Matt Rhule became the third former Nittany Lion to beat Penn State as a football head coach. In 1931 and 1932 Frank Wolf guided Waynesburg over PSU and in 1988 Dick Anderson posted a win with Rutgers.

This was just the fourth time that Temple beat Penn State and the first time in 40 tries. The last win was on October 18, 1941.

Saturday’s was a Temple home record crowd of 69,176. In three previous Temple wins over Penn State there were a combined 60,000 spectators (numbers from the Penn State media guide).
October 18, 1941 – 25,000
November 12, 1932 – 15,000
October 10, 1931 – 20,000

Temple has now won consecutive season openers over a Power 5 school (last season they defeated Vanderbilt on the road 37-7). Temple has now won five of the last six season openers. It was also Temple’s first home win over a Big Ten school.

Junior RB Jahad Thomas rushed for a game-high 135 yards including two TDs on 29 carries. He had five runs of 10+ yards including bursts of 31, 29, and 24 yards.

Junior QB P.J. Walker – who was a backfield mate of Thomas’ at Elizabeth (NJ) High – shined in and out of the pocket. The QB threw for 143 yards with a 75.0 completion percentage (15 of 20) completing throws to eight different receivers. He added 26 yards on 5 carries and also converted a first down on a 25-yard reception (from WR John Christopher).

Senior LB Tyler Matakevich, who entered the game with an NCAA best 355 career tackles, led Temple in tackles with 7. He also notched 3.0 sacks – his first multiple sack game.

Joining Matakevich in the sack race were six others as the Owls got to PSU QB Christian Hackenberg ten times. Redshirt-senior DE Nate D, Smith (2.0), redshirt-junior DE Haason Reddick (1.5), senior DT Matt Ioannidis (1.0), sophomore DE Jacob Martin(1.0), junior LB Jared Alwan (1.0), and redshirt-junior LB Stephaun Marshall (0.5) all shred in the sack parade.

Junior LB Sharif Finch nearly scored his third TD in the last 12 games. He intercepted a pass and returned it 26 yards to set up the 17-10 tie-breaking TD in the 3rd quarter. The return was originally ruled a 28-yard TD return but was reversed after replay.

Temple defense held PSU to just 103 passing yards (aided by 11 yards on the final drive when they played prevent defense). However, if you subtract the 59 yards they lost on sacks and the 26 yard return on Finch’s interception, Penn State’s passing offense mustered a net of just 18 yards on the day. Conversely, Temple’s offense had three pass plays that topped that including one 25-yard CATCH by QB P.J. Walker from WR John Christopher.

Sophomore punter Alex Starzyk punted seven times for a 46.9 yard average with two inside the 20. That included one 60-yarder, a 58-yarder and a 51-yarder.

Sophomore kicker Austin Jones connected on two FGs (40 and 30 yards) and all three PATs.

The following players played in their first game for Temple:
Ryquell Armstead (Fr),Freddie Booth-Lloyd (r-Fr), Tom Bradway (r-So), Ventell Bryant (r-Fr), Jager Gardner (Fr), Adonis Jennings (So), James McHale (r-Fr), Kip Patton (r-Fr), Delvon Randall (Fr), Nick Sharga (r-So), Jyquis Thomas (r)-Fr),.

That makes eight freshmen seeing their first action, including three true freshmen.

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