Penn State, coming off a victory over Navy – the first win in the Bill O’Brien era, will be in action this weekend as they play host to the Temple Owls at Beaver Stadium. The Owls are looking for their first win over the Nittany Lions since 1941. Temple Head Coach Steve Addazio had his team within one late fourth down and goal stop of defeating Penn State last year in Philadelphia, but Penn State held on and won 14-10. This year’s Temple team lacks much of the skill that it displayed last year, headlined by the departure of senior RB Bernard Pierce who is now with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, but they still have enough to upset Penn State if the Nittany Lions take them too lightly.
In comparing last week’s opponent, Navy, to Temple, the Owls should be able to throw the ball slightly better than Navy, but they shouldn’t have nearly as effective of a running game as Navy did. One characteristic that both Navy and Temple possess is their ability to play a full 60 minutes. For Temple, nothing exemplifies this more than the fact they were trailing at halftime by a score of 26-3 to Maryland, and fought back to outscore the Terrapins in the second half 24-10 (Temple lost 36-27). Temple fell just short of the amazing comeback, but they are a resilient bunch. Penn State will have have its hands full trying to keep this Owls team from breaking “the streak”.
Finally, something that may come into play that hasn’t really been much of a factor all season is the weather. The forecast for State College on Saturday calls for a 30% chance of rain/showers. Certainly I don’t think that either team will completely scrap their game plan if the weather does turn wet, but I think its worth noting that both teams may add in a few more running plays than perhaps originally planned.
OK, tomorrow, when I’m sitting in my seat at the Beaver Stadium “Blue Out” to support child abuse awareness, here is what I am going to be watching: