What you need to know: Penn State V. Temple
Each week, we’ll tell you what to expect, what to keep an eye on, and when and where you can catch the Nittany Lions on fall Saturdays this season.
Need-To-Know Details: Penn State (1-1) vs. Temple (1-1)/Noon/BTN
Weather Forecast (via AccuWeather): High of 76 degrees, with an afternoon thunderstorm.
The Overview: How do the Nittany Lions respond after last week’s deflating defeat? A noon kick against an underwhelming Temple squad probably doesn’t equal 100,000 fans. Losing to the Owls (again) seemed unthinkable after Week 1, when the Owls lost to Army. Expect Penn State to win, but how seems almost just as important. I don’t usually take that line, but with a trip to Ann Arbor the following week — Michigan is ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press poll — it matters this time.
The Line: Penn State –9
All-Time Series: Penn State leads 39-4-1.
Last Time They Met: Temple pinned Penn State with a 27-10 defeat at Lincoln Financial Field. After jumping ahead, the Lions were left behind, making the 27-10 loss seem even worse, assuming that’s possible.
Penn State Wins If: The Lions can forget about last week. Penn State is the better team; the Owls lost 26 seniors and an all-conference linebacker from last year’s squad. And you get the feeling that the offense is going to score enough points to win, no matter what happens on the other side of the ball.
Temple Wins If: Penn State struggles in the first half. I almost expect Penn State to struggle in the first quarter. But the next 15 minutes will have an impact. Even though more than two dozen seniors graduated, much of Temple’s roster was part of last year’s victory. Meaning the days when Temple rolled into Beaver Stadium just happy to be there are over. Let them go into the locker room thinking they can repeat last season’s result, and they just might do it.
Count On: DaeSean Hamilton making a big play. After the junior wide receiver dropped the likely game-winner last week, expect Trace McSorley and Joe Moorhead to give Hamilton a chance to redeem himself. And expect on Hamilton doing just that.
Keep An Eye On: Penn State’s return game. John Reid is quickly becoming a threat on special teams, returning a punt for 59 yards against Pitt. The Lions will be looking for momentum on Saturday, and if the offense can’t get things going right away, maybe that spark can come somewhere else.
Trivia Tidbit of The Week, Part I: Despite last year’s defeat, the Lions can still claim to never losing to Temple at home. They’re 12-0-1 all-time in such games.
Trivia Tidbit of The Week, Part II: Through the first two games of the season, Saquon Barkley has moved from 41st to 33rd all-time in rushing yards at Penn State. He currently has 1,266.
*Season Record: 1-1
*Season Record Against The Spread: 2-0
Prediction: Penn State 37, Temple 21
HappyValley.com season predictions
Photo from temple.edu