Temple 10

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Penn State 23

(1-0, 1-0 home)

Coverage: ESPN

3:30 PM ET, August 30, 2003

Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA

1 2 3 4 T
TEM 0 3 0 710
PSU 0 7 6 1023

Last Owls win in series was in 1941

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 offense."

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.