Nittany Lions Blitz Temple, 45-3
Sept. 20, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State out-scored Temple, 31-0, in the second quarter en route to its fourth consecutive convincing victory, 45-3 in Beaver Stadium. The No. 15 Nittany Lions won their 26th consecutive game against the Owls.
With the victory, Penn State has won 35 of its past 44 games overall, including 23 of its 25 home games during the streak.
The hosts limited Temple to 10 first downs, 16 rushing yards on 28 carries (0.6) and 138 yards of total offense, recording a season-high seven sacks and 12 minus-yardage plays. The Owls were 2 of 15 on third down conversions.
The Nittany Lions have scored 40 or more points in their first four games of the season for the first time in program history. Penn State's 211 points in the first four games of the season are the most in the 122 years of the program. The 1994 team scored 210 in its first four games.
Penn State also has scored 40 or more points in four consecutive games for just the second time under Joe Paterno and the first time since midway through the 1973 season (54-3 vs. Army, 49-6 at Syracuse, 62-14 vs. West Virginia, 42-22 at Maryland).
The Nittany Lions had not scored 31 points in quarter since tallying 31 in the third quarter of the 2003 game with Indiana.
Penn State rolled to 546 yards, its third game above 500 yards this year. The Nittany Lions ran for 303 yards on 45 attempts (6.7), their second game this year with 300-plus yards rushing (334 vs. Coastal Carolina).
Penn State posted five plays over 20 yards in the game, with three going for touchdowns. The Nittany Lions now have 29 plays over 20 yards on the season, eight for touchdowns.
Sophomore linebacker Navorro Bowman led the defensive charge with his finest career game. Bowman made his first career start and recorded career-highs with 11 tackles (8 solo), three sacks, five tackles for minus-17, a forced fumble and his first career interception. Bowman leads Penn State with 35 tackles (20 solo) this season.
Sophomore defensive end Aaron Maybin set the tone on Temple's first possession, recording a sack in the fourth consecutive game. Maybin had five solo tackles, with three minus-yardage hits (minus-18), including two sacks. He has a team-high six sacks. Senior DE Josh Gaines made six stops, including 3.0 TFL (minus-17) and two sacks. Freshman safety Drew Astorino made a season-high seven hits (five solo).
The Nittany Lions were held scoreless in the first quarter for the first time this season. Penn State has not allowed any points in the first period this season, out-scoring the opposition, 49-0.
On Penn State's third possession of the game, Stephfon Green ran 27 yards, a career-long, to the Temple 20. On the next play, Clark hit Brett Brackett inside the five and he bulled his way into the end zone for his first career touchdown catch. Kevin Kelly's PAT made it 7-0 with 14:27 left in the second period.
The Nittany Lions forced another punt and quickly moved downfield. Evan Royster zipped up the middle and wiggled his way into the end zone to make it 14-0 with 10:49 left in the second quarter. The touchdown was Royster's seventh of the season.
Temple's Travis Shelton took the ensuing kickoff 76 yards down the far sideline and was chased down by safety Knowledge Timmons at the Penn State 26. On the next play, Tony Davis grabbed his third career interception to quickly end the Owls' possession.
On the Nittany Lions' next snap, Clark fired a 49-yard pass to Deon Butler, who was gang tackled at the Owls' 28. Clark then finished the drive on an 11-yard quarterback draw to make it 21-0 with 9:23 left in the second. Penn State scored three touchdowns in a span of 5:04 to take control.
On Penn State's next possession, Clark connected with Graham Zug from 11 yards out for his first career touchdown to make it 28-0.
For the third time in four games, the Nittany Lions put together a scoring drive in the final minute of the half. Kelly connected from 44 yards out on the final play of the half to push the lead to 31-0. Kelly extended his school record streak with at least one field goal made to 24 consecutive games.
The Lions' 31 points in the second quarter were their most in a period since scoring 31 in the third quarter against Indiana in 2003.
The Owls got on the scoreboard when Jake Brownell connected on a 25-yard field goal with 10:43 left in the third quarter. The points broke a 10-quarter scoring drought for Temple against the Lions, dating to the fourth quarter of the 2003 meeting.
On the Lions' second play after the score, Green burst through the left side and out-raced all the defenders for a 69-yard touchdown, the Lions' longest run since 2006.
Early in the fourth quarter, freshman wideout Chaz Powell ran seven yards to make it 45-3 with 13:57 left to play.
Penn State hosts No. 22 Illinois on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. in the Big Ten opener for both teams. The Illinois (2-1) have been idle since defeating Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 13. The contest will be an ABC split national telecast and also air on the Penn State Sports Network and GoPSUsports.com.