By Julie Glass
Trace McSorley completed 18 of 24 passes for 287 yards with one touchdown and an interception and rushed for another score to lead Penn State to a 34-27 win against Temple.
A year after the Nittany Lions (2-1) were embarrassed in a season-opening loss to the Owls, Penn State scored on three of its first five drives to take a 21-10 halftime lead. Although he left the game with a left leg injury on the first play, running back Saquon Barkley returned in the second half and ended Temple’s comeback bid with a 55-yard touchdown run with less than eight minutes to play.
“The decision to put him back in the game was that he was ready,” Franklin said. “He actually could’ve went in a little bit earlier. Obviously Saquon has the ability, if we can create a little more space, he has the ability to break tackles. He has the ability to make people miss. And he has the ability, the speed to finish runs.”
Receiver Chris Godwin (above) caught a 52-yard touchdown pass, Andre Robinson and McSorley added short touchdown runs and Tyler Davis kicked two field goals for Penn State.
Temple running back Jahad Thomas returned after missing the first two games with a dislocated left thumb and scored twice for the Owls (1-2). Quarterback Phillip Walker ran for another touchdown andAustin Jones kicked two field goals.
Penn State also honored Joe Paterno on the 50th anniversary of his first game. The in-game video presentation drew cheers from ardent fans in Beaver Stadium, but also drew criticism from some who said honoring Paterno is insensitive to victims in the school’s sex abuse scandal.
The Temple defense, so good a year ago, is still a work in progress. The Owls are still searching for playmakers after losing seven starters from that group. They gave up 403 yards with 253 in the first half.