Penn State at Temple Prediction Roundtable


Penn State finally gets to take the field after several months off. The 2015 season kicks off for the Nittany Lions in Philadelphia with a matchup with in-state Temple. These two teams met last year in Beaver Stadium in what was a deceiving 30-13 victory. Penn State struggled on offense for much of the game and used a stout defense to pull out the victory.

More from Victory Bell Rings

The Nittany Lions are favored by seven over their American Conference foe, but being the first game of the year, anything is possible. The Owls will surely come out ready to play, especially on their home turf. However, Philadelphia is home to a large Penn State alumni base, meaning that Lincoln Financial Field should be predominantly blue and white on Saturday.

With the game just a few short days away, its time to make predictions. Find out how the VBR staff thinks things will go in Philadelphia on Saturday.

Lead Editor Barry Leonard Jr. 

I’m so excited that the football season is finally here. After all the talking, we get to finally see some action on the field. I’ve thought about this prediction for a while, but then feared I was overthinking it. Offensive struggles from last year aside, I really think this is a different Penn State team this year.

Christian Hackenberg will be on a mission to prove that last season was an anomaly and that he really is one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. He’s got a ton of talented targets to throw to and a talented running back behind him. Sure, the offensive line probably won’t be perfect, but its has to be better that last year.

On defense, the Nittany Lions will once again be tough. Sure, Mike Hull is a big loss, but there’s plenty of talent returning to make the defense great. In this game, the defense will be able to shut down a weak Temple offense.

I expect Hack and the offense to roll in this one while the defense continues to do what it does best. It may start slow in the beginning, but I’m looking for Penn State to leave the City of Brotherly Love with a 35-10 victory.

Staff Writer Shane Lunnen

This is a solid opener for the Nittany Lions to test how much their offense has improved. Temple returns almost their entire 2-deep defense, including 11 starters.  That defense ranked 4th in the nation last year in points allowed and forced 30 turnovers.  I expect the Penn State offense to start slow as they feel out what the Owls are doing on defense.  They should catch on as the game progresses.  Look for Christian Hackenberg to throw a pair of touchdown passes and have a solid stat line to open the year.

On the other side of the ball, it could be a long day for Owls quarterback P.J.Walker and company.  Temple’s offensive line, much like Penn State’s, struggled often last year.  While they should be improved, I think they are over-matched against the Nittany Lion front seven.  Look for Anthony Zettel, Austin Johnson and the linebackers to be in the Owl backfield all day.  I’ll even predict the other Penn State touchdown comes from a pick-six.

Penn State wins this one in a relatively low scoring affair, 24-10.

Staff Writer Nick Lemon

“Fear none but respect all.” In James Franklin’s press conference earlier this week he quoted the sign hanging in Penn State’s locker room and reiterated the team’s approach to this season. This message is certainly applicable in the opening week of the season as a vastly improved and confident Temple team, led by ex-PSU linebacker Matt Rhule, will be looking to knock off the Nittany Lions for the first time in nearly 74 years. Penn State and Temple had very similar teams statistically a season ago as both leaned heavily on very solid defenses while their respective offenses ranked near the bottom nationally. Saturday’s contest will likely come down to which offense improved more during the off season. With that I like Penn State’s chances based on the talented skill players that surround Hackenberg.

Penn State gained over 250 yards on the ground against Temple last year and I expect Akeel Lynch and the rest of the backfield to pick up where they left off. An established running game will put less pressure on the offensive line and the passing game will open up for Hackenberg, giving him time to set his feet and deliver strikes to the skilled receiving corp.

I expect that Penn State’s offense will show significant improvement displaying both a run/pass balance and several play makers. The defense will once again be dominant and force a handful of turnovers and Big Toe blasts two field goals in the victory. Although the final score won’t impress on a national scale; for a Penn State squad that struggled to move the football a season ago it is a promising showing against a solid Temple team and will be a sign of positive things to come in 2015.

Penn State 27-10

Staff Writer Marty Leap

Penn State and Temple have a lot of similarities. Both have question marks on their offensive lines, both have question marks with their running game, and both should have very strong defenses. Luckily for the Nittany Lions, they have much more talent on offense than Temple does. Also, James Franklin’s coaching staff proved in the season opener as well as the bowl game last year that when given extra time to prepare for a game they are very difficult to beat.

If the Nittany Lions are going to win on Saturday they must get the offense going. I believe they will need to rush for at least 115 yards, while Christian Hackenberg chips in at least 220 yards passing. Temple’s defense can not be overlooked. They have a very good defensive line, and that will be a real test for a Penn State offensive line that is clouded with question marks.

Ultimately, I believe this year’s game against Temple will be very similar to last year’s. An ugly, ugly game for two and a half to three quarters before the Nittany Lions win it going away. In the end, I say Penn State picks up a 27-13 win to start the season 1-0.

Staff Writer Ryan Lance

The football season is finally upon us and the Nittany Lions will kickoff the season versus the Temple Owls. Although it’s an away game, the atmosphere will play more like a home game as the Nittany Nation will be out in full-effect. We are all excited to see the team in action for the first time since December and there will be a few key areas to key in on. How will the offensive line look? How will Akeel Lynch handle his full-time running back responsibilities and how will the kicking game fare?

I think the Penn State offense will get out to a slow start as this will be their first real game action in 9 months. The Temple defense is a quality one and will be sure to give the offensive line some fits early on. The key will be how well the offensive line can move the ball, keep Hackenberg upright, and getting points on the board early on.

I think the Penn State defense will be the x-factor in the game as they will limit the Owl’s opportunities for points and will force a few key turnovers.

It’ll be a hard fought battle but the Nittany Lions will prevail 20-10.