Thursday, November 08, 2007

An obligatory look at Temple

Schedule/Results
Overall Record 3 - 6

Navy – (L) 30-19
Buffalo– (L) 42-7
Connecticut – (L) 22-17
Bowling Green – (L) 48-35
Army – (L) 37-21
Northern Illinois – (W) 16-15
Akron– (W) 24-20
Miami (of the Ohio variety) – (W) 24-17
Ohio – (L) 23-7

Team Overview
Once a fixture on ESPN's Bottom 10 Temple has fought its way from 'almost a bye' opponent to 'we need to take them seriously or they could be our Appalachian State' adversary thanks to erstwhile Penn State Tight End and current Temple head coach Al Golden. In his first year as head coach last season, Temple played 22 true freshmen, the most in the nation, against the third most difficult schedule. While they took their lumps it appears that difficult schedule is paying off as the Owls have already tripled their win total and have yet to be shut out, something that happened to them three times last season. There's no doubt that Golden has Temple headed in the right direction as they enter the MAC conference this season.

Offense

Temple will be without starting quarterback Adam Dimichele who broke a shin bone in a win over Miami (of the Ohio variety). Backup quarterback Vaughn Charlton filled in for the Ohio game but the Temple offense sputtered, only managing one touchdown. Running backs Daryl Robinson and Jason Harper are listed as co-starters and the two have combined for 649 yards and 4 touchdowns. Wide receiver Bruce Francis is easily the favorite target of both quarterbacks having caught 656 yards and 6 touchdowns. That's more than twice the yardage of any other receiver on the team. The loss of Adam Dimichele will also hurt in the run game as he was the fourth leading rusher with 330 yards and 2 touchdowns to his credit. That's good news for Penn State because we all know how bad PSU is against a mobile QB.

Defense
Temple's defense is ranked about middle of the road in most aspects except for Pass Defense where they are ranked 28th. But that's likely due to the poor rush defense more than a good pass D – Temple ranks 77th in rushing defense.

Strong Safety Dominique Harris leads the team in tackles with 60 along with a team-leading 2 Ints. When your safety leads the team in tackles that's pretty much telling you that things aren't going well. Linebacker Amara Kamara isn't far behind with 55. Without a doubt the biggest sack threat is Linebacker Junior Galette with 6 sacks but for some reason he's not listed on the 2 deep depth chart.

Special Teams

Neither kicker is lighting the world on fire. Placekicker Jake Brownell is 8 of 14 on field goals with a long of 41 and has managed only 1 touchback in 31 kickoffs. Punter Jeff Wathne is averaging just less than 40 yards a kick with 9 coming inside the 20 yard line. As a team Temple is 116th in Punt returns and 114th in kickoff returns so to summarize: Temple's special teams ain't special.

Game Outlook

While this is a Home game for Temple it's a Home game in name only – there will probably be just as many Nittany Lion fans as Owls fans. Penn State will unleash the two headed monster Rodan Kinster on Temple since the Owls seem to have a penchant for giving up chunks of yardage.

Tremble at the mere sight of Rodan Kinster!

With their starting quarterback out for the season and only one viable threat at receiver, I think Temple will have a problem moving the ball on Penn State's (somewhat) solid defense. Look for special teams to make a difference in favor of Penn State as well. While this may be an up and coming team, they aren't in Penn State's league… yet. Give it a few years the way our athletic department is running the show.

Final Score

Penn State - 35
Temple - 10


3 comments:

Jon said...

I'll be surprised if there are "about as many" PSU fans as Temple fans at the game.

In 1994 the proportion was about 80-20 in favor of PSU. I'd guess more like 70-30 this year.

Galen said...

Jon,

Yeah you are right but the point is still valid: it won't be a home field advantage.

PSUgirl said...

They're expecting 70K at the Temple game - I guess there could be 21K Temple fans - they are having a pep rally today at City Hall.