2011 Penn State Football

Big Ten football fans

Penn State @ Temple Football Recap

Penn State 14, Temple 10


The timeless saying in competitive sports is that “a win is a win is a win.” However, it’s going to be hard this upcoming week to convince the Nittany Nation of that notion. After a victory in the City of Brotherly Love, there’s not a lot of optimism or hope floating around the Penn State Nittany Lions. This is a program that appears to have run out of momentum, talent and ideas in the twilight of a legendary coach’s glistening and glowing career.

The talk about the long-term stability and viability of Joe Paterno’s reign as Penn State’s head coach is going to roar to life once again. Close shaves against mediocre opponents from the Mid-American Conference have a way of doing that. The residents of Happy Valley simply can’t be very pleased with what they saw over the weekend. Fair or not, the state of the program is going to be the prevailing topic in University Park, Pennsylvania, over the coming days.

Penn State merchandise Michael Zordich's one-yard touchdown run with 2:42 left in the fourth quarter allowed Penn State to escape with a victory over in-state rival Temple at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Penn State converted on a fourth-and-one situation from the Temple three-yard line to set up Zordich's winning TD. The Nittany Lions then stopped Temple's desperation drive on the PSU 34. Temple has not defeated Penn State since 1941, but the Lions didn't take their first lead until Zordich's game-winner.

Temple running back Bernard Pierce ran for 50 yards on 17 carries.  His two-yard first-quarter touchdown run gave the Owls a 7-0 lead. Penn State’s Silas Redd ran 17 yards for a touchdown that tied the score with 4:57 left in the first half. Temple took a 10-7 lead into halftime after a 40-yard Brandon McManus field goal in the final minute of the second quarter. Improbably yet undeniably, the two teams failed to score a single point until PSU’s late and face-saving score.

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Redd finished with 86 yards on 16 carries for Penn State. Receiver Derek Moye was the Nittany Lions' best offensive playmaker, hauling in seven passes for 108 yards. Matt McGloin and Rob Bolden once again split time at quarterback for Penn State.  Bolden completed 9 of 17 passes for 92 yards, and was intercepted once.  McGloin completed 13 of 19 for 124 yards. The inability of a quarterback to rise up and take the job with two-fisted totality is something that has to be getting under JoePa’s skin. However, the larger question in all this is why Penn State can’t recruit a quarterback of considerably greater quality. That’s why Paterno’s recruiting ability – and consequently, his stature as the paterfamilias of the program – is being met with questions instead of unanimous approval.

The Nittany Lions' defense shut down the Owls for most of the day.  Temple quarterback Mike Gerardi completed just 9 of 22 passes for 95 yards and two interceptions.  Backup Chester Stewart completed 3 of 6 for 28 yards, and carried 9 times for 16 yards. Temple couldn’t quite beat Penn State, but the simple fact that the Owls came so close is something that the Blue and White community will be arguing about for this week and, in all likelihood, for the rest of the season.

By Matt Zemek
DFN Sports Senior Staff Writer


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