Penn State defensive players are referring to Temples point-scoring schemes as The Tebow Offense, even if the Owls lack the panache of what Florida once displayed.
The reason for the comparisons exists on the sidelines.
Second-year Temple coach Steve Addazio worked at Florida from 2005-10, rising to associate head coach under Urban Meyer.
The second-year Owls coach and his team enter todays game at Beaver Stadium with a 1-1 record, and features 6-foot-3, 230-pound dual-threat quarterback Chris Coyer. Tebow, for those wondering, stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 236 pounds.
Im not comparing one guy to the other, Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti said. Hes a running quarterback and hes in that scheme. I think its the Florida offense, if you want to call it that. Its the same coach. Its something that poses a challenge for any defense.
These Owls like to stay grounded. Coyer has completed just 12 passes through two games. Their run-to-pass ratio is 86-to-29, an unbalanced total might need to change for Temple to compete with Penn State.
Playing them over the last couple of years, we know how hard they run, safety Stephen Obeng-Agyapong said. They are a run-heavy offense. We look forward to being dominating as a defense and stopping the run.
Addazio is bracing for a physical game. He said earlier this week that the Owls, who havent played since losing to Maryland 36-27 on Sept. 8, conducted five full-pad practices last week despite the injury risks associated with daily contact.
Addazio wants to quickly fortify a young team. Temple only returned nine starters from a group that went 9-4 in 2011 and this years senior class consists of just 13 members. The Owls used six true freshmen in their first two games.
Two swift veterans occupy spots in Temples offensive backfield. Running backs Matt Brown and Montel Harris own a combined 6,198 career rushing yards. Harris, a transfer who rushed for 3,735 yards at Boston College, didnt play against Maryland because of a hamstring injury. The 5-foot-5, 165- pound Brown, a former walk-on, leads the Owl with 176 yards on 29 carries this season.
Those backs run tough and low to the ground, senior defensive tackle DaQuan Jones said. They are tough to bring down. Its going to take a lot of group tackling this week.
Penn States run defense is holding opponents to 3.4 yards per attempt. Addazio has lauded Penn States front seven, but he hinted that the Owls will stick to their offensive strengths.
You have to figure out what you do best and you have to do what you do best when you are young like this, he said. To sit here and say youre going to pound that team, youre not going to do that. Thats an outstanding front and we are going to do the best we can to attack it with our personnel. You just cant become something you are not. Thats a mistake. But you cant be too stubborn.
Penn State has historically encountered little resistance against Temple. The Owls havent dropped the Nittany Lions since 1941. Penn State leads the all-time series 30-3-1. Seven wins were vacated because of the NCAA sanctions.
I dont know about series or win streaks or anything, Penn State coach Bill OBrien said. All I know is that this is going to be a very, very tough football game.
Guy Cipriano can be reached at 231-4643. Follow him on Twitter @cdtguy