Let’s hope that the Nittany Lions aren’t pouting too much after the uninspiring loss to Wisconsin last week, for it would be truly embarrassing for this team to find itself in a hole against Division I-A punching bag Temple this week. The offense obviously gives us all pause, but the defense has shown from time to time that it can be pushed around, especially in the second half when the guys have been on the field far too long. ??? ?????? ??? ???????? This team is just not confidence inspiring, as some of the comments to my Wisconsin post reflect. Accordingly, a lot of us are cringing, admitting the possibility of a loss to the Owls. ??? ????? ?? ??? ???????
ESPN thinks this game will garner an extremely small audience, so we’re relegated to ESPN Regional coverage, which means that if you don’t have the GamePlan, you’re probably S.O.L. Just in case you are tempted to tune in to the GamePlan broadcast, the announcers are Dave Ryan and Jay Walker, and kickoff time is 3:30 PM.
We all know that the coaching staff at Temple is replete with former PSU players and coaches: head coach Al Golden, defensive coordinator Mark d’Onofrio, running backs coach Jeff Nixon, and defensive line coach Matt Rhule. OK, so what? (Is that my apathy shining through again?)
Lions Head Coach Joe Paterno will miss this game, one of three he’s ever missed in his long career as Penn State’s head coach. Doctor’s orders, and I am sure that Joe gave Dr. Sebastianelli an earful about it. ????? ??????? Tom Bradley will be in charge. Don’t expect any suddenly creative game plans.
Hey, you know, I got a flu shot this morning and now I feel like I have the flu. Standard annual occurrence around here. Between my general malaise and Penn State’s offensive malaise, my ennui has reached the point at which I’m suffering from creative block. I refuse to write any more fluff about this damn, insipid game. How’s that?
So, we progress directly to the Official Turkey Poop Prediction. As you all well know, the Turkey’s predictions this season have been pure poop, so this one will be no exception. I feel that this could be the real breakthrough game for the offense against a defense that has shown that the McCabe sisters could pass through it unharmed. Not that it will serve the offense well to make the aforesaid breakthrough against Temple—because they’ll just go into the final game of the season thinking they’re something they’re not and blow it against Michigan State. But I digress. Temple hasn’t had much luck scoring points on offense lately, either. But their task will be much tougher. Inasmuch as the Nittany Lions have actually managed to score a maximum of 37 points against one opponent this year (Youngstown State), I think they can do better by a touchdown this game against a defense that allows over 45 points per game. Pollyanna lives. I can’t help myself. Penn State 45, Temple 3.
I hope you are correct with your prediction. However, as far as Temple not being able to score “lately” – they’ve scored 75 points in the past 3 games, Penn State has scored 41. Sure Temple isn’t playing against big ten defenses (although all 3 Ds rank above Purdue), but they have been able to get into the endzone (remember? – that’s the painted part of the field at either end – our defense knows what it looks like but the O’s memory may be fading).
The Nittany Turkey says
True, it’s Penn State’s offense that has scored only three touchdowns in the past four games, and I was indeed spewing misinformation about Temple. They have scored 75 in the past three games. I appreciate the correction.
On the other hand, against NIU, Temple was shut out for most of the first three quarters during which NIU scored 40 unanswered points. Temple scored three touchdowns when NIU had the game in hand. I don’t really count the two fourth quarter touchdowns scored against CMU in garbage time. In that one, CMU scored four touchdowns in the first half before Temple scored its first points, a touchdown in the waning minute of the half. Against BGSU, one Temple TD was set up by a blocked punt and another was a 96-yard kickoff return. They won that game legitimately, but the offense needed help. You get the point. My assessment is that the Temple offense still sucks.
Around the time of the big anthrax scare following 9-11, our offense deficient Tampa Bay Bucs were said to have found some white powder on the field that they’d never seen before. They reported it to the FBI, who investigated and determined that it was the opponents’ goal line.
In any case, I’ll stick with my prediction. Northern Illinois, BGSU, and Central Michigan do not possess our defense and with Temple’s defense being as effective as a Pop Warner team, I think think that Morelli and his receivers can go out there, have a lot of fun, and score some points. (If only the coaching staff will shitcan the safe sideline passes and let A-Mo go deep.)