TEMPLE: The High Five

Penn State came away with another win and advanced to 3-0 on the year with a 31-6 victory over the Temple Owls.

It was another Penn State victory, this time over Temple, which once again saw highs and lows for the Nittany Lions. Here's a review of what the team showed fans:


Running Wild: After two weeks of concerns about the slow-starting ground game, Penn State, led by Evan Royster, had an impressive rush outing. The run game rolled up 186 yards, just 28 yards short of the total yards run by PSU against Akron and Syracuse. Royster and the offensive line had an overall good day, with a few mis-steps, but Royster was impressive on several runs with solid reads on his blocking. Keep in mind he was not feeling well late this past week.

Here to Stay?: Last week we welcomed back tight end Andrew Quarless to the offense. This week he made a statement that seemed to say he's looking to stick around as an impact guy in the PSU attack. On the day he pulled in three receptions for 45 yards. And if not for an unnecessary block-in-the-back he would have had a long, impressive touchdown catch-and-run.

General Lee: Once again linebacker Sean Lee led the defensive charge and had a stellar game, rolling up 10 tackles, 2.5 TFL and a sack in the first half alone; he ended with 12 on the day. Lee's emotion, intensity and overall play - and not to mention his leadership - are a major weapon that may actually be understated.

Strong Reception: Once again eight different receivers grabbed passes for the Lions, showing an impressive group of targets led by Chaz Powell (four receptions for 40 yards) and Derek Moye (four receptions for 31 yards, one TD).

Punt Man: For the second week in a row punter Jeremy Boone deserves a tip 'o the hat for his impressive punting job. Last week he booted for 150 yards, this week it was 191 yards. His leg is an unheralded weapon, but one that is big for PSU in the battle for field position.


Nitrous Newsome: That blur you saw streaking to the right flat was No. 12, freshman quarterback Kevin Newsome. The backup QB showed some impressive wheels on that run. If A.J. Price manages to stay in-bounds for the pass he caught you may have had more fans saying that Newsome showed signs of being a dual-threat guy.


Clark Off the Mark: Although we suspect that illness may have taken a toll on him this week, PSU's quarterback forced some passes and just looked a step-or-two off today. Granted it wasn't one of his 300+ yard days, thanks to the ground game waking up, but it was decent - minus the ill-advised, forced passes - hitting 16 of 26 (61.5%) for 167 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. So, the day was solid, but if Temple's players are a half-step faster they could have had two or three more turnovers.

Loose Brackett: A leader of the receiver unit, Brackett has all but disappeared, with no receptions in the past two games and only one for a loss of seven yards this season. Brackett's 6-foot-6 frame could be a valuable weapon for PSU, particularly in short yardage sets.

Passing Judgement: I am all for testing a gimmick here and there, but having true freshman Curtis Drake pass on an outside toss is not really an ideal play when you consider the fundamentals the team needs to work on and the fact that Drake should be working his ball-carrying skills given that fumble he gave up. Perhaps it's nit-picking, but it seems like there are more effective gimmicks ahead of that one.

Cover Me: Penn State still gave up 138 kick return yards against Temple, which is 20 fewer than Syracuse, but still an area the team continues to be challenged by.

You're Flat: The issue that had plagued Penn State for years continues in terms of coming out flat in noon kickoffs. And even moreso against lesser teams. Granted observers have stressed the team has been challenged getting up for some of these games, but they should at least be able to come out and execute out of the gate rather than opening with a sloppy first drive.

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