Temple tries to end Penn St. no-sack streak

Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

View results

STATE COLLEGE, PA. (AP) - Maligned at times by Penn State’s uneven running game, the offensive line can be proud of at least one impressive stat _ the No. 23 Nittany Lions are the only team in the country that hasn’t allowed a sack.

Pass-rushing specialist Adrian Robinson and the Temple defense want to halt that streak Saturday when they visit Beaver Stadium.

“Personally, I don’t want the quarterback to get hit or get touched,” Nittany Lions left guard Johnnie Troutman said.

That’s practically what the line has done so far for quarterback Rob Bolden, off to a promising start for an 18-year-old true freshman.

Bolden has gotten hit, but coach Joe Paterno is more worried about his freshman’s penchant for scrambling. The 6-foot-3 Bolden has completed 59 percent of his 85 pass attempts for 600 yards and three touchdowns for Penn State (2-1), though five interceptions are a concern.

Owls coach Al Golden seems impressed.

“I think he’s tremendous, I really do,” said Golden, who played at Penn State and once served as Paterno’s assistant. “He can create. He’s long. He can move around in the pocket. … No question why he’s the starter.”

At 3-0, Temple is off to its best start since 1979, and the 6-foot-2, 250-pound Robinson is one big reason why north Philadelphia is buzzing about football again.

Last year’s Mid-American Conference defensive player of the year led the league with 13 sacks and five forced fumbles in 2009. He’s got one sack so far this season, with a starring role in last week’s 30-16 win over Connecticut by forcing a fumble and returning it for a touchdown.

Golden doesn’t think Robinson has reached his full potential.

While talented and powerful, “quite often, he’s his own worse enemy … on the field if he makes mistakes,” Golden said. “We’re just trying to have him to develop a ‘next play’ mentality.’”

Beating FCS champions Villanova, Central Michigan and UConn at home is one thing; beating the Nittany Lions on the road will be a dramatically different task _ one that could vault the Owls into the national spotlight if Golden’s team can pull off a David and Goliath-type upset.

Recent history indicates the odds are long. Temple will try to end a 27-game losing streak to Penn State, which hasn’t lost in the series since 1941. Penn State has outscored Temple 154-9 since Golden took over in 2006.

For the success that the offensive line has had in pass protection, much of the concern in Happy Valley has been over Penn State’s running game. Senior tailback Evan Royster is off to slow start with just 110 yards on 31 carries, and fans didn’t expect Royster to be sharing more carries with backups Stephfon Green and Silas Redd.

Paterno said he isn’t worried about Royster, and he’s just trying to get more experience for his younger reserves.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus