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NCAA Football

Game by Game Breakdown: Temple

Week three for the Nittany Lions should be rather easy going. Penn State will travel to Philadelphia to take on Temple in the first road game of the season. Last year, Temple gave Penn State quite the scare deep into the fourth quarter. Penn State continuously settled for field goals and Galen Hall’s play calling was bashed continuously after the game. Hopefully this year on 3rd and 5 or less, Penn State won’t rely on running the ball up the middle for a 1 or 2 yard loss.

Photo courtesy of Temple Fever

Temple is in a rebuilding year after losing head coach Al Golden to Miami. Steve Addazio has taken the reins at Temple and hopes to build off of the success of Golden in the last two seasons. Addazio was the Associate Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator at the University of Florida. He is directly responsible for the play calling that helped Tim Tebow and the Gators win the National Championship in 2009. He was the offensive line and tight ends coach for the Gators from 2005-2008. Addazio will certainly bring a different flavor to Temple, but until he gets the type of players he needs to run his style of play, Temple will struggle. Addazio was on the hot seat at Florida in 2010 and the lack of success this past season was blamed primarily on him and the Florida Offense. Many Florida fans attribute his success directly to Tim Tebow. Tebow left and it seemed as if nothing went well for Addazio.

Addazio will be quite familiar with Penn State in 2011 having already played the Lions in the Outback Bowl. However, his previous coaching experience had him playing Penn State quite regularly. Addazio coached at Indiana from 2002-2004. Indiana was 0-3 vs Penn State those three seasons with two losses by more than 30 points.

Let’s get to this year’s game.

Addazio has inherited a team that knows how to win. Temple returns both starting Quarterbacks from last season, Mike Gerardi and Chester Stewart. They also return their top two running backs, Matt Brown and Bernard Pierce. Pierce scored two TDs against Penn State in 2010 and was touted as a Heisman Candidate by the Owl fans before coming to Happy Valley.

The key to the 2010 game was not offense. It was defense. The Lions D shut out the Owls in the second half and forced two interceptions. This season the defense will have to step up once again to stop Pierce, Brown and Gerardi.

Penn State should be coming off of another huge emotional game against Alabama like last season. However, the 2011 season will have this team coming off of a win over the Tide. The Lions will start slow in Philadelphia and a stupid mistake will make this game closer than it should. Silas Redd should have another big game, but Derek Moye will be the difference. Penn State will also get their second taste of Paul Jones who will come in the game in the second half. Temple will compete early on, but I think the Penn State defense is too strong once again and unlike last season, the Lions will be able to convert TDs offensively.

Even though this game will be an away game for the Lions, expect a huge crowd on hand that is primarily Blue and White. Temple will keep the game at 10-7 through the first quarter until Silas Redd hits a big run in the second and Michael Mauti punches in the TD waking up the team and the PSU crowd. Penn State rolls to a 24-7 lead at halftime and puts the game away in the second half.

X-Factors:

1. Crowd: This game will be quite similar to that of the 2007 season at Temple. Check out this video of the PSU crowd during that game: (CLICK)

2. Michael Mauti: I don’t know one person who does not like Mauti. His fiery attitude and never quite mentality ignited PSU in 2010. Mauti should be a force to reckon with in this game and it will be his first TD of the game that gets things rolling in Philadelphia.

3. The Temple Owl Screech: At a home Temple game whenever Temple gets a first down they say “First Down Temple Owls” then the loudest most annoying Screeching owl sound is played. It is actually painful to listen to. The screech may annoy the Penn State defense so much that they will be motivated to not allow first downs in this game. If you have not experienced the screech you will if you attend the game. I’m sure many of you know exactly what I am talking about.

Penn State gets their revenge on Addazio from the Outback Bowl and puts his overall record against PSU at 1-4. Temple’s overall record against the Lions will be updated to 3-37-1. The last time Temple beat Penn State was October 18, 1941.

Score Prediction:
Temple – 13
Penn State – 44

Previous Breakdowns:

Alabama

Indiana State

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