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Temple @ Penn State: Running Game Opens up Offense for PSU

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The Nittany Lions played their best game of the season Saturday as they handled the Temple Owls by a score of 24-13. Penn State ran hard between the tackles as their fullbacks assumed the role of tailbacks to assert the running game in a smash mouth effort. The Lions surrendered another late, meaningless touchdown as the game concluded to make the game look closer than it ever actually was.

Positives

  • Matt McGloin- McGloin ran for two scores and tossed another TD to Allen Robinson (5/82/1TD) in what was one of his better games for the blue and white. While he did throw an interception, he is showing a commitment to taking care of the football much more than fans have seen from him in the last two seasons. The former walk-on is better than many give him credit for, but he will have to continue his quality play for Penn State to continue to win heading into Big Ten play.
  • Fullbacks turned running backs- Michael Zordich looked like his dad as he started the game due to the multitude of injuries and transfers that Bill O'Brien is dealing with. He had over 100 yards of offense which included 75 yards rushing on 15 carries. When he got injured in the second half, Zack Zwinak didn't miss a beat running hard for 94 yards on 17 carries. If Penn State can continue to establish a running game, Matt McGloin will continue to be successful in the passing game moving forward. On another positive note, RB Bill Belton is expected to be back for the Illinois game.
  • Allen Robinson- Where did this guy come from? He took a pass on 4th down 41 yards for a critical score early in the game as a defensive back bit on a slant and Robinson showed some nifty moves on his way to the end zone. Nobody saw this coming. He is quickly establishing himself as one of the better receivers in the Big Ten.

Negatives

  • Putting the game away- Penn State dominated this football game, yet Temple had a chance to make it a one score game in the 4th quarter. Although the defense stepped up to prevent this from happening, Penn State needs to put these kind of games away and stop letting the other team hang around. They will lose winnable games in the Big Ten if they don't step up and close games out by playing with a sense of urgency for 4 quarters.
  • Kicking Game- Sam Ficken was able to knock a short field goal through the uprights, but Coach O'Brien clearly does not trust his kicking game. Penn State won't be successful in the Big Ten if they are going for 4th and longs outside the 20 yard line. In the short term, it has been relatively entertaining to watch though.

Did You Know...

  • Temple hasn't beaten Penn State since 1941, when America was entering World War II.
  • The Penn State starters on the offensive end of the ball were not part of the long term plan a few years ago. WR Allen Robinson was a 2-star recruit whose only other major offer was from Minnesota, TE Kyle Carter had no major offers, FB Michael Zordich was recruited as a linebacker, and QB Matt McGloin was a former walk-on who beat out highly heralded Rob Bolden and Paul Jones to be the primary signal caller for the Lions.
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