A Tough Day at Temple; Nittany Lions fall in season opener, are confident for first home game next weekend
The Nittany Lions started the first quarter with an intensity that had Temple sitting on their heels. Redshirt freshman kicker Joey Julius (Hummelstown, Pa.) made his debut as the squad’s kicker by sinking a 34-yard field goal. Junior running back Akeel Lynch (Toronto, Can.) scored the game’s only touchdown early in the first quarter from a 42-yard run.
Junior quarterback and captain Christian Hackenberg (Palmyra, Va.) completed 11 of his 25 passes, and was sacked 10 times. The number of sacks hitting double digits in only the first game of the season speaks volumes of the work that has yet to be done on the Nittany Lions’ offensive line. Senior center and captain Angelo Mangiro said that he agrees that his offensive team needs to work harder and smarter: “I know our group of guys. I know we’re going to start to work hard starting tomorrow in practice.”
Since his first day as head coach, James Franklin has preached a doctrine of positivity. Do not dwell on the past, but look toward the future. The squad’s response to this early-season loss has been overwhelmingly positive. Fan favorite Akeel Lynch summed up the day perfectly by commenting, “It’s life. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, but you have to learn from the bumps and the bruises and move on.”
Lynch’s fellow teammates affirmed Lynch’s train of thought. Sophomore linebacker Jason Cabinda (Flemington, N.J.) reinforced the message: “It’s as simple as this. We’re going to come in tomorrow, watch the tape and we are going to get better. Then we are going to put
Coach Franklin acknowledged the sub-par offensive line performance. Franklin agreed that things need to change, especially the offensive line’s ability to read plays as they develop and stay on their toes. Franklin agrees that Hackenberg must be better protected going forward into the rest of the season. Coach Franklin also noted that the defensive line has already shown improvement since last season and that he looks forward to seeing them progress even further as the season continues.
Despite the shocking loss, Penn State students, alumni, and fans alike were not deterred nor was anyone’s faith in Penn State Football dashed. The differentiating factor that makes Penn State the incredible school that it is, is that it bounces back. Not just a school, but a family, Penn Staters know that one loss does not reflect the amount of hard work put into training, nor does it dictate the direction of the rest of the season.
Fans have the home opener against Buffalo this Saturday at noon in Beaver Stadium to look forward to. The roar of Beaver Stadium awaits. We are, and always will be.
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