Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thoughts on the Temple vs. Penn State game

Way back on June 24, I hesistated to write this post because I knew Temple's first three games were a mine-field.
I knew Temple could just as easily be 0-3 going into Penn State as 3-0.
Even most Temple fans I knew thought the Owls would be 2-1.
I went ahead and wrote the post anyway because I felt this was the year Temple is best-equipped to beat Penn State and it focused on what beating the Lions would mean to the Owls and their long-suffering fans.
Now that the Owls have zig-zagged their way through the mine field, this game should be fun.
The Owls can win this game.If there's any pressure, it's not on them but the Lions.
The Lions have quarterback issues.
Temple's got a good defense.
If Bernard Pierce gets in a groove, the Owls can shorter the game on offense with some clock-consuming drives.
The Owls have a terrific punter and a great place-kicker.
They have six returning all-league players back on defense, so they should be able to contain a Penn State offense that had trouble sustaining drives even against Kent State. Despite the fact that defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio has not been as aggressive as I would like in rushing the passer, I think he's figured out one of the best ways to win is rattling the true freshman into interceptions and fumbles. So maybe the Owls will change up and bring the heat this week. I trust D'Onofrio whatever he does.  He might be the best coach on the field Saturday.
Chester Stewart, the Owls' quarterback, has improved slightly with each game and that's a good sign.
Yeah, this is the year.
Will they get it done?
Hard to say.
This looks to me like a 24-21 game either way.
In that case, I'm glad Brandon McManus is on Temple's side.