September 24, 2010

LBU Staff Predictions: Temple at Penn State

The non-conference season wraps up for our Nittany Lions, as in-state "rivals" the Temple Owls roll into Happy Valley. Temple is in the midst of one of its best winning records in decades, while Penn State is still struggling to find itself. Is an upset brewing? Here are our thoughts on the game, with a little score prediction action.

Flipping the ball carrier
Penn State's defense can't improve much on last week's shutout performance, but you never know...

Full Game Preview


I know it’s just Temple but Penn State fans need to realize this isn’t your father’s Temple. This is probably the best Temple team ever and Bernard Pierce is probably going to be the best back Penn State will face this season. The game plan for both teams is going to be simple. For Temple, run, run, run, run and then run some more. Shorten the game by grinding it out on the ground and keep the clock running. Keep the game close and try to win it in the fourth quarter. For Penn State they have to jump out early by more than one score and take the run game away from Temple. If it’s a close game late it won’t be good for Penn State but I don’t think it will. I’ll say Penn State beats the Vegas 14 point spread.

Penn State 27, Temple 10


After all the previewing, analyzing and reading up on Temple this week, I still can't really figure out this game. Bernard Pierce, barring injury, should be able to move the ball against the Penn State defense. But the question for me is, will it be in two-yard gains, or 12-yard chunks? I think Penn State woke up last week (at least on defense), which is the main thing the Nittany Lions needed to happen before going up against a team like the Owls. Penn State will shoot for a more efficient offense this week, while continuing to improve on defense. I'm not sure the offense will play turnover-free, but there are just too much talent in Penn State's three-deep to be out-matched by Temple.

Penn State 25, Temple 13


I know this is a new Temple under Al Golden and that game a couple years ago was infinitely closer than the score, but this game doesn't have me scared. The defensive effort was far improved last week, though not perfect. I expect that Joe spent this past week with the offense and Bolden, figuring out what looks are giving him trouble and getting better in his decisions on throws. This PSU is young and consistency is going to be the biggest problem in conference play, however Temple spent most of the season escaping by the slimmest of margins (except when blowing out the Big East) and, despite their youth, PSU comes out on top.

Penn State 31, Temple 14


Here's the last paragraph of's preview: [Bernard] Pierce, meanwhile, had seven carries for 24 yards in Temple's 31-6 loss at Happy Valley last season. The Owls are 12-0 when the sophomore rushes for at least 55 yards and 1/3 when he doesn't.

55 is a rather odd number to choose for an 'undefeated' stat and it's sure as hell going to take far more yards than that from Pierce in order to give Temple a chance at pulling the shocker of the decade. Pierce tore up UConn for 169 yards a pair of TD's last week, although this should tell you more about UConn having a crappy run defense (Michigan ran all over them as well in the season opener) than it does Pierce being a fringe Heisman candidate. If he can duplicate that kind of performance tomorrow, Temple *might* hang around for three quarters.

I think it's cute how all the Temple fans are so brash about this game, you would think their team has already pulled the upset. They really seem to think that the PSU players have been living in Penn's Cave for the past week and haven't heard any of the talk about this being Temple's best team ever and how they're the likely to be victims of an upset. I can't wait to read what excuses those said Temple fans come up with when a pissed-off PSU squad comes out and pummels the Owls tomorrow. Look for the run game to finally get going as Stepfhon Green builds off his success from last week against Kent State. Rob Bolden will also make his share of big passing plays to his numerous capable receiving threats. The defense will also start to resemble the not-so-vintage PSU defenses of yesteryear. I am willing to concede however, that Temple will finally reach the end zone.

Penn State 35, Temple 7


Stay tuned later tonight for our weekly 11th Hour Depth Charting.

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