This Throw Forward Temple Owls Football Preview will most likely be the shortest of the season, as I believe that like myself, most Temple fans are Penn State Nittany Lions fans also, and like the two teams, know each other all too well.
Temple (1-1, 0-0 AAC) is coming off a much needed but expected win over the FCS, CAA Conference, Stony Brook Seawolves, 38-0. Penn State (1-1, 0-0 Big Ten) gamely tried to come back against the Pitt Panthers, but fell short 42-39. I think we all remember last year’s surprisingly easy win by Temple here in Philadelphia 27-10. You can relive that with my recap here. All time the series is seriously tilted towards PSU 4-39-1, and the last time the game was played at Beaver Stadium in 2014, Temple lost 13-30.
Penn State certainly will not lack in motivation from last week’s and last year’s losses, and the 107,000 Blue and White faced crazies will have the same feelings, so it will be no easy task for the Owls, an 8-10 point underdogs. “It’s going to be loud and we just have to do our best to quiet them down,” said SR QB Phillip Walker after a Tuesday practice at which they attempted to simulate that crowd noise. “It’s the atmosphere and how much fun it’s going to be. We’ve got to enjoy it. We’ve got to not think about the crowd and not think about the noise that’s going on and just go out there and play.” Redshirt SR LB Avery Williams, who along with Walker played that game in 2014, added “We look at everyone the same way. We always focus on ourselves. We never look at the opponent,” Williams said. “It’s gonna be loud. But when they’re on offense, it’s gonna be pretty quiet. So our defense is gonna have a pretty fun time. We‘re gonna be able to talk to each other and hear each other.
“We’ve had loud crowds at our stadium, so it’s just another day of football. … We’ve played a lot of big teams. It’s always that you’ve just got to play football.”
Temple Head Coach Matt Rhule also has many ties to State College as he noted “It’s really, really hard and it’s a really, really loud place,” Rhule said. “It’s a special place, a place that was part of my youth and my college times.
“It’s just dealing with the crowd noise. … Until you get there, [the younger players] won’t be prepared for it.
“But once the ball is kicked off, it’s just football to me.”
Temple’s motivation is to prove they still belong on the national stage, and Happy Valley is the perfect place for that platform.
On the injury front it appears that SR RB Jahad Thomas may have aggravated his thumb injury and his status is up in the air for Saturday. Rhule also said in his Wednesday presser that Jr DL Jacob Martin, Redshirt SR TE Colin Thompson and Redshirt SO WR Ventell Bryant did not practice Tuesday.
Fearless Forecast: I believe that Penn State has the most motivation coming in for the reasons noted above, and I also think Temple may have a problem with the high speed offense installed by PSU, so my prediction is that Penn State will come out on top 28-17. Of course for Temple fans I hope I am incorrect, but I call it as I feel it.
TV Broadcast BTN PBP Eric Collins, Analyst Glen Mason, Reporter Rick Pizzo
Radio 97.5 The Fanatic PBP Harry Donahue, Analyst Paul Palmer, Sidelines Harry Mayes
Student Radio WHIP PBP Greg Frank, Analyst John Cole