making strides in many areas, the Big Ten schedule is approaching quickly so there's little time to address key components like blocking, tackling and play-calling. The coaches have weapons to use so the good news is that this team has the ability to improve quickly.

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