Until Villanova decides whether or not to join the Big East, Pennsylvania is home to three FBS football teams. Two of them meet today at 3:30, as Penn State plays host to the Temple Owls. The Owls are a surprising 3-0, beating UConn, Central Michigan and the aforementioned Villanova. The Lions come in with a 2-1 record, taking care of Youngstown State and Kent State while losing in Tuscaloosa two weeks ago.
The Owls are led by former PSU player Al Golden, a coach who frequently finds himself on "Who will replace Joe Paterno?" shortlists. In 2005, Stewart Mandel put Golden on the PSU watch list even before he left Virginia for Temple, and rumors still surround Golden's possible exodus in 2010.
As for the Owls that will actually play today, all eyes will be on running back Bernard Pierce, the 2009 MAC Freshman of the Year. Pierce has gotten off to a slow start, only amassing 301 yards and three touchdowns despite receiving early season Heisman hype by some.
On the Nittany Lions sideline, Paterno and company will hope to answer some questions before Big Ten play opens next week in Iowa. Will Evan Royster's production dropoff be a season-long issue, and will Stephfon Green and Silas Redd see continued and increased touches? Can both sides of the line find a cohesive unit that remains injury-free? Finally, will Robert Bolden be ready for the tough Big Ten defenses?
Be sure to check out the Black Shoe Diaries Q&A session with the popular Temple blog Temple Football Forever.
SBN Pittsburgh staff prediction: Penn State 41, Temple 13