September 25, 2010

Highs and Lows: Temple

Check out the Highs and Lows of the Nittany Lions' 22-13 win over Temple in the 4th game of the season.

GAME BALL (OFFENSE): Evan Royster - Royster looked like his old self this afternoon running for 187 yards on just 26 carries. Statistically, that is his best game of his career. He amassed 77 more yards against Temple than he did in the previous 3 games combined.

GAME BALL (DEFENSE): Nate Stupar - Michael Mauti and Nick Sukay challenged Stupar for this honor, but Stupar's interception, late-game sack and well-timed tackles were game changing.

PLAY OF THE GAME: On the first play from scrimmage Evan Royster torched the Owl defense with a 50-yard run and set the tone for the senior's day. Royster cut back on a stretch play and laid a solid stiff arm on a Temple defender before he was brought down just shy of the red zone.

BEST PASS: Any 3 of Robert Bolden's passes on the 96-yard touchdown drive late in the 4th quarter could have been selected for this, but the 27-yard pass to Justin Brown put the Lions in perfect position to score its first touchdown and seal a victory.

WORST PASS: Bolden struggled with his accuracy today and overthrew and short-armed multiple receivers, but when he missed Graham Zug in the end zone during the 3rd quarter, it was a huge missed opportunity.

BEST CATCH: Derek Moye's 15-yard reception showed the athleticism of the 6-foot-5 receiver. He hauled in the pass while sliding on his rear and still managed to stay in bounds.

WORST DROP: Chester Stewart's 3rd down pass was dropped by Rod Streater at midfield with less than 13 minutes until halftime. It would have given Temple a first down in Penn State territory while they still had the momentum in their favor.

BEST PICK: Sukay also showed his athleticism with his second interception and 19-yard return. Stewart was looking for an open receiver as Sukay swooped in an snatched the ball out of the air to end any hopes of a Temple comeback.

BEST RUN: Royster's opening run for 50 yards showed flashes of his energetic running style that Penn State fans are used to seeing from #22.

BEST RETURN: The best return of the day was actually called back due to a holding penalty. Devon Smith hauled in the punt and shot up the field with his blazing speed before he was tripped up right before the goal line. Unfortunately for the Lions, it never made the stat sheet.

BEST HIT: When Bolden was sacked by linebacker Tahir Whitehead the ball flung from the freshman's hands and eventually rolled out of bounds. Whitehead crushed Bolden from the blindside and left Penn State with a 19 yard loss and the first sack of the season.

BEST DECISION: There weren't many of them, but the coaching staff's decision to start Pete Massaro at defensive end paid off. He kept constant pressure on the quarterback and played a major role in Stupar's interception.

BEST KICK: Collin Wagner's 45-yard field goal began the scoring for Penn State. He matched the Penn State single-game record with 4 field goals.

WORST KICK: Well, he couldn't make them all. Wagner's miss from 32 yards away would have put him at the top of Penn State record books with 5 field goals.

BEST SACK: Massaro's sack on the very last play of the day sent the Owls back to Philadelphia. His non-stop motor allowed him to chase down Stewart and plant his face mask directly into the 25-yard line. Oh yeah, the ball came loose too.

MOST TELLING STATISTIC: Wagner's 4 field goals on 5 attempts proves that Penn State's offense needs to improve immensely in the red zone. The offense sputtered every time it crossed the 20-yard line, and that will not cut it against the Big Ten schedule

DID YOU NOTICE... The energy from Michael Zordich? The bruising fullback has been flying under the radar this season, making killer blocks both in the passing and rushing game. However, it was his 3 rushes and touchdown late in the fourth quarter that fired up the student section.

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