Surely Temple

Surely Temple can’t beat Penn State.

No.  They can’t. And please don’t call me Shirley.

Let’s replay my recap from LAST YEAR:

It was not the greatest upset in college football history and not even the most amazing upset in the program’s storied history, but in the end, Penn State managed to upset the Temple Owls 22-13 14-10.

The Mighty and Most-annoying Owls came into Beaver Stadium Lincoln Financial Field as if they already had the game won. They were actually disappointed that they did not win. They couldn’t believe they didn’t win. They were already reserving tickets for a BCS game (they already had the rest of the season won as well.)

But that is why we play these games. The heavily favored (in their own minds) Owls came out swinging. THEY CAME TO PLAY. (If I hear that one more time I may just have to kill someone.) And for almost three four quarters, the Cherry and Vanilla played like they were going to win. THEY DESERVED TO WIN. (If you say that one more time, you are next on my list.) But like any great team that gets upset, they let a pesky opponent—WHO ALSO CAME TO PLAY—hang around too long and the Lions snatched away victory in the final quarter of play.

It’s deja blue and white all over again.

Temple has not beaten Penn State since 1941.  There was a tie in 1950, and the Owls have not won in the last 29 meetings.  Joe Paterno has never lost to Temple.

So why does Temple not understand their role in this drama?  We don’t play them every year because we need more competition.  Are not all the checks and the third largest crowd in your team’s history not enough for you?  Do you really need to actually win one of these scrimmages?

You would probably like to hear about how I fretted over this game.  Or how I threw small articles and pets at my TV screen in anger.  Or perhaps that I have bitten my nails down to the bone and am typing with blood dripping all over my keyboard from the stumps.

The truth is . . . I DVR’d the game and was at my son’s hockey game when this travesty occurred.  My daughter’s boyfriend texted her the final score before I got home.

I knew you couldn’t do it,
even when you’ve got nothing to lose.
You’re weak. And I’ve outgrown you.

I can’t say that I am surprised.  Penn State was coming off an emotional loss.  Temple had absolutely nothing to lose.  Penn State’s offense has been sputtering worse than a ’71 GMC Pacer on cheap gas.

Penn State turned the ball over once, missed two field goals and had a third one blocked, had a touchdown called back for holding, and had a punt blocked–and TEMPLE STILL COULDN’T WIN THE GAME with perhaps their best team ever.

Our defense played the kind of game it needed to play to win this game.  The offense played the kind of game Penn State needed to play to barely win this game.  The special teams played the kind of game the team needed to lose this game.

Even knowing the outcome, this game was painful to watch.  I still tossed small pets at the TV and pulled out what little hair I had left.  If it weren’t for defense, we’d have no team at all . . . gloom, despair, and agony for us.

Thank Heavens Temple didn’t hire Bradley.  They might have won this game.

By The Numbers:

From GoPSUsports:

Turnovers, as in most cases, were huge in this game.  Two interceptions late in the game killed the Owls chance to pull off the impossible upset.

Penn State held Bernard Pierce to 54 yards on 17 carries.  Some Owl fans think his injury and inability to finish the game last season helped Penn State pull out the win.  Well, he played this whole game and they STILL didn’t pull out the win.

INTANGIBLES:

It was a small crowd by PSU standards, with 57,323 fans in attendance.

Temple won the toss and elected to defer.

The Owl screeching after a Temple moral victory was quite annoying on the TV.  I can’t imagine how headache-inducing it was to endure in person.  Yet another reason to not actually go to one of these “away” games.

Joe Paterno is rambling after Grambling, with win number 403, just 5 behind Eddie Robinson on the all-time list.

People with more time on their hands than I counted the number of times ESPN showed the closed windows behind which Joe Paterno apparently coached.  Thirteen, in case you are wondering.  But they did not show Dan Persa’s mom once.  According to the announcers, the Penn State coaches didn’t know how to open the windows.  No wonder they can’t coach the offense!

Pay no attention to that man behind the windows!

I almost spewed my beer when the announcers said that Steve Addazio thinks Temple could be the Boise of the East.

Penn State is now tied for fourth on the all-time list of consecutive win streaks over a single opponent, and the highest one that is currently active.

THE BIG (TEN) PICTURE:

The contenders:

Nebraska beat Washington 51-38.

Wisconsin rolled over Northern Illinois 49-7.

Illinois upset Arizona State 17-14.

THEM softened up EMU for us, beating their intrastate rival 31-3.

Iowa edged the Panthers 31-27.

Purdue crushed SE Missouri State 59-0.

Indiana beat South Carolina . . .wait for it . . . State 38-21.

The pretenders:

Miami (FL) under Al Golden knock off the Buckeyes, 24-6.

Army beat Northwestern 21-14.

The Irish notched their first win of the year against the Spartans, 31-13.

The Gophers beat Miami (OH) 29-22.

SHEDDING TEARS:

1.  Sparty–spanked by a win-less ND team
2.  Navy–upset bid over the gamecocks comes up 3 points short
3.  Auburn–winning streak snapped by Clemson
4.  Loser of the F$U – Oklahoma game
5.  the ACC–Pitt and Syracuse apparently banging on the door.  If I were them, I’d pretend I wasn’t home!

LOOKING AHEAD:

EMU comes to Beaver Stadium next Saturday.

The Eagles are 2-1 with wins over Howard (41-9) and Alabama State (14-7).  They lost today in Ann Arbor 31-3.

The last time these two teams faced each other, 1992, Penn State won 52-7.

I don’t think we can score 52, but we should win.  It’s not like we’re playing a powerhouse like Shirley Temple.

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Filed under analysis, Big Ten, football, opinion, Penn State, recap, Temple

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