To listen to Joe Paterno’s Tuesday press conference, you would think that Southern Cal or Oklahoma were coming to town this week. But, noooooooooooooooooooo. Joe used glowing words, as usual, to describe the Patsy of the Week, Temple University (1-2, 0-1 MAC). The gambling line favors home team Penn State by only 28 points.
Last year’s game was played at Lincoln Financial Field, still arguably Penn State home turf, but the punters gave Temple the home field advantage (usually a field goal) by establishing the line at 24. (Punter is a poor choice of a synonym for gambler, unacceptably ambiguous in this context, which is why I chose it.)
Would I please stop interrupting me with these side comments, already?!?
OK, I’m bored. I admit it.
This Turkey predicted a 44-13 score for that game. Following is the entirety of my game recap from last year.
Here’s a paragraph about the Temple game. Penn State won, 31-0, despite a completely lifeless, uninspired performance by the Nittany Lions. And now, the news.
The Turkey is seldom, if ever, so terse. Bombast is my equivalent of Tony Montana’s “leetle friend” in Scarface, but I couldn’t find words to describe the vacuousness of that damn boring game. Apparently, I wasn’t impressed.
Let us hope that we get a better show this year. PSU is playing at home, and the spread has widened. So much for Temple improving in the eyes of the betting populace. Admittedly, the gamblers might be surprised, inasmuch as Temple has shown improvements in a few areas, albeit not on the scoreboard or the won/loss column. Given their heartbreaking losses to UConn and Buffalo, they were a John McCain heartbeat away from being 3-0 Sarah Palin starbursts.
(The foregoing was a gratuitous allusion to current political issues hastily devised to boost The Nittany Turkey’s visibility in Google searches. I should add some other stuff, too, like: sex, MILFs, Lehman Brothers, Casey Anthony, Obama, Obama, Obama, almighty Obama, AIG, and hot naked Asian teen Viagra babes with debt consolidation issues. Let’s see how many hits this shameless ploy gets me!)
Where do Temple and Penn State best match up on the stat sheet? Kickoff returns. Penn State is currently #1 in the nation with a 35.11 average, while Temple is #4 with a 33 yard average. Very impressive, but meaningless in view of the quality of opposition thus far.
Temple still ranks #33 in scoring defense, thanks to holding Army to 7 points and UConn to 9. Alas, most recently they screwed up, allowing Buffalo to ring up 30, the final seven being on a game winning Hail Mary pass with no time left on the clock. That was after quarterback Adam DiMichele had lofted a touchdown spiral of his own to Bruce Francis with 38 seconds left on the scoreboard ticker. Temple was that close to actually having a winning record both overall and in the MAC. Nevertheless, the Owls are off to their best start since 1998.
DiMichele, a senior from McKee’s Rocks, just outside Pittsburgh, is a great player to build an offense around. Temple might have their best shot at a decent record this year with him at the helm. Last week, he went 24-33 for 285 yards and 3 TDs, with no INTs. He also ran for 58 yards, quite an all-around performance in a losing effort. (Yeah, I know. It was against Buffalo.) In fact, DiMichele leads the team in rushing.
In any case, Penn State (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten), ranked #15, should have no problems handling the Owls. Another week, another cupcake. View it as an opportunity for more reps for Pat Devlin and Don Pablo Cianciolo. We’ll also get to see how Mike Lucian fares in his new role providing D-line depth. Otherwise, the only thing interesting about this game will be if EggMan should happen to think Temple can beat the spread, in which case I’m going to win another bottle of Boone’s Farm.
Pay heem. Pay that myen his money.
—Teddy KGB, Rounders
Ho hum. Let’s get to Illinois already. I’m anxious to find out whether this team is either truly competitive or yet again a Big Ten middle-of-the-pack also-ran, the latter having been the case more often than not during the Nittany Lions’ Big Ten history. If they’re good, they might actually be able to beat a mediocre Michigan this year. In view of Michigan’s suckiness thus far under new head coach el Señor Ricardito Rodriguez, it might be anticlimactic, if not meaningless. Don’t let me count chickens before they hatch. The boys have to get past the next four opponents before tackling Big Blue the Unbeatable.
I’m too busy coming up with old metaphors and hokey nicknames, anyway.
I was looking for a good thematic dish to serve at my viewing party and I came up with Spotted Owl Stew. Unfortunately, on the way to procuring the main ingredient, I was accosted by naked PETA protesters and whacko environmentalists wearing tinfoil hats. I ran. My compadres will just have to be happy with salmon, the owl of the sea. (I just made that up.)
It will be interesting to see what the Ganja Three are up to this weekend, now that two of the three have been formally charged. Will Quarless actually get in the game? Will Evans and Koroma dress? I’m betting on “no” on all three propositions.
And now, the long awaited Official Turkey Poop Prediction. But first, here’s a bit of Temple trivia. Did you know that professional boxer turned actor Tex Cobb (pictured here) graduated magna cum laude from Temple? He did indeed, in January of this year. Cobb, 57, earned a bachelor’s degree in Sport and Recreation Management. (Wow, that’s the same degree that Anthony Morelli got!) Cobb’s most famous fight was the 1982 fight against heavyweight champ Larry Holmes, won easily by Holmes, a fight so one-sided and bloody that TV commentator Howard Cosell complained bitterly about the travesty throughout the fight and vowed to never again cover professional boxing. He held true to his word. When asked if he would consider a rematch, Cobb exhibited quite a sense of humor, stating that he didn’t think Holmes would agree, because Holmes’ “hands couldn’t take it.” Cobb’s son Joshua played linebacker for the Owls, and was enrolled concurrently with his semi-famous dad. (I figured that every other PSU blog would be talking about Bill Cosby as Temple’s most famous alum, so I wanted to be different—because hell, I am different—but I digress.) Las Vegas has the current spread set at 28 and the over/under at 54. This suggests a final score of about 41-13. This Turkey wonders whether the PSU offense won’t be full of themselves after three cakewalks, and whether the defense won’t be on their heels looking forward to Illinois. Penn State 38, Temple 10.
We’ll be back with a report on Sunday. Or maybe Monday. Tuesday or Wednesday are possibilities, too. Whenever the hell I get around to it, in other words. Plus, we have to coordinate things with our very busy guest reporter, Dr. William H. Cosby.