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Sept. 19, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., September 19, 2009 - Evan Royster ran for 134 yards and a touchdown and the Penn State defense limited Temple to 46 rushing yards as the Nittany Lions defeated the Owls, 31-6, in Beaver Stadium. The No. 5 Nittany Lions improved to 3-0 heading into its Big Ten opener with Iowa.
Penn State held its third consecutive opponent to seven points or less for the first time in 13 years in winning at home for the 30th time in its last 32 games. The Nittany Lions are 43-11 since the start of the 2005 season, among the top 10 records in the nation.
The last time Penn State held three straight foes to seven points or less was when the 1996 team began the season with four such games. The Nittany Lions held Temple to 46 rushing yards on 29 carries (1.6) and have allowed 139 yards on the ground in three games.
Penn State recorded 9.0 tackles for losses and four sacks, giving the unit 29 minus-yardage plays this season. Senior linebacker Josh Hull made a career-high 13 tackles, with 1.5 TFL to lead the Lions. Senior linebacker Sean Lee made 12 stops, including 2.5 TFL and a sack for his 14th career double figure tackle game. Junior linebacker Bani Gbadyu made a career-high six stops, sophomore safety Drew Astorino had five hits and a fumble recovery in Temple territory and senior cornerback Knowledge Timmons had a career-best four tackles and a pass break-up in the end zone.
Royster gained 119 yards in the first half en route to his seventh career 100-yard game. His 33-yard run in the first quarter was the longest rush of the season for the offense. Safety Andrew Dailey had a 37-yard run on a fake punt vs. Akron. Daryll Clark was 16 of 26 for 167 yards, throwing two touchdowns and one interception. Clark has thrown 14 touchdown passes in his last five games, including eight this season. The 2008 first team All-Big Ten signal-caller moved into a tie for seventh place all-time with Wally Richardson with 27 career touchdown passes.
Clark moved into eighth on the career completions list with 276 passing John Shaffer (262) and Kevin Thompson (263) on the day. He also moved into 11th all-time in career passing yardage with 3,499, passing John Shaffer (3,469).
Sophomores Chaz Powell and Derek Moye led the receivers. Powell made four catches for 40 yards and Moye made four receptions for 31 yards and a touchdown. Senior tight end Andrew Quarless made three catches for 45 yards.
Senior punter Jeremy Boone has another superb effort, with four punts for a 47.8 yard average and two kicks inside the 20. Penn State took a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter on the strength of 22 big running plays. Royster swept around the right side for a 33 yard gain to near midfield. On the next play, Powell took a reverse 24 yards down the right sideline. A catch by Graham Zug gave the Nittany Lions a first and goal and Clark connected with Mickey Shuler on a one-yard pass with 7:35 left in the opening period. Collin Wagner's PAT made it 7-0.
The Owls closed to within 7-3 on a 25-yard field goal by Brandon McManus on the final play of the first quarter. Boone pinned the Owls deep in their own territory and the defense forced a three-and-out, and the Nittany Lions took over on the Temple 35. With Royster doing the bulk of the work, he finished off the drive by stretching the ball over the goal line for a seven-yard score to make it 14-3 with 5:46 left in the half. Royster gained 24 yards on four carries on the drive and eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the seventh time in his career.
Penn State forced another punt and quickly moved downfield. A 17-yard completion from Clark to Stephfon Green was followed by a 10-yard Green carry. Royster then gained 33 yards on three consecutive carries. The drive was capped by a four-yard touchdown pass from Clark to Moye, making it 21-3 with 1:03 left in the half.
Royster had 119 yards on 15 carries at halftime, as Penn State gained 222 yards compared to Temple's 99. The Owls took the opening possession of the second half and drew within 21-6 on a 35-yard field goal by McManus. Penn State punted but got the ball right back when defensive tackle Ollie Ogbu forced a fumble that Astorino pounced on at the Temple 23. Collin Wagner connected on a 27-yard field goal with 6:23 left in the third period for a 24-6 lead.
The Nittany Lions then drove 74 yards in 12 plays to take a 31-6 early in the fourth quarter. Green finished the drive with a three-yard run for his first score of the season.
The game was Favorite Jersey Day, as fans wore their favorite all-time Penn State jersey to the contest. As fans entered the game, the respective jerseys were counted, with more than 25 numbers worn by fans. At halftime, the Top 10 jerseys at the game were revealed, with No. 22 earning the top spot. Heisman Trophy winner John Cappelletti, Chuck Burkhart, Brian Milne and Royster are among the Nittany Lions that have worn the number.
Penn State will open its 17th season of Big Ten Conference play when it hosts Iowa in a nationally televised, primetime clash on Sept. 26. All Nittany Lion fans are encouraged to wear white to turn Beaver Stadium into the Whitehouse. Kickoff is set for 8:00 p.m. and the clash will air on ABC, the Penn State Sports Network and www.GoPSUsports.com.