Penn State hasn't lost to Temple since 1941, a streak that is oddly one of the few things that has lasted as long as Joe Paterno. While one of Penn State's traditional in-state rivals hasn't proven much of a challenge to the Nittany Lions over the decades, a strengthening program is making these games more and more interesting. Something that Joe Paterno doesn't expect to change any time soon.
"Unless they're stupid, when they look at the tapes they're going to see what kind of team Temple has." Coach Joe Paterno said. The announcement that Paterno was planning on playing both quarterbacks Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin overshadowed Paterno's warning to his team that Temple wasn't a pushover.
"This is probably the best Temple team I've ever seen," Paterno said, a testament to the work Al Golden put in to a flailing program before heading to Miami for what must now seem like a nightmare job. With Miami under serious NCAA investigations, Golden undoubtedly is missing the confines of his Philadelphia home.
"Golden did a great job with that program, I was surprised to see him leave for Miami."
For Penn State, Paterno's acknowledgement of Temple's progress is completely warranted. Just last season, Temple pushed Penn State to the limit behind an effort by Heisman hopeful running back Bernard Pierce, who was injured midway through the game. His 2 touchdowns on 10 carries was more than enough though to make a 22-13 victory by Penn State feel more than uncomfortable for Nittany Lion fans.
This season the Owls are playing with focus, having outscored opponents to the tune of 83-10 in their first two games. Under the leadership of new head coach Steve Addazio, the mind behind Florida's offense during the Urban Meyer era, Temple will be hosting Penn State in hopes of getting a marquee win for the program.
As far as Pierce, he's already on a roll and ready to finish what he's started. Racking up 6 touchdowns and 297 yards rushing in Temple's first two games he and running back partner Matt Brown will give Penn State's defensive line plenty to think about heading into Saturday's game.
Ultimately there is only so much Penn State can take away from Temple's performance against Villanova and Akron. As impressive as the offense of the Owls has been, it has yet to face a defense at the level of the Nittany Lions, but with the offensive uncertainty for Penn State this game is far from over.