It was an all too familiar story for Penn State on Saturday afternoon, as the offense was able to do little with their two quarterback system against a very stingy Temple defense. Rob Bolden started the game and struggled throughout, completing just 9 of 17 passes for 92 yards with an interception. Matt McGloin made his first appearance in the second quarter and went on to play quarterback for the majority of the game from then on out, having slightly more success than Bolden as he completed 13 of 19 passes for 124 yards. No matter who was under center the pass was more often than not going to Derek Moye whom had the best day of any offensive player catching 7 passes for 112 yards. The Penn State running game struggled much more than fans expected failing to amass 100 yards and finishing with just 92 yards on 26 carries. Silas Redd had his typical strong day racking up 81 yards with a touchdown, though he surprisingly had just 16 carries and was on the sideline for a good portion of the second half as the Nittany Lions decided to run with Brandon Beachum instead.
Penn State’s defense played admirably all afternoon and was the only reason that the Nittany Lions even had an opportunity to win it at the end, forcing an interception and fumble of Mike Gerardi in the fourth quarter. Though Bernard Pierce did have a 13 yard rushing touchdown in on Temple’s first possession of the game, Penn State shut down the future pro from then on out holding him to 50 yards on 17 carries. Mike Gerardi had himself a rough game as well, completing just 9 of his 22 passes for 95 yards along with two interceptions. Temple was just 4 for 13 on third downs and the offense amassed just 197 yards on the day, however up until the last few minutes it appeared as though it was all they were going to need.
Aside from the Penn State’s offensive incompetence, the other story of the game was the inability of the Evan Lewis and Sam Ficken to make their field goals. In Ficken’s defense his attempt was a 49 yarder that was blocked, while Evan Lewis simply missed his two attempts with the last being a 36 yard chip shot in the fourth quarter that would have tied the game at ten. In fact the coaching staff had so little faith in Lewis that instead of attempting to tie the game on the final drive the Nittany Lions went for on fourth down twice instead. Luckily each conversion was successful, and rather than tying the game Penn State was able to take the final lead on Zordich’s touchdown run.
This was a game that Penn State could have and in all likelihood should have lost to Temple. The Nittany Lions put on one of the ugliest offensive displays that I have seen in quite some time, and things will only get more difficult for Penn State after they play Eastern Michigan. I hate to beat a dead horse but the coaching staff needs to establish some stability at the quarterback position in order for Penn State to have success going forward.