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Penn State Grades Vs. Temple

Who played well and who struggled against the Owls?

PHILADELPHIA - Penn State earned its first road win of the season on Saturday against Temple, prevailing 14-10 at Lincoln Financial Field. Today, we take a look at who played well, and who has some work to do as the Nittany Lions prepare to host Eastern Michigan this coming week at Beaver Stadium.

Quarterbacks. Rob Bolden and Matthew McGloin finished a combined 21-36 for 216 yards and an interception. It certainly wasn't pretty, but it was pretty easily their best performance of the season statistically. There are still some timing issues with receivers and the offense still lacks flow, but these two proved they at least have a pulse against the Owls. Grade: C+

Backs. The Lions got rushing touchdowns from Silas Redd and Michael Zordich and converted some key first downs on the ground in this game. It was an unspectacular day for the group on the whole, however. They managed just 92 yards on 36 carries, worth just a 2.6 yard per carry average. Some of that is on the offensive line, but when you turn in an average that poor, it's a team effort, and the backs should share part of the blame. Grade: C

Receivers. The receiving corps struggled in Penn State's first two games, but came alive against Temple. Derek Moye pulled in seven balls for 112 yards and Justin Brown was effective as well, totaling six catches for 62 yards on the afternoon. Drops continue to be an issue, however, so it's hard to get too high on this performance. With one last dress rehearsal before Big Ten play this coming week, it's important this group establishes some consistency. Grade: B

Offensive line. The running game had a hard time getting going in this one and Bolden and McGloin faced more of a pass rush than they probably should have against a team of Temple's caliber. There's really not a whole lot else to say other than this was a very average performance by a unit that generally exceeded expectations in the first two weeks. Grade: C

Defensive line. Devon Still and Sean Stanley were nasty for Penn State on this front. Still tied for the team-high in tackles with six and registered a sack while Stanley had five tackles, a sack and two forced fumbles. It's encouraging to see Still establish some consistency in his play. He's not drifting in and out of games, he's coming to play on every snap. Some of his teammates could probably learn from his attitude. Grade: A

Linebackers. Michael Mauti played like the star many hope he can be in this one, registering six tackles including three for a loss, a sack and an interception. The rest of the linebacking crops made stops when it needed to, and Mauti was just dominant and in on every play. If you're a Penn State fan, it's great to see this this kind of rush getting in opponents' faces. Grade: B+

Secondary. The unit was generally good in this one, but did get beat by some costly early pass plays that led to a Temple score and lead for much of the game. The players, namely Chaz Powell who registered an interception, had their moments, but they have to do a better job once the Lions hit Big Ten play, or opponents will take advantage. Grade: B-

Special Teams. Yikes. Where to begin. The two missed field goals by Evan Lewis were costly to say the least. and the blocked punt and field goals were flat-out embarrassing. This unit was beyond awful this week and if the problems at kicker/punter aren't resolved soon, it could be a long, long, painful season for everyone involved. Grade: D

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.