By Joseph Santoliquito
STATE COLLEGE, PA (CBS) — It’s another year of waiting for Temple. After playing competitively for a half, the Owls began bending under the grind of a surging Penn State team, losing to the Nittany Lions, 24-13, at soldout Beaver Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Temple is now winless against their cross-state rivals for 72 years. The Owls have not beaten Penn State since a 14-0 victory on Oct. 18, 1941. The teams tied 7-7 in 1950. Temple did throw a major scare into Penn State last year, losing 14-10 at Lincoln Financial Field, after letting a 10-7 fourth-quarter lead slip.
There were no scares this Saturday. Penn State led from start to finish, and though Temple had its chances to climb back into the game, either an Owls’ miscue or a Penn State big play prevented Temple from getting close.
The victory evened Penn State’s record at 2-2, while Temple fell to 1-2, suffering its second-straight loss.
Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin had a good day, picking apart the Temple secondary with completions in the middle of the field, while averting a strong Temple pass rush. McGloin completed passes to nine different receivers, connecting on 24 of 36 passes for a career-best 318 yards, throwing one touchdown, scoring twice and one interception, which came off a deflection.
The team Nittany Lions’ first-year coach Bill O’Brien originally envisioned is beginning to take form. McGloin looked very comfortable, other than the times he was flushed from the pocket by Temple’s rush.
Defensively, Penn State corralled Temple’s running game. The Owls could do little against the swarming Penn State defense, which held Temple to three-of-12 on third-down conversions when the game was still competitive, and 237 yards of total offense—65 yards coming on Temple’s last drive.
Owls’ quarterback Chris Coyer wasn’t able to do much against the constant pressure Penn State applied. Coyer didn’t help himself, misfiring a handful of times, once in the first half when he had tight end Cody Booth wide open early in the second quarter on a second-and-four at the Penn State six.
Later in the third quarter, Coyer had wide receiver Jalen Fitzpatrick running free in the Penn State secondary, and Coyer misfired there, too.
Penn State got on the board first when McGloin found Allen Robinson on a 41-yard touchdown reception. The play occurred on a fourth-and-five. McGloin lofted a nice pass in between two Temple defenders and Robinson snared it, leaving the stunned Owls in his wake.
Temple relied on Brandon McManus, who’s showing each week his next destination is the NFL, was responsible for 33- and 42-yard field goals. The Owls added a cosmetic touchdown on a one-yard shuttle pass from Coyer to Matt Brown late in the fourth quarter.
McGloin closed the half by dragging a Temple lineman into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown with :22 left in the half, giving Penn State a 14-3 halftime edge.
With 4:57 left in the third quarter, McGloin capped an 11-play, 80-yard 4-minute, 36-second drive with a two-yard touchdown run. Again, McGloin shredded the Temple defense with a pair of completions for 39 yards.
Temple and Coyer made it interesting early in the fourth quarter. The Owls traveled to the Penn State 26, when Coyer was sacked by Kyle Baublitz for minus-3 yards ending the mild threat.
From there, McGloin and the Nittany Lions pounded out the clock and kept the Owls off the field.
It was the second-straight victory for Penn State, which honored the 1982 national championship team before the game.