Monday Morning Fullback: Temple

Former Nittany Lion Matt Hahn gives his thoughts on the Lions' win over the Owls and the rapidly approaching Big Ten opener against Iowa.

General Thoughts

Finally, the run game that we all have been looking for showed up Saturday afternoon. I thought the Penn State coaching staff did an excellent job making the ground game a priority. Evan Royster looked like he was able to get in a groove early and often finishing with an average of 7.1 yards per carry. Daryll Clark looked a tad out of sync for the first time all year but still managed to toss two touchdown passes. Penn State set out and did what it wanted to do establishing the run game, which was perfect timing because now it gets real with a solid Iowa team coming into town. We have seen Penn State play well in all three facets of the game. Now it's time for them to put it all together in one game.

Game MVP

The much-maligned offensive line gets my MVP for this week. The guys have taken a lot of the heat so far this young season for the subpar ground game. The young line came to play this week and looked much better, playing more physical and with more consistency. Nice showing with the new addition to the starting lineup of Johnnie Troutman.

Key Play

Another game that's hard to pick out a specific play that did or would have changed the outcome. So I'm going with a play/weapon that could be a future game-changer. The punting of Jeremy Boone has been excellent all season and continued Saturday. Boone will be a vital weapon as opponents get tougher and games get closer.

What I Like

Tight end Andrew Quarless, has proven to be an unsung hero thus far in 2009. Three catches for 45 yards along with a 70 yarder that was negated due to a penalty Saturday. It looks like Quarless is keeping good on his promise on trying to become a leader and playmaker.

What I Didn't Like

Not a single play or number of plays here, but the kickoffs have been and are continuing to be a special teams issue that could cost Penn State down the road. Low line drive kickoffs must be corrected before next week. Teams in the Big Ten will capitalize if they consistently start drives at the 35- to 40-yard line.

Did You Notice?

What's up with the student section? Haven't seemed into it as much this year. Could be a result of a very non-competitive non-league schedule.

General Thoughts

Penn State playing on prime time television with ESPN Gameday on hand and a White Out in full affect - not to mention the opponent is the same team that ruined a possible national championship run in 2008. Does it get better? Questions will be answered.

Visit Matt Hahn's Monday Morning Fullback blog, which touches on a variety of topics, at this link.

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