UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State’s domination of Temple continues. In their only meeting against an in-state opponent this season, the Nittany Lions handled Temple 24-13 on Saturday at Beaver Stadium. The Philadelphia-based Owls haven’t defeated Penn State since 1941.
The game included some notable highs and lows.
Let’s start with the highs. Bill O’Brien’s offense notched season highs in total yards (491), passing yards (318) and rushing yards (173).
Yet there was one problem. Only 93,680 fans witnessed the game. The attendance is Penn State’s lowest at Beaver Stadium since Nov. 18, 1995, when a snowy week ended with an estimated 80,000 fans attending a 27-17 victory over Michigan.
The number of empty seats failed to prevent the Nittany Lions from constructing their first winning streak under O’Brien. After opening the season with losses to Ohio University and Virginia, Penn State has moved to 2-2 by defeating Temple and Navy by a combined 58-20.
“This win was huge for us,” senior center Matt Stankiewitch said. “We wanted this win. We are getting better. We’re going to look at film and see what we did wrong, what we did good and capitalize on it.”
Saturday’s game wrapped up the Lions’ nonconference schedule, and their first Big Ten game should be a spirited one. Penn State travels to Champaign, Ill., next weekend to meet Illinois. The Fighting Illini were among the most aggressive schools in recruiting Penn State players after this past summer’s announcement of NCAA sanctions.
“I think there’s a lot of motivation for us,” said sophomore wide receiver Allen Robinson, who caught a 41-yard touchdown pass from Matt McGloin in Saturday’s first quarter. “I think all Big Ten games are motivation.”
Follow Guy Cipriano on Twitter@cdtguy.