Penn State’s defense could cause havoc for Owls’ offense.
After a 16-day layoff, Temple returns to the field following a heartbreaking last-second loss to Villanova. The Owls travel to Beaver Stadium to play Penn State in hopes of putting their season-opening loss and last season’s embarrassing loss to the Nittany Lions behind them. Here are three keys for each team to watch for on Saturday.
Want Revenge: The Owls travel back to Penn State with a bad taste in their mouths after getting dominated, 45-3. After hanging with the Lions through the first quarter, Temple lost starting quarterback Adam DiMichele to a shoulder injury and trailed 31-0 at halftime.
Turnovers: For Temple to stay close with Penn State Saturday, the Owls need to hold onto the football, which was a major problem against Villanova. Redshirt junior starting quarterback Vaughn Charlton threw three interceptions, the final one deep in Owls territory that set up the game-winning field goal as time expired. Running backs Kee-ayre Griffin and Lamar McPherson also turned the ball over.
Who Gets the Call?: If the Owls score a touchdown or are in field-goal range, it will be interesting to see who coach Al Golden sends out to convert the point-after-touchdown or field-goal attempt. Golden pulled redshirt senior kicker Jake Brownell after he missed his first field-goal try and replaced him with true freshman Brandon McManus. McManus converted a 25-yard field goal and added three PATs.
A Good Start: After crushing Akron, 31-7, to open the season, the Nittany Lions beat Syracuse, 28-7. Penn State opened the season ranked No. 9 in the Associated Press pre-season Top 25 poll and returns 10 starters after last year’s Rose Bowl appearance.
He Can Do It All: Quarterback Daryll Clark returns for his senior year and looks to beat up on Temple’s defense like he did last season. Clark, who threw for three scores last weekend, threw for two touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown last year.
Sack Masters: The Penn State defense is already off and running. The Nittany Lions have six sacks in their first two games, and they look to add to that number Saturday. Temple quarterbacks were sacked six times last year against Penn State.
Pete Dorchak can be reached at email@example.com.