Staff Predictions: Penn State vs. Temple
You know the drill by now. That wonderful time of the week is upon us again where various Onward State staff writers share their thoughts about tomorrow’s Penn State game. Let’s get to the picks as the Temple Owls (1-1) pay a visit to Beaver Stadium to take on the Nittany Lions (1-2).
Penn State 21 Temple 10
I think this game could be close for much of the way, but ultimately, I’m at the point where I can’t pick Temple to beat Penn State until they actually do it. Last year might have been their best shot, and they still found a way to let an inept Nittany Lions offense score a go ahead touchdown late. While this year’s Penn State team is still vulnerable, the Owls also took a step back with the loss of stud running back Bernard Pierce to the NFL. They still have a good running back in Matt Brown but are pretty one-dimensional as quarterback Chris Coyer enters the game with a 41.4 completion percentage through two contests.
Look for Penn State to continue their hot starts with a touchdown on the opening drive. Temple will hang around, but the Nittany Lions’ defense will be too much for them to handle. Ted Roof’s unit has two interceptions so far but none by the secondary. That changes on Saturday as Adrian Amos picks off Coyer to help get Bill O’Brien’s squad back to .500.
Penn State 24 Temple 10
This game won’t be as close as some people are predicting. Although Temple is coming off a bye-week, they are also coming off a 9 point loss to Maryland two weeks ago. Penn State certainly has the ability to control this game from start to finish. Temple QB Chris Coyer has a 41.4 completion percentage and only 239 yards in 2 games against mediocre teams. With the passing game almost nonexistent, I have confidence that Penn State will be able to put a halt to the Temple running game and come out with a solid victory.
Penn State 31 Temple 7
I don’t see Temple reaching double-digits on Saturday. Penn State’s run defense seemed to have settled in after a terrific performance vs. Navy. There’s no reason to be concerned about the secondary, because Temple’s QB Chris Coyer has only totaled 12 completions against two mediocre teams this season. Expect another balanced offensive attack with Allen Robinson again being the focal point. If the defense can get off the field on 3rd down, Penn State will leave Beaver Stadium at .500.
Temple 30 Penn State 20
While this is not last year’s Temple team, they are still a bit of a force to be reckoned with, especially for this year’s Nittany Lions. The secondary will not have as much of a break as they did against Navy, so they need to show up with full force. That, and a healthy Curtis Dukes will be essential to this game.
Penn State 28 Temple 17
The Nittany Lions will look to build off last week’s 34-7 win over Navy. Penn State is seeking its 30th consecutive victory over Temple. The Lions defense will need to contain dual-threat quarterback Chris Coyer. In the Owls’ loss to Maryland, Coyer lead the team in rushing with 78 yards and also passed for 178 yards.
Penn State has yet to establish a threatening run game but showed glimpses of its potential with Curtis Dukes and Mike Zordich last week. Expect them to continue to pound the ball, especially with Bill Belton and Derek Day’s status questionable.
With wide receiver Allen Robinson now likely to draw double coverage, look for receiver Brandon Moseby-Felder to be targeted more. The Penn State tight ends, outside of Kyle Carter, should also expect to see the ball more.
Watch out for former Penn State quarterback Kevin Newsome to make his Temple debut possibly at receiver. Newsome last played for Penn State in 2010. He sat out a year while attending a community college in Virginia and transferred to Temple last spring.
Penn State 24 Temple 14
The Penn State defense has been playing very well the past few weeks, forcing 8 turnovers. The defense will continue to force turnovers against Temple and ultimately seal the ball game with a late game fumble recovery, which will lead to a game-clinching Curtis Dukes TD run. Look for another heavy dose of Dukes and Mike Zordich on the ground before taking some shots down the field to Allen Robinson, Kyle Carter, and Trevor Williams.
Penn State 24 Temple 16
Penn State will build off of their first victory in 13 years with a solid win against the Owls. Though Allen Robinson will command more attention after his breakout game against Navy, Matt McGloin will successfully spread the ball to a plethora of receivers and tight ends in O’Brien’s pitch-and-catch offense, while pacing the game with handoffs to the Lions backfield committee.
Temple’s spread-option offense will be more dangerous than expected; Owls QB Coyer and RB Brown are both talented players, and though the Nittany Lions defense posted a dominant performance against Navy’s option attack, the Midshipmen still put up 391 yards (255 on the ground) despite scoring only once. Temple, though, probably won’t miss as many opportunities as Navy did.
Penn State 35 Temple 10
I’m calling this one much easier than people are saying. We have our offense well on its way to being an overall solid unit and the defense really pulled itself together against Navy. Look for a key turnover with a few minutes to go in the half that keeps Temple close, but the second half is our show. Keep an eye on Adrian Amos to make some big plays and get B1G co-Defensive Player of the Week.
Sam Ficken will be under par for an eagle at the eighteenth, -2.