Saturday, September 25, 2010
Lions get defensive in hard fought victory
By Adam Rittenberg
The focus will be on the 12-play, 96-yard drive that finally put Penn State into the end zone and put away a feisty Temple Owls team today.
It was very impressive, don't get me wrong. Rob Bolden made clutch throws, Evan Royster had a big 17-yard run and the offensive line finally imposed its will against Temple's defensive front, creating room for linebacker/fullback Michael Zordich to churn out some tough yards.
But make no mistake: Penn State's defense deserves all the credit for a 22-13 win against Temple. After a sluggish start, the Lions completely shut down Temple in the second half and didn't allow a point in the final three quarters. Linebacker Nate Stupar and safety Nick Sukay combined for three interceptions, and the front seven really punished Temple with physical play. That's a good sign going into the Iowa game, as Penn State will need its defense to play at an elite level.
I'm still concerned about the Penn State offense and its red zone woes. Royster broke out of his slump with 179 rush yards on 24 carries, but Penn State's inability to get the ball in the end zone will cost it games in the Big Ten if not corrected.
Penn State has to feel good about the way it finished today, but things get much, much tougher next week in Iowa City.