UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State saw more yellow than it wanted to on Saturday against Temple.
After committing just 11 penalties in their first three games, the Nittany Lions were flagged nine times for 100 yards in a 24-13 victory over the Owls at Beaver Stadium.
The gaffes slowed an offense that registered a season-high 491 yards.
We have got to do a better job on that, Penn State coach Bill OBrien said. We have to look at that the tape and coach that up better. The one thing we pride ourselves on after the first three games was doing a better job of not being penalized. We took a step back on that.
The officials received a light workout from pacing off yards.
On Penn States third drive, a holding call against tight end Matt Lehman negated a 25-yard screen pass to Alex Kenney.
The Nittany Lions moved the ball to Temples 16 with less than four minutes left in the second quarter, but a pass interference call against tight end Kyle Carter and a holding call against senior center Matt Stankiewitch created a first-and-30 situation from their own 46.
A second-half drive stalled when left guard Miles Dieffenbach was called for a false start and the Nittany Lions were flagged for an illegal formation before consecutive snaps.
We have to clean up the penalties, Stankiewitch said. Stuff happens and you have to try to minimize that. Hopefully next game we can minimize it and not have any penalties.
Penn State also lost 30 yards on special teams because of personal foul penalties by Jesse Della Valle and Sam Ficken.
Cornerback DaQuan Davis committed the defenses lone penalty. The true freshmen was called for pass interference penalty in the second quarter.
We cant make those mistakes, defensive coordinator Ted Roof said. Theres some aggressive penalties and then theres other types of penalties. You certainly dont want any kinds of penalties, but sometimes youll live with the aggressive ones and get the other ones corrected.
Surprise first start
Sophomore C.J. Olaniyan received a surprise start on the defensive line.
Senior defensive end Sean Stanley didnt play for precautionary reasons because of a back injury. The injury moved Olaniyan into the starting lineup for the first time.
Olaniyan said he learned from defensive line coach Larry Johnson last Wednesday that he would be starting against the Owls.
We have a motto: Next man up, Olaniyan said. Coach Johnson basically told me we have somebody down and I have to pick it up.
Olaniyan, who had four tackles and batted down a pass, joins Stanley, redshirt freshman Deion Barnes and senior Pete Massaro as the fourth defensive end to start this season.
Massaro has missed two straight games because of a shoulder injury.
Michael Zordich injured his knee in the second half. Curtis Dukes didnt play because of a thigh injury. Bill Bel-ton missed his third straight game because of an ankle sprain. Derek Day missed his second straight game with a separated shoulder.
The injuries at running back yielded the busiest day of sophomore Zach Zwinaks college career. The 6-foot-1, 232-pound sophomore rushed for a career-high 94 yards on 18 carries.
He had eight carries on a fourth-quarter drive that used 7:03 and ended with Sam Ficken booting a 21-yard field with 2:29 left.
The volume of work surprised Zwinak. I got a little series in there and that was exciting and I was thinking, If thats all I get, thats fine, he said. I was just happy to play. Then when Zordich took that hit. I realized that Im going to have to make sure Im around if they need me.
Ty Howle returned from a pectoral injury and received time with the first-team offense at left guard. Howle also served as the snapper for extra point and field-goal attempts. ... Penn State honored the 1982 national championship team at halftime. Part of the tribute included a picture of a former coach Joe Paterno on the videoboard. Paternos image incited cheers. Paul Jones first career carry went for a 7-yard loss on a reverse in the first quarter.
Follow Guy Cipriano on Twitter@cdtguy.