After Penn State’s offense failed to cash in on four of its first five possessions inside Temple territory, Matt McGloin decided to take things into his own hands.
With 22 seconds remaining in the half, the quarterback lined up at the goal line and lunged between his linemen for a rushing touchdown.
Behind McGloin’s lead, the Nittany Lions took down Temple, 24-13. The fifth-year senior threw for 318 yards, including a 41-yard touchdown to Allen Robinson, and also rushed for two touchdowns himself.
McGloin said his two rushing touchdowns were unexpected but necessary in this particular game.
“It just happened. It kind of feels good,” McGloin said.
“But at that point, when you get so close to the endzone, you just push forward and do whatever you can to get in."
Besides the long touchdown to Robinson in the first quarter, the offense was forced to punt twice and was intercepted once in its first four drives past midfield.
McGloin’s one-yard rushing touchdown gave the Lions a 14-3 cushion, one that quarterbacks coach Charlie Fisher said was crucial heading into halftime.
“We got down there two or three times and couldn’t get it in and when that happens…everybody’s anxious,” Fisher said.
“And we knew when we got a short field, it was time that we needed to cash that one in. And to credit our guys, we did.”
McGloin received support on the ground from senior Michael Zordich and sophomore Zach Zwinak, who combined for 169 yards rushing. The offense doubled Temple’s offensive production, gaining 491 yards compared to just 237 for the Owls.
Coach Bill O’Brien said he was pleased with his team’s offensive production overall, but the team “took a step back” in regard to its discipline. The Lions had nine penalties, accounting for 100 yards.
O’Brien added that he enjoyed seeing his defense get off the field when he had to. Penn State’s defense allowed the Owls to convert on third down just three out of their 12 attempts.
Linebacker Michael Mauti, who led the team with nine tackles, said this was an area the defense needed to improve on most.
“So I think I’m proud of our defense for really hanging tough and really swarming to the ball, on third down and fourth down especially,” Mauti said.
O’Brien said the team is enjoying a certain sense of accomplishment as it heads into Big Ten play, with two wins now under its belt.
“Winning is huge,” O’Brien said. “Winning takes care of a lot of things. Winning makes everybody feel good, especially when you beat good teams that are well-coached.”