Owls Fall 31-0; Set MAC Attendance Record Print E-mail
Written by Brian Golden   
Saturday, November 10 2007
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Lincoln Financial Field
Philadelphia - Temple battled valiantly for three quarters before succumbing to #25 Penn State 31-0 in front of a MAC record crowd of 69,029 Saturday.

The attendance was split approximately three to one in favor of Nittany Lions fans, but the Owls' faithful made an impressive showing and, for most of the contest, so did their team's defense.

The Owls trailed 17-0 after three quarters as the Temple defense created two key turnovers and forced three Penn State punts, a far better outing than many expected against PSU's formidable offense. Heading into the fourth quarter Penn State led in yardage by a mere 237-198 margin, with a full 90% of those yards coming on either Rodney Kinlaw runs or Derrick Williams catches.

But eventually the Temple defense began to show visible signs of fatigue, allowing two quick fourth quarter scores en route to the final margin. After a 14-yard Deon Butler TD catch with just over nine minutes remaining to make it 31-0, a large number of fans cleared out, presumably in an attempt to beat the notoriously nasty downtown Philadelphia traffic.

Although the Owls never lit the lamp, they certainly had their chances in the first half.

A very impressive opening drive took Temple all the way to Penn State's five-yard line however Temple quarterback Vaughn Charlton was sacked by All-American linebacker Dan Connor forcing a field goal attempt. Owls kicker Jake Brownell then shanked a 23-yard field goal attempt badly left.

After two Penn State touchdowns, Temple put together another successful drive, reaching the PSU 8-yard line before a penalty and two incompletions left the Owls with fourth down and goal from the 13-yard line. With QB Vaughn Charlton holding, the Owls attempted a fake kick field goal. After a lengthy scramble waiting for a receiver to get open, Charlton made a perfect throw to Matt Balasavage in the back right corner of the end zone, but Balasavage dropped the pass.

Still, the Temple defense persisted.

On Penn State's next two drives, the Owls forced a three and out then recovered an Anthony Morelli fumble on their own 1-yard line.

After the fumble, Penn State coach Joe Paterno made a move that, since it did not affect that game's outcome, will probably not get much praise. But the subtle maneuver was further evidence why the aged one is still going strong.

With three minutes remaining in the half, Temple took over at its own one-yard line. With plenty of time left, the Owls could have used that time to head down for a score however Paterno elected to use all his timeouts and trust the Nittany Lions defense to stop Temple deep in its own territory.

The defense responded, forcing a Temple punt with 1:53 remaining in the half. With only 47 yards to go and plenty of time left in the half, Penn State's offense didn't have to rush, and got a field goal that made it a three score game right before halftime.

Vaughn Charlton was Temple's offensive bright spot. Charlton was efficient through the air, throwing for 260 yards on 22 of 33 passing while displaying elusiveness in the pocket in the face of one the nation's best pass rushes.

Temple passed at a much higher clip than they have most of the season, and coach Al Golden explained afterward that "no one can block them. That's a great defense over there. Nobody has blocked them all year."

Still, despite the disappointing result, Golden seemed pleased at his squad's obvious improvement from last year, when the Owls couldn't compete with PSU at all in a 47-0 loss.

"There's really no comparison between last year and this year," Golden said. "No comparison at all."

Temple (2-3, 3-3, 3-7) resumes conference play when it travels to Kent State on November 17.

Last Updated ( Saturday, November 10 2007 )
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