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."