Temple Owls: The Objective Primer and Rankings Roundup

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Temple Owls (2-0, 1-0 MAC) vs. Penn State Nittany Lions (1-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
12:00 p.m., September 17, 2011
Lincoln Financial Field (Capacity: 69,144)

We're still only two games into the season, so the statistics aren't telling the entire story. Penn State's numbers are understandably down after last week's hot mess, while on the other side of the field, Temple's numbers are skewed up after demolishing Villanova and Akron. The Lions travel to Philadelphia this week, but more importantly they have a chance to gather themselves for a couple weeks before the all-important conference play.

Penn St.   Temple
176 (40) Rushing Offense 272.5 (15)
129 (110) Passing Offense 173 (94)
74.04 (118) Passing Efficiency 156.31 (35)
305 (98) Total Offense 445.5 (36)
26 (73) Scoring Offense 41.5 (27)
130.5 (61) Rushing Defense 82 (25)
134 (17) Passing Defense 190 (39)
264.5 (26) Total Defense 272 (27)
17 (38) Scoring Defense 5 (4)
1 (T77) Sacks 5.5 (3)
1.5 (T51) Sacks Allowed 1.5 (T51)
5 (T76) Tackles for Loss 7 (T40)
0 (T57) Turnover Margin 2.5 (T6)
6.88 (68) Punt Returns 19.33 (8)
24 (T46) Kickoff Returns 32.5 (9)

National Rankings in parentheses

Like I said above, we can't make too many generalizations just yet with only two weeks in the bag. But we will anyway. Penn State's passing offense, in both production and efficiency, is abysmal. The running game is solid, given one of the games played was against arguably the best defense in the country. Defense is good-but-not-great; the Lions are stopping the opposing offenses with relative success, but they aren't getting to the QB, and the turnover margin is back to even. After a great opening week, the return game is back to average.

Looking across the table, Temple appears to have a stout defense. But playing their first two games against Villanova and Akron will help any team's numbers. Like last year, Bernard Pierce is the man to watch; Penn State held him to 42 yards on 10 carries (and two touchdowns) in 2010. This year, they'll need to contain Pierce again while putting more than just five field goals on the board in the first three quarters.

The Rankings - Week Two

BCS Rankings and the six computer rankings that help make up the BCS will not be included until the week of October 16th.

AP Coaches Pre-Snap Read
Penn State 33 30 25
Temple N/A N/A 70

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