TEMPLE: Game Breakdown

The good, the bad and the ugly from Penn State's 45-3 victory over Temple at Beaver Stadium Saturday.

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno showed up a Beaver Stadium Saturday, and spent a couple of hours on the field and a couple of hours in the press box. You may have caught some of the media coverage of the event.

In related (though much less reported) news, the Nittany Lions also played a game, overcoming a sluggish start to slap around Temple for the umpteenth time in as many meetings.

Penn State improved to 4-0 with the victory while the Owls slipped to 1-3. Here is our take on the action.

MAN OF THE HOUR: Penn State linebacker Navorro Bowman had a career game, with 11 tackles, five tackles behind the line, three sacks and a caused fumble. He threw in an interception for good measure. No wonder the staff gave him his first start of the season. We smell Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors.

CLOSE SECOND: OK, maybe not so close after Bowman's monster day. But Nittany Lion running back Stephfon Green had his best game yet, with 132 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. He had one explosion — a 69-yarder — but he also had several nice power runs. Green caught a pass for 17 yards, too.

CLOSE THIRD: PSU defensive end Aaron Maybin dominated early, with four tackles (three for losses) and a pair of sacks in the first half. He also had a key hit we'll discuss later. It is doubtful Temple will see another end with Maybin's speed this season.

TURNING POINT: After a ho-hum scoreless first-quarter, PSU quarterback Daryll Clark hit wideout Brett Brackett for a 20-yard score early in the second. Temple seemed to panic, going three and out and then giving up a six-play, 68-yard drive on which Lion running back Evan Royster scored from 32 yards out for a 14-0 lead.

ANOTHER KEY MOMENT: Savvy Temple quarterback Adam DiMichele sustained a shoulder injury after being sacked by Maybin on the Owls' first series. DiMichele never returned.

SOLID STRATEGY: A gimpy Joe Paterno heading to the press box for the second half. No need to further hurt his injured right knee.

NUMBERS GAME: The Owls had 16 net rushing yards in the game.

BUSINESS AS USUAL: Penn State, behind its strong offensive line, averaged 6.7 yards per carry and posted 303 rushing yards in the game.

SPECIAL DELIVERY: As bad as PSU's special teams were, we considered giving this one a week off. Then we remembered punter Jeremy Boone pinning the Owls at their own 2-yard line on a perfect boot when the score was still 0-0 in the first quarter.


• Paterno being on the sideline at all in this game. Why risk further injury? We all get how tough he is. Only a fool would question that. But it is fair to question the lack of common sense exercised by the hobbled coach.

• Penn State reverting to its form of sleepwalking through the first quarter of a noon kick.

• Penn State reverting to its 2007 form of stinking it up on kickoff coverage. The Owls had way more yards on kickoff returns (221) than they had of total offense (138).

• Temple punt return man Delano Green trying the old fake fair catch early in the second half. He was flagged for delay of game.

• Former Lion Kenny Jackson, serving as sideline reporter for the Big Ten Network, using the word “us” while referencing Penn State. That's a major no-no in journalism circles, K.J.

HIT SQUAD: Bowman had a handful that could have qualified here. But we really liked when he crushed Temple's Chester Steward on a QB draw in the third quarter.

HIDDEN HERO: Penn State's Knowledge Timmons didn't give up, even when Owl kickoff return man Travis Shelton broke behind the Nittany Lions and was racing down the sideline for an apparent score in the second quarter. Timmons tracked him down from behind and made the crushing tackle at the PSU 23. On the next play, Tony Davis came up with a pick for Penn State. The Lions were only up 14-0 at the time.

HEADS UP: Despite being tackled by Temple linebacker Tommie Weatherspoon, Clark double-pumped and dumped off to Green for a 17-yard gain in the second quarter. Must have had the coaches saying, “NO, NO, NO, NO … great play!”

LOST IN THE SHUFFLE: Shelton had three kickoff returns for 149 yards, beating the Owls' total offense production (138) on his own.


• The great job Penn State's backup wideouts did, especially Brackett and Graham Zug. Each scored his first career TD.

• True freshman defensive back D'Anton Lynn saw his first action of the season as a gunner on kick coverage and at left corner late in the game.

• Starting tight end Mickey Shuler sustained an ankle injury in the first half and did not return. Paterno called it a “slight sprain” and said Shuler could have played if needed.

• Royster, the starting tailback, received only one carry in the second half. Paterno said the staff was trying to keep him fresh and wanted to get the backups more work.

UNANSWERED QUESTION: How are the Lions going to react when someone really punches them in the mouth?


Fight On State Top Stories