Posted by Joe Chuba on 09/21 at 08:13 AM
Steve Jones analyses Penn State’s shutout of Kent State and previews the 40th meeting of the Nittany Lions and Owls.
Penn State took care of business Saturday and beat Kent State 24-0. Rob Bolden had some good moments and some moments where he struggled but that is to be expected at this stage of his development. The running game received a boost from Stephfon Green. He ran hard and quick between the tackles especially on the 17 play 80 yard drive that seemed to settle the game down.
The defense bounced back and played well. They wanted the shutout and they got it. Kent State never made it to the red zone. The defense picked up takeaways thanks to the interceptions by D’Anton Lynn and Derrick Thomas. Lynn’s interception was on the game’s third play and set the tone for the day. Ten plays later the offense cashed it in.
Penn State needed a win and got it. Now the Nittany Lions have a big test from probably the best Temple team since the Paul Palmer era in the 80’s.
Al Golden deserves a lot of credit. The Temple job for many years was considered a graveyard job… many careers went to die in Philadelphia. When Al left Virginia for this job many questioned why he would make that move instead of waiting for another school. Well, he knew what he was doing. In his fourth season he took Temple to a 9-4 record and the school’s first bowl game in 30 years. This season they are off to a 3-0 start and have won 12 of their last 15 games.
Physical tailback Bernard Piece returned to the starting lineup Saturday against UConn and rushed 168 yards and a couple of touchdowns. Chester Stewart gives Temple a quarterback with a very good arm and mobility. As expected Michael Campbell has been his top target with ten catches so far this season.
The defense has forced six takeaways in three games including Adrian Robinson’s game changing play against UConn where he ripped the ball away and returned it for a touchdown. Elijah Joseph is the leading tackler with 19 so far.
Temple has very good special teams. Placekicker Brandon McManus gives them very good scoring range. He has hit four of five field goals beyond 40 yards including a 53 yarder. Senior Jeff Wathne has had nearly half of his punts land inside the 20 yard line. James Nixon, Matt Brown and Delano Green put some jump into the return game.
It is the best Temple team in 25 years and it is a great test right before the Big Ten season gets underway.
Penn State leads the series 35-3-1.
The Nittany Lions won the last meeting 31-6.
The last Temple win came in 1941.
Joe Paterno is 43-1 against MAC opponents.
The series with Temple is set to run through 2016.
Temple Coach Al Golden was a 3 year letter winner at Penn State, he was a captain in 1991.
Golden coached the linebackers at Penn State in 2000 before getting the defensive coordinator job at Virginia.
Author: Joe Chuba
Bio: Sports Producer for WPSU-TV
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