Your BSD staff predicts the outcome of Penn State's final non-conference contest...
Mike: The game last year was much closer than it should have been. Temple shot themselves in the foot several times on offense. I think they took advantage of a Penn State team that had packed it in for the year and was just looking to get their win and get out of Philly. This year will be a different story. This Penn State team has tasted early success and believes it can make a run at a Big Ten championship and even the BCS Championship. They have been extremely focused through the first three weeks of the season. The way they came out and took care of business against Syracuse tells me they approach each practice and game with determination regardless of who the opponent is.
Poor Temple is going to come into this game feeling good about themselves. They played us tight last year and they could easily be 3-0 at this point. But the new Spread HD is going to rip them to shreds. And this Penn State defense is going to show up and play with purpose unlike last year. Poor Temple is going to be crawling back to Philly with their tails tucked between their legs.
Penn State 60 Temple 9
Run Up The Score: As noted in my little preview on Thursday, and with all due respect to Bill Parcells' "you are what your record says you are" theory, Temple's a pretty decent team. Could they give Oregon State a run for the title of "Penn State's Most Difficult Non-Conference Opponent"? Maybe for three quarters. The potential red flag in this game is Penn State looking ahead to a primetime revenge date with Illinois, and to be honest, the Lions are due to come out a little flat. Also, Temple had a great plan last year in Philly. Combine those things, and I'm calling for a slow start on a beautiful day in Happy Valley. Don't worry, they'll wake up in time to post a comfy halftime lead, add some points in third quarter, and pull the starters in the fourth. Back-door cover for Temple, thanks to a late touchdown.
Penn State 42, Temple 17
Kevin: The 2007 version of this game was one of the more unusual football games you will ever see. Temple drove repeatedly into the red zone, only to use every foul up in the book to maintain the goose egg they eventually walked away with. The Owl offense is much improved and our defense is much weaker, so with that I expect them to be able to get on the board. I doubt seriously that Temple will be able to contain what has been one of the more powerful offenses in the Big Ten. I'm going with a high scoring affair, and I think Temple might prove to be the most productive offense we have faced.
Paterno has little incentive to keep the starters in, with an already thinned out roster and an Illinois team next week that has two weeks to prepare. If things go well, and I think they will, Penn State should be able to get rolling early on the back of Royster and coast with the second and third stringers to a win just short of the 28.5 point spread.
Penn State 48, Temple 21