11 November 2006

Final: Penn State 47, Temple 0

My prediction: Penn State 38, Temple 6
Final score: Penn State 47, Temple 0

Temple received the ball to open the second half and predictably did nothing with the ball.

Morelli threw a screen pass to Hunt, who picked up a great block by center A.Q. Shipley on his way to his fourth touchdown of the day. As if there was any doubt before this week (there wasn't in my mind), Tony Hunt is the offensive MVP of this year's team.

Penn State continued to involve a number of people who haven't gotten much experience this year: Kevin Cousins, Kevin Darling, Maurice Evans, James McDonald, Perretta, Quarless, Mark Rubin. Andrew Quarless in particular looked really good, and looks to be turning into a very solid tight end. The announcers continued their name-botching, referred to Quarless as "Andre" Quarless. Also, it's not "Puz-loooz-ny"! They also referred to running back Nick Pinchek as fullback Dan Lawlor on consecutive fourth quarter plays. I think this was the worst announcing job all season. Then again, what can you expect from an EPSN Regional broadcast.

By the six minute mark of the third quarter, Morelli gave way to backup Daryll Clark and Hunt gave way to Rodney Kinlaw. Kevin Kelly's second field goal of the day put the Nittany Lions on top 41-0. By the end of the third quarter, Penn State had most of its backups in the game. Clark engineered a nice fourth quarter drive and finished it off with a quarterback sneak. Backup kicker Joe Hughes even got into the game, but had his PAT blocked.

Third stringers quarterback Paul Cianciolo and fullback Dan Lawlor came into the game with 6 minutes left. Running back Nick Pinchek also saw second half playing time.

Penn State dominated on both sides of the ball, racking up 403 yards while holding Temple to 74. I'm not certain, but I don't think Temple ever moved the ball into Nittany Lion territory. On Temple's only deep pass of the day, backup safety Jason Ganter came down with the interception.

I was surprised at the extent that Penn State threw the ball in the second half. I would have expected them to run almost every play, i.e., last year's Illinois game. Perhaps unrestrained by JoePa's absence, offensive coordinator Galen Hall just stuck with the normal playbook as opposed to going ultra-conservative. They even threw the ball on the last play of the game. I guess it can't hurt to get Clark and Cianciolo some "quality" reps.

Let's hope Penn State can take this momentum into next week's Senior Game vs. Michigan State. A win next Saturday would likely lock up the Outback Bowl in Tampa on January 1st.
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