12:00 PM ET, November 10, 2007
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Anthony Morelli threw a pair of touchdowns to Jordan Norwood, exciting the thousands of Penn State fans who turned Temple's stadium into a mini Happy Valley for the afternoon in a 31-0 win over the Owls on Saturday.
Rodney Kinlaw rushed for a career-high 168 yards, including a 10-yard TD run in the fourth. He also went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season.
|King of The Temple|
Joe Paterno is 24-0 all-time against Temple. Among active FBS coaches, the only better record versus another opponent is Paterno's 24-0-1 record vs. Maryland.
The Nittany Lions (8-3) improved their career record to 33-3-1 against the Owls and a nifty 24-0 under coach Joe Paterno. Temple (3-7) has not beaten Penn State since a 14-0 win on Oct. 18, 1941.
Morelli threw for 260 yards and three TDs and Derrick Williams had seven catches for 104 yards. Penn State had 202 yards rushing to only four yards for Temple.
The game drew a Temple record 69,029 to Lincoln Financial Field and marked only the third time in the five years the Owls have played here that attendance went over the 30,000 mark. Very few came to root for the Owls.
Fans could normally arrive at a Temple game an hour before kickoff and pull into a prime parking spot. The traveling, tailgating Penn State fans started to pack the lots by 8:30 a.m. and traffic snaked around the various streets leading to the sports complex. There was maybe one Temple fan for every 200 Penn State diehards, who all braved the chilly and rainy conditions to drink a few beers and grill their sausage-and-ham breakfast sandwiches.
Fans were still finding their soaked seats when Morelli connected with Norwood in the corner of the end zone for a 15-yard TD on Penn State's first drive.
The Nittany Lions used a pair of sensational catches to go up 14-0. Morelli's big heave found Williams, who leapt over Jaiquawn Jarrett to catch the ball for a 52-yard gain. Penn State gave Temple no time to regroup and Morelli tossed a 22-yard TD to Norwood in the same corner of the end zone on the very next play.
The Owls have three wins this season (the same total as the other Linc tenants, the Philadelphia Eagles) and coach Al Golden may have finally started the long-woeful program on a path toward respectability in the Mid-American Conference. The Owls, though, showed they still have a long way to go if they want to beat a major conference team like the Big Ten's Penn State.
With thoughts of an upset on their minds, the Owls were sharp on a 69-yard opening drive where they picked up three first downs, or, one more than they did in last year's game. The drive ended when Jake Brownell missed a 23-yard field goal.
A snapshot of nearly two decades of Temple futility came on an early second quarter drive. First, a 28-yard TD pass was called back on a holding penalty. Two more penalties (one was declined) were called against the Owls inside the 20 and a fake field goal nearly worked but an uncovered Matt Balasavage dropped an accurate, easy pass in the end zone.
Morelli had both time to throw and wide open receivers, a perfect combination that allowed him to complete nine of his first 11 passes for 151 yards. Morelli's only misstep came late in the second quarter when he fumbled at Temple's 1-yard line, blowing another easy scoring opportunity.
The Owls naturally failed to convert and the Nittany Lions got Kevin Kelly's 32-yard field goal with 17 seconds left to take a 17-0 lead into halftime.
Morelli's 14-yard TD pass to Deon Butler in the fourth put the finishing touches on Penn State's second straight shutout against the Owls.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Anthony Morelli put Penn State on the board in the first quarter, tossing a 15-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Norwood. The Nittany Lions scored early and often and held Temple scoreless.
Gameball goes to... Anthony Morelli. The Lions' senior QB completed 22-of-33 passes for 260 yards and three touchdowns (and one interception) in Penn State's 25th consecutive win against Temple.
Stat of the game... 4. Temple isn't known for rushing -- The Owls rank 107th -- but finishing with just 4 yards is low even by its own standards. The Owls entered the game averaging 97.4 yards.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||7-13||3-14|
|4th Down Conversions||1-1||2-4|
|TD||07:33||Jordan Norwood 15 Yd Pass From Anthony Morelli (Kevin Kelly Kick) |
Drive: 9 plays, 80 yds, 3:59
|TD||02:46||Jordan Norwood 22 Yd Pass From Anthony Morelli (Kevin Kelly Kick) |
Drive: 4 plays, 77 yds, 1:50
|FG||00:17||Kevin Kelly 32 Yd |
Drive: 8 plays, 32 yds, 1:36
|TD||13:54||Rodney Kinlaw 10 Yd Run (Kevin Kelly Kick) |
Drive: 8 plays, 38 yds, 3:12
|TD||09:20||Deon Butler 14 Yd Pass From Anthony Morelli (Kevin Kelly Kick) |
Drive: 7 plays, 61 yds, 4:02