STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Penn State made just enough big plays
to overcome its own anemic offense.
Three field goals by Robbie Gould and big plays by Tony Johnson
and Michael Robinson led Penn State to a 23-10 victory Saturday
over Temple in the opener for both teams.
Temple had 357 yards total offense and 21 first downs to just
310 yards and 16 first downs for Penn State. But the Owls were
unable to convert their yards into points.
"Obviously we need to find a way to score more points," Temple
coach Bobby Wallace said. "The dropped passes were the story of
our first half. We catch those and we're a much more successful
At times, the Nittany Lions looked good. Robinson -- who played
quarterback, tailback and wide receiver in addition to returning
punts -- lined up as a tailback to set up Penn State's final
touchdown with a 53-yard run to the Temple 19-yard line. Sean
McHugh scored on a 4-yard run for a 20-3 lead with 7:45 left.
"When he's in the backfield, I think it causes a lot more
problems for them defensively, because they have to worry about
exactly what he's going to do, and Mike's a heck of a runner,"
quarterback Zack Mills said.
Temple made it 20-10 with 4:49 left, scoring its only touchdown
on a 3-yard run by Makonnen Fenton after Collin Hannigan threw a
27-yard pass to Zamir Cobb on a fake punt to set up the score.
Gould kicked a 40-yarder with 1:48 left.
The win was No. 337 for Penn State coach Joe Paterno, the
all-time leader among major-college coaches. Penn State leads the
series 31-3-1 and hasn't lost to Temple since 1941.
Penn State's gained just 45 yards rushing and seven first downs
in the first half. When Derek Wake blocked a punt to give the
Nittany Lions the ball on the Temple 32, they promptly lost two
yards and Gould's try was wide right.
Most of Penn State's 79 first-half passing yards came on a
56-yard touchdown pass from Mills to a wide-open TonyJohnson for a
7-0 lead early in the second quarter.
"We were adequate today," Joe Paterno said. "I said at the
beginning of the year that we'd have to play ourselves into being a
good football team."
Fenton had 95 of his 118 rushing yards in the first half, and
the Owls twice got inside the Penn State 20. Jared Davis' first
field goal try, a 32-yarder in the first quarter, went wide right;
he made his second, a 33-yarder as time expired in the second
quarter to make it 7-3.
"That's why we lost. We couldn't get in the end zone,"
quarterback Mike McGann said. "You can do anything you want, you
can gain 1,000 yards, but if you don't score you don't win."
The second half wasn't much better for the Owls, who missed a
26-yard field goal try in the third quarter.