Rapid Reaction: Penn State collapses in historic loss to Temple
Final: Temple 27, Penn State 10
Telling stat: 10 sacks of Hackenberg
Wow. That was not the revived offensive line we heard about all offseason. Instead, we saw a regression. Paris Palmer looked lost, Akeel Lynch couldn’t pick up a blitz and the four returning starters couldn’t keep Hackenberg upright. Dare I say that was even worse than 2015? He wasn’t sacked that many times in any game last year. Yikes.
Key play: Pick leads to Temple score, lead
In a tie game, Hackenberg had a chance to lead the Lions offense to a key drive after the defense forced a punt and what happened? An interception that nearly went for a touchdown. And one play later, P.J. Walker got into the end zone. That was the turning point that officially doomed the Lions. From there, the offense was a complete mess. It could’ve been the revival of the Penn State offense. Instead, it was the death of it on Saturday.
If you were watching the game, you saw the story about the Temple ball boy and how he has been in that position for the last 50 years. He was born in 1942. When was the last time Penn State lost to the Owls? 1941. Yes, it had been that long. The battle of Pennsylvania wasn’t a battle for the last 73 years. Sadly enough, Saturday wasn’t much of a battle either.
Penn State lost cornerback Grant Haley and Nyeem Wartman-White. Brandon Bell was limited. Penn State’s defense was on the field because of how inept the offense was. Anthony Zettel did his best to keep the Lions alive, but once the Temple ground game sensed blood, it went for the kill and dominated the line of scrimmage. For one of the worst rush defenses in all of college football to look that good against Penn State is saying something.
What it means: Lions have serious issues
You can’t allow 27 straight points to Temple. You just can’t. This was one of the worst offenses in the nation last year. I get that they returned all 11 starters from the fourth-ranked defense in 2014, but there is no excuse for that. It’s hard to say the sky is falling after one game, but that was a worse-case scenario type of game. We’re going to see how good of a coach James Franklin is to right this ship.
What’s next: vs. Buffalo
There’s not much else to say. If Penn State can’t block anybody, it will continue to play down or beneath the level of lesser teams. That offense needs a monster bounce back game to wash a bad taste out of its mouth.