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The Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Cincinnati Bearcats are sharing the Big East penthouse.
The Penn State offense was able to eat huge chunks of yardage all day, but penalties and mistakes at key times prevented them from blowing Temple out. The Nittany Lions opened the scoring at the end of the first quarter when Matt McGloin found Allen Robinson for a 41-yard touchdown pass.
Temple answered with a field goal in the second quarter, but a pair of McGloin rushing touchdowns on either side of halftime made the game 21-3, and effectively out of reach for the Owls. Penn State kicker Sam Ficken, who was 1-5 on FG attempts for the year, connected on a 20-yard kick late in the fourth to make it 24-6, to the loud approval of the fans in attendance. The Owls were able to quickly push the ball down the field and made the game 24-13, but the ensuing onside kick fell into Penn State's hands.
Starting running back Bill Belton missed his third straight game, but Zach Zwinak (85 yards on 16 carries) and Michael Zordich (76 yards on 15 carries) kept things moving for the Nittany Lions on the ground. Allen Robinson had another good game, hauling in five passes for 82 yards and a touchdown, bringing his TD count to five for the season.
It was a frustrating game for Temple, whose offense was bottled up for much of the game. Chris Coyer struggled throwing the ball, and ended the day going 13-26 for 124 yards and a touchdown. However, the Owls' last drive accounted for 65 of those yards and the touchdown, a 1-yard pass to Matt Brown. Montel Harris led Temple with 43 yards receiving.
Box Score Hero: McGloin accounted for almost all of Penn State's points, going 24-36 for 318 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He also punched in two rushing touchdowns.
Rankings Ramifications: Neither team is likely to be ranked after this game.
But Did They Cover? Penn State came into the game as a 7-point favorite, so they covered the spread.
For More On This Game: For more on Penn State, check out Black Shoe Diaries, as well as Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire. For more on Temple, head over to SB Nation Philadelphia and Big East Coast Bias.
Next Week's Schedule:
Penn State: Sep. 29 at Illinois
Temple: Oct. 6 vs. South Florida
This story originally appeared on SBNation.com.
The Penn State Nittany Lions lead the Temple Owls 14-3 at halftime. The Penn State offense has 270 total yards and has been able to move the ball effectively, but mistakes have prevented them from really turning those yards into points.
Temple's offense has struggled to the tune of 96 total yards in the first half. Chris Coyer is 5-9 for only 39 yards, and has been sacked twice. Montel Harris has 24 rushing yards on 10 carries, and Coyer has 20 yards as well.
Matt McGloin went 14-22 for 213 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the air, and added another rushing touchdown right before halftime. Michael Zordich, pressed into heavier action due to injuries, has 60 yards on 11 carries. Allen Robinson caught another touchdown, and seven other receivers have gotten into the actions with a catch.
For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, SB Nation Pittsburgh and SB Nation Philly.For more on Temple football, visit SB Nation Philly and Big East Coast Bias.
The Penn State Nittany Lions, looking to build on last week's victory vs. Navy, return to the field on Saturday afternoon for a tilt with in-state opponent Temple.
Penn State broke a two-game losing streak by defeating Navy 34-7 last weekend at Beaver Stadium. Penn State's victory, the first under head coach Bill O'Brien, was highlighted by a strong defensive effort in which the Nittany Lion defense had four sacks, forced three fumbles, and forced an interception en route to holding Navy scoreless for the first ten minutes of football. Meanwhile, the offense finally showed some consistency, with senior quarterback Matt McGloin passed for 236 yards and four touchdowns, three of them to sophomore receiver Allen Robinson.
Temple is coming off a bye week after a 36-27 home loss to Maryland. The Owls mounted a furious comeback after finding themselves down 36-3 at halftime, but the rally fell short Temple QB Chris Coyler threw his first career interception late.
Penn State leads the all-time series 37-3-1, and hasn't lost to Temple since 1941. Temple led most of last year's contest before the Nittany Lions came back late to nip the Owls 14-10.
Game Time, TV Channel: 3:30 ET, ABC/ESPN2
Point Spread: Penn State favored by 7 points
For more on the Penn State Nittany Lions, check out Black Shoe Diaries.
If ever there was a chance for the Temple Owls to snag a victory in their long, unstoried history against the Penn State Nittany Lions, perhaps its this year.
Owls fans know the story: its been 71 years and 37 games since the team's last win in 1941 over their cross-state rivals -- perhaps "rivals" isn't the right word -- and the majority of the time it hasn't been close. To be fair, it hasn't all been losses: they tied a game in 1950.
However, the matchup has gotten closer: in 2010, Temple led the majority of the way in a 22-13 loss. Last year, it was a one-touchdown affair, with the Nittany Lions registering a late score to pull ahead 14-10 for a victory. And this year, Penn State is 1-2 after a pair of losses to Ohio and Virginia, and depleted by an exodus of players leaving after the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
Needless to say, Temple's players had something to say about the matchup, wrote Mike Kern in the Philadelphia Daily News. Kicker Brandon McManus is optimistic.
"A bunch of us on this team have been hoping to get a win against them. We're excited to have [another] opportunity. "I think every year from now on, Temple will be able to compete and have a chance to win. There are so many Penn State fans in Philadelphia, so we're trying to bring that Temple vibe. Two years ago, when we were winning at halftime, that whole place was silent. It's the first time I'd ever heard that."
For Penn State coach Bill O'Brien, the game is less of a big deal, as he said in his weekly press conference that "every year is different. I don't know what they were like in 1940, but in 2012 this is a excellent Temple team with a bunch of good players."
One of the great Penn State traditions has been what's called a "white out," when the entire 100k+ crowd wears white to a home game. However, this week, the Nittany Lions will be changing their colors. This time around, the color will be blue as the program hopes to raise awareness for child abuse in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
"From the day I arrived here I felt like it was so important to be involved in the community like Penn State football has been in the past, and especially as it relates to putting an end to child abuse," said head coach Bill O'Brien. "So I believe it's going to be a great day for the Penn State community. I think it's going to be a very, very tough football game, but I believe there will be another great crowd. The crowds have been really awesome, the student body, the crowds."
He says he hopes the gesture will make an impact on child abuse in the United States.
"To have the crowd dressed in blue T‑shirts for the Blue Out game and helping put an end and to have awareness to the child abuse problem in this country and everywhere, I think it's going to be a great day. Can't say enough about PCAR and what they do in Pennsylvania. We're just a small part of PCAR just trying to help them put an end to child abuse."
The "PCAR" that O'Brien refers to is the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. Donations can be made at the game to support the charity.
“PCAR is honored to be the beneficiary of the Blue Out at Penn State,” PCAR CEO Delilah Rumburg said. “It is wonderful to see students being leaders in raising awareness and showing compassion for survivors of child sexual abuse. The events at Penn State demonstrate how an entire community can be impacted when a child is abused.”
Bill O'Brien detailed the past history he has with the coach across the field this week, Temple's Steve Addazio.