The was far from the optimal way for Year 2 of the James Franklin Era at Penn State to begin.
Temple had entered the mid-afternoon contest as a 10-point home underdog. A little over three hours later, the Owls had stunned the Nittany Lions 27-10. Penn State had actually jumped out to a 10-0 first-quarter lead before Temple ripped off 27 unanswered points, with the final touchdown in the fourth quarter essentially putting the game away with 12 minutes remaining as the Nittany Lions were pitifully and woefully inept offensively.
The Nittany Lions mustered just 191 yards of offense — 103 passing, 88 rushing. The first two drives of the game, which resulted in a field goal and a touchdown, netted Penn State 128 yards, which means its offense totaled just 63 more the last three-plus quarters.
Last season, the Nittany Lions’ offensive line was brutal; this season is proving to be no different as beleaguered quarterback Christian Hackenberg was sacked a whopping total of 10 times. One of those sacks, embarrassingly enough, came when the Owls went with a two-man pass rush. While not every sack was on the line, enough were that Franklin and his staff must do something before a potential first-round pick is ruined.
As big as the loss was for Penn State, it might’ve been an even bigger win for Matt Rhule‘s Temple program.
After winning just two games his first season, Rhule saw that total jump to six in 2014. Historically, though, this was one of the record books as it served as the Owls’ first win over the Nittany Lions since 1941, a winless streak of 39 consecutive games. After a tie in the 1950 game, Penn State had won 31 straight games against Temple.
This game also marked the program’s first home win over a Power Five conference school since beating Kansas in 1942.
The icing on the cake for Rhule? He was a linebacker for the Nittany Lions in the nineties.