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Penn State Football: Previewing The Opponent: Temple

by on September 16, 2016 1:30 PM

Penn State looks to turn the ship back around following a blowout loss turned last minute heartbreak against Pitt this past weekend with another cross-state rivalry game. This time it's Temple Owls going up against the Nittany Lions looking for a second straight win on the year.

Last Week:

If there was ever the game to not put much stock in it would be Temple's 38-0 win over Stonybrook last weekend. A bounce back victory after a loss to Army in Week 1 no doubt, but hardly the toughest test. The Owls are looking to keep the 2016 winning streak going with a second straight victory and the second straight win over the Nittany Lions after last season's upset in Philadelphia to open the 2015 campaign.

The Offense:

When the Owls have the ball it's once again Phillip Walker under center in his senior season, Walker started seven games in 2013 as a true freshman throwing for over 2,000 yards and credited with 20 touchdowns. Walker has set the Temple career marks for completions, touchdowns, yards and wins by a starting quarterback. In the backfield Temple has spent the season waiting for the return of injured Jahad Thomas, a first-team all conference player in 2015 but has missed all of this season, and potentially this weekend's game with a broken wrist. The Owls are working with a new offensive line coach and a young group of receivers out wide working with Thomas.

The Defense:

Temple is without former Owl and now Pittsburgh Steeler, Tyler Matakevich at linebacker but the Owls are still as stout as ever on the defensive side of the ball. Senior middle linebacker Jarred Alwan is the anchor in the middle of the defense with redshirt senior Nate Hairston and redshirt junior Artrel Foster out wide at the cornerback position. Hairston is in his first full season on the defensive side of the ball after converting from the wide receiver position last fall. The Owls held Stonybrook to just 133 total yards of offense during Temple's Week 2 victory.

The Player To Watch:

Despite the up and down struggles of this season so far Temple still has two players to watch this week. Sean Chandler is tied for 17th on temple's all-time career interceptions list with six to his name while Sharif Finch is the active leader in punt blocks in the NCAA with five throughout the course of his career. If Thomas is able to play this weekend he automatically becomes the player to watch as he's the best offensive weapon the Owls have, but that very much remains to be seen.

The Prediction:

Temple's defense might be able to slow down the Nittany Lions for a bit but it's hard to see this group of Owls having the firepower to pull off the upset two years in a row. Matt Rhule is doing a good job growing his program, but this is going to be a tough year to keep the momentum going. Penn State breaks the 30 point mark for the third straight game. 34-13

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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