Penn State vs. Temple Prediction Roundtable


After a win last week in Indiana, the Penn State Nittany Lions are now just one win away from becoming eligible for a bowl. This week’s opponent is the Temple Owls, another team with five wins that’s also looking to become eligible for the postseason.

More from Penn State Football

Historically, the Nittany Lions have dominated the series against the Owls. However, this year’s Temple team is much-improved, meaning that Saturday could turn into a tough game. Penn State has not looked good on offense as of late, and the Owls have a fairly tough defense.

Based on history and the fact that the game is in Beaver Stadium, the oddsmakers set the Nittany Lions as double-digit favorites in this one. This isn’t the first time the Nittany Lions have been big favorites this year, but let’s just hope things turn out better this time around.

Check out our VBR staff predictions for this Big Ten matchup.

Lead Editor Barry Leonard Jr.

Here we go again. Another game where Penn State is expected to have an easy time with the opponent. However, as recent history suggests, that’s not going to happen. Penn State is not good offensively right now. The offensive line has not been able to provide much protection for quarterback Christian Haceknberg or open up many holes in the running game. Temple has been tough on defense this year and ranks No. 10 in points allowed.

While Penn State could struggle against a good defense on Saturday, the Owls will sure do the same on offense. The Penn State defense has been flat-out awesome this year, allowing just 16.6 points a game. Last week the defense totally shut down the Indiana offense, including top running back Tevin Coleman.

This game has all the makings of being yet another ugly game that’s dominated by defense. Of course, I’m going to go opposite on my prediction and say that Penn State FINALLY puts it all together. Give me the Nittany Lions by a score of 24-3.

Staff Writer Ryan Lance

A week after defeating Indiana 13-7 in Bloomington, Penn State welcomes a 5-4 Temple team to Beaver Stadium. The victory last weekend wasn’t pretty by any means, but at the end of a day a win is a win and that is all that matters as the Nittany Lions are one win shy of becoming bowl eligible.

The Nittany Lion defense was once again the bright spot as they held one of the Big Ten leading rushers, Tevin Coleman, to 71 yards on the ground. It was the first time all season that Coleman was held to under 100 yards as he had seven straight games with over 100 yards rushing. On the offensive side of the ball, it was much of the same – an offensive line that couldn’t aid in keeping its quarterback upright, a passing game that has slowly deteriorated over the last few weeks, and a running game that performed better than weeks past, but was aided by a 92-yard touchdown run by Bill Belton.

This weekend’s contest will feature two defenses that are ranked within the top 50 in the country as Penn State ranks No. 3 in total defense and Temple at No. 41. The Owls lead the nation in fumble recoveries with 17 and that will be an important factor in this weekends game. Penn State will need to do all it can to protect the ball and not turn it over. I expect the Temple option attack to cause a few problems early for the defense but they will eventually settle and and conduct business as usual.

The coach staff needs to help Hackenberg out by getting the offense into a rhythm. They’ve had some success moving the ball this season while in the hurry-up and no-huddle offense but they never seem to stick with it. They need to help the signal caller get the ball out of his hands and help him gain some confidence. If they can protect the ball and if the defense can continue to play at a high level, Penn State should pick up their 6th victory. I think it’ll be another low scoring affair and I think Sam Ficken will be the bright spot when it comes to scoring.

I’ll take the Nittany Lions 16-10.

Staff Writer Eric Sion

It’s been the same story all season long- the Penn State offense struggles, the defense carries the load and the game ends up being a close one the whole way. Temple and Penn State are both 5-4, so expect the Owls to bring their A-game as they also fight for bowl eligibility. Temple has P.J. Walker under center, who’s an exciting dual-threat quarterback that can make plays. The Owls also force a lot of turnovers. They have a turnover margin of +6 while Penn State’s is -3, so expect a Hackenberg interception or two. But similar to the Indiana game, I believe that the offense will barely do enough and Bob Shoop’s defense will win this game for the Nittany Lions.

Penn State wins, 19-14.

Staff Writer Jeff Jezewski

This is a gigantic game for the Nittany Lions, as it could be the one that gets them bowl-eligible. You have to think they’ll come into this one with an attitude. The defense is certainly good enough to contain PJ Walker and company, but the offense still needs to find that extra gear. Without a true big-play receiver, the Owls will struggle against the Nittany Lions defense and it should be a solid day for the front seven if they can stop PJ Walker’s running ability.

This is a huge game for Hackenberg and the offense to get in sync. Tyler Matakevitch and the Owls defense makes plays and continues to find ways to force turnovers. If Hack can avoid the errant passes and hold onto the ball, this one should be no problem for the Lions However, that’s easier said than done. While I don’t believe Hack will play as poorly as he has, I don’t think he’ll truly breakout either.

Look for a solid, but not spectacular day from the offense. PSU wins 24-7.