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Nittany Lions Kick Their Way Past Owls

“There weren’t any fat kids out there,” said head coach Joe Paterno after Saturday’s 22-13 comeback victory against Temple, referring to the well-coached, well-prepared Owls.

Paterno’s Nittany Lions went into halftime trailing the Owls 13-9 behind the leg of Collin Wagner, who tied a Penn State record with his 5 field goals. Evan Royster returned to form as he rushed a career-high 187 yards, but the offense never could slip into end zone until the 4th quarter with Michael Zordich’s 1-yard touchdown run. Wagner was a savior for the Lions, nailing field goals from 45, 32, 42,32 and 21 yards. However, his 32-yard miss in the 4th quarter were crucial points Penn State needed to put the game away.

But leave that up to Nick Sukay. With less than three minutes on the board and a 22-13 lead, Sukay snagged his second interception by the tips of his fingers. That interception marked the third of the day for a defense that allowed only 46 yards through the air.

The Owls came into Beaver Stadium without beating Penn State since 1941, so many thought the  trend would continue. They almost proved folks wrong Saturday, with a strong running game that capitalized on pivotal Penn State mistakes.

Evan Royster had his best game of the year statistically, but his 1st quarter fumble set the tone for the next two quarters. That play took some of the happy out of Happy Valley.

Fans will also be upset to hear that senior offensive tackle and one of the more consistent offensive lineman, Lou Eliades, will likely miss the rest of the season. Paterno said that the 6-foot-4, 310-pound New Jersey native “probably” has a torn ACL.

The Nittany Lions must improve tenfold to compete with Big Ten nemesis Iowa next weekend. It seems like it has been a lifetime since Penn State has beaten the Hawkeyes, and if they don’t become more physical, control the ball, and improve in the red zone, then this year will be no different. But, hey, they definitely have the potential.

What did everyone think of the game? Tailgating must have been pretty rockin’ with all the empty seats in the student section…

About the Author

Tim Owen

I am originally from a very small town in northeastern Pennsyltucky, called Athens. Currently, I am enrolled in the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism and major in print journalism.

I have a passion for sports, and more specifically football. I enjoy hunting, cooking, food, and everything Penn State!

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