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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Trace McSorley connected on 18-of-24 passes for 287 yards and a touchdown, including a pair of 52-yard throws and the Penn State defense held Temple to 38 yards rushing, as the Nittany Lions defeated Temple, 34-27, in front of a "Stripe Out" crowd Saturday afternoon in Beaver Stadium.
Penn State (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten) led Temple (1-2, 0-0 American) by as many as two touchdowns in the first half, as Chris Godwin totaled 111 yards and a touchdown in the first 30 minutes. The Owls capitalized on Nittany Lion miscues in the second half to pull within three, 27-24, midway through the fourth quarter, but running back Saquon Barkley answered for Penn State by breaking off a 55-yard touchdown run with 7:20 remaining.
Penn State jumped out to a 21-7 lead in the first half. A 52-yard touchdown strike to Godwin for the game's first score was quickly answered by a 67-yard reception by Temple's Romond Deloatch, setting up an 8-yard touchdown run for running back Jahad Thomas. However, Penn State went back ahead with 2:50 remaining in the first quarter, as running back Andre Robinson capped a 13-play, 69-yard drive with three consecutive runs, including a 3-yard plunge into the end zone for his first career touchdown. McSorley capped a drive midway through the second quarter with a dive into the end zone for a 21-7 advantage.
Temple assembled a field goal drive just before the break to head into the locker room trailing 21-10.
The Nittany Lions restored their 14-point lead with a 40-yard Tyler Davis field goal just under six minutes into the second half. However, Penn State allowed a 9-yard touchdown drive and a 1-yard touchdown drive with only a Davis field goal in between after turnovers gave the Owls short fields.
Penn State's lead was down to 27-24, but Barkley's touchdown scamper resulted in a 34-24 lead that proved to be enough, as Temple could only muster a field goal for the final margin.
The 106 points scored by Penn State through three games is the most by a Nittany Lion team since the 2008 squad put up 166 points in that span (Coastal Carolina - 66; Oregon State - 45; at Syracuse - 55).
Temple appeared to have the momentum after an interception late in the third quarter and a fumble on a punt return midway through the fourth quarter resulted in two short touchdown drives. With the Penn State lead down to just three points, Barkley restored the Nittany Lions' two-score advantage with a 55-yard touchdown down run with 7:20 to go. The Lion defense then forced Temple to burn 5 minutes, 11 seconds off the clock before settling for a field goal.
- QB Trace McSorley - Completed 18-of-24 passes and eclipsed 200 yards for the third time in his career, totaling 287 yards and a touchdown. He connected on a pair of career-long 52-yard receptions, the first of which resulted in the game's first touchdown to Chris Godwin.
- WR Chris Godwin - Caught six passes for 111 yards, including a 52-yard touchdown in the first half, and finished with seven catches for 117 yards. It was his seventh career 100-yard receiving game and he moved up to 10th on Penn State's career receptions list (117). Godwin's now has at least one catch in 28-of-29 career games and has at least four catches in 15 of his last 17 games.
- RB Saquon Barkley - Set a career high with his 55-yard touchdown run.
- LB Brandon Smith - The junior entered the game with just one tackle, but he made eight tackles, including on assisting on a stop behind the line, and broke up a pass for a career day.
- S Malik Golden - Led the team and tied his career high with nine stops.
- S Marcus Allen - Made eight tackles, including six solo and 1.0 behind the line.
- DT Parker Cothren - Posted career high in tackles (seven) and tackles-for-loss (2.5), and assisted on a sack to tie a career high.
- Rushing Attack- Barkley, McSorley and Andre Robinson each rushed for a touchdown, marking the first time since last season's Rutgers contest that three different Lions rushed across the goal line.
- Run Defense - Penn State only yielded 38 yards on the ground for their best performance against the run since limiting Illinois to 37 yards last season.
- CB John Reid - Iced the win with an interception with 25 seconds remaining, ending Temple's final drive.
- SS Delvon Randall - Randall setup both of Temple's second half touchdown drives. In the third quarter, he picked off McSorley at the Penn State 26 and returned it to the 9. The ensuing Temple offensive possession resulted in a touchdown and shrunk Penn State's lead to 24-17. Randall also recovered a fumble on a punt return at the Penn State 1 in the fourth quarter, setting up another touchdown drive that pulled the Owls within a field goal, 27-24.
- LB Avery Williams - Was fourth on the team with six tackles and recovered a Penn State fumble in the red zone in the second quarter.
- RB Jahad Thomas - Thomas was both Temple's leading receiver and rusher in his first game of the season. On the ground, Thomas scored two touchdowns and totaled 52 yards on 14 carries. He also caught six passes for 48 yards.
- QB Phillip Walker - Completed 25-of-34 passes for 286 yards and also ran for a score.
- FS Sean Chandler - Led Temple with eight tackles, including 1.5 behind the line.
- DL Haason Reddick - Made seven tackles (five solo), including 3.0 behind the line, and deflected one pass.
- WR Romand Deloatch - Setup Temple's first touchdown with a 67-yard reception.
PSU - 9:35 - TD - Chris Godwin, 52 yd Pass, 2 plays, 55 yards, 0:42 - 7-0
TEM - 8:54 - TD - Jahad Thomas, 8 yd Rush, 2 plays, 75 yards, 0:41 - 7-7
PSU - 2:50 - TD - Andre Robinson, 3 yd Rush, 13 plays, 69 yards, 5:57 - 14-7
PSU - 7:15 - TD - Trace McSorley, 2 yd Rush, 9 plays, 53 yards, 3:14 - 21-7
TEM - 0:04 - FG - Austin Jones, 45 yd kick, 6 plays, 52 yards, 0:34 - 21-10
PSU - 9:03 - FG - Tyler Davis, 40 yd kick, 6 plays, 48 yards, 3:50 - 24-10
TEM - 1:56 - TD - Phillip Walker, 1 yd Rush, 4 plays, 9 yards, 2:09 - 24-17
PSU - 12:45 - FG - Tyler Davis, 30 yd kick, 7 plays, 71 yards, 4:05 - 27-17
TEM - 8:10 - Jahad Thomas, 2 yd run, 3 plays, 1 yard, 1:44 - 27-24
PSU - 7:20 - Saquon Barkley, 55 yd run, 2 plays, 75 yards, 0:50 - 34-24
TEM - 2:10 - Austin Jones, 34 yd field goal, 12 plays, 48 yards, 5:10 - 34-27
PENN STATE 15:00-12:17 (2:43, 5 plays, 11 yards) - PUNT
A 35-yard kickoff return by Brandon Polk to the Penn State 42 and a 15-yard personal foul penalty against Temple gave the Nittany Lions great field position at the Temple 43. Penn State was only able to advance the ball 11 yards, but Blake Gillikin executed a perfect punt of 31 yards, pinning the Owls inside their own 1. The Nittany Lion defense was then able to force a three-and-out setting up Penn State's first touchdown on its next possession
PENN STATE 10:17-9:35 (0:42, 2 plays, 55 yards) - TOUCHDOWN
After a 3-yard rush by Andre Robinson, McSorley found Godwin wide open in the middle of the field on a post route for a 52-yard touchdown.
Penn State 7, Temple 0
TEMPLE 9:35-8:54 (0:41, 2 plays, 75 yards) - TOUCHDOWN
Temple evened the score quickly. Romond Deloatch found a seam in between the Penn State linebackers and safety and took a short pass 67 yards to the Penn State 8. Marcus Allen chased Deloatch down to prevent the touchdown, but Thomas was able to break a tackle running around the right side on the very next play to reach the end zone.
Penn State 7, Temple 7
PENN STATE 8:47-2:50 (5:57, 13 plays, 69 yards) - TOUCHDOWN
Penn State used the ground game for its next score rushing eight times for 47 yards on the drive. Once Penn State broke into the red zone, Robinson took it from there, rushing 12 yards to the Temple 6, before back-to-back 3-yard rushes resulting in his first career touchdown.
Penn State 14, Temple 7
PENN STATE 10:29-7:15 (3:14, 9 plays, 53 yards) - TOUCHDOWN
After Robinson converted a 4th-and-1 at Temple's 44 with a 1-yard rush, McSorley connected with Godwin for 23-yard gain to the Temple 20. After a 2-yard Robinson rush, Polk hauled in a 14-yard pass at the 4. McSorley then took it himself after a holding penalty took out the intended receiver. McSorley just continued to roll right on the play and dove for the pylon for his first career rushing score.
Penn State 21, Temple 7
TEMPLE 0:38-0:04 (0:38, 6 plays, 52 yards) - FIELD GOAL
Starting from its own 20, Thomas rushed for 15 yards and Walker found Marshall Ellick for 19 to the Penn State 46. After a 5-yard completion, a 10-yard holding penalty moved Temple into field goal range. After a 3-yard completion, Austin Jones kicked a 45-yard field goal with just four seconds to spare.
Penn State 21, Temple 10
PENN STATE 12:53-9:03 (3:50, 6 plays, 48 yards) - FIELD GOAL
Mike Gesicki snagged a 52-yard reception out of the air with one hand to move Penn State to the Temple 10, but a botched reverse and holding penalty moved the Nittany Lions out of the red zone, forcing them to settle for a 40-yard field goal by Tyler Davis.
Penn State 24, Temple 10
PENN STATE 4:15-4:05 (0:10, 1 plays, 0 yards) - INTERCEPTION
After a Temple punt pinned Penn State on its own 8. Temple's Delvon Randall intercepted a McSorley pass at the 26 and returned it 17 yards to the Penn State 9.
TEMPLE 4:05-1:56 (1:44, 4 plays, 9 yards) - TOUCHDOWN
On 3rd-and-goal from the 10, Walker completed a 9-yard pass to the 1. Temple went for it on fourth down, and Walker rolled right and kept it, leaping into the end zone for the touchdown.
Penn State 24, Temple 17
PENN STATE 1:50 (3rd)-12:45 (4th) (4:05, 7 plays, 71 yards) - FIELD GOAL
DaeSean Hamilton slipped a tackle for a 45-yard reception to the Temple 14, and Godwin caught a 6-yard pass to reach the 8, but Temple's Avery Williams and Sean Chandler stopped Saquon Barkley for a 5-yard loss and Penn State was unable to convert on 3rd-and-9. Davis knocked a 30-yard field goal through the uprights.
Penn State 27, Temple 17
TEMPLE 9:54-8:10 (1:44, 3 plays, 1 yard) - TOUCHDOWN
A Temple punt clipped a Penn State player and was recovered by Temple at the 1. Brandon Smith was in on a pair of stops that limited Temple to no gain and a loss of a yard, respectively, on their first two attempts, but on third down, Thomas broke through from two yards out.
Penn State 27, Temple 24
PENN STATE 8:10-7:20 (0:44, 2 plays, 75 yards) - TOUCHDOWN
Saquon Barkley went all the way on Penn State's third snap of the drive, out-running the Temple defense for a career-long 55-yard touchdown run.
Penn State 34, Temple 24
TEMPLE 7:20-2:10 (5:11, 12 plays, 48 yards) - FIELD GOAL
Penn State only yielded three double-digit plays, the longest being a 13-yard reception on 3rd-and-19, as Temple burned 5 minutes and 11 seconds to move within one score.
Penn State 34, Temple 27
DaeSean Hamilton recovered an onside kick but Penn State went three-and-out, giving Temple the ball after a punt with 37 seconds remaining. Walker's second pass attempt was intercepted though to end the game.
Penn State begins Big Ten play at No. 4/5 Michigan Saturday. Game time and television will be announced on Sunday.
To purchase tickets or for information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.PSUnrivaled.com, call 1-800-NITTANY or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 10 a.m-6 p.m.