September 24, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Defensive Line: A
Facing another rush-first offense, the defensive line was once again asked to clog up the running lanes. And clog up the running lanes, they did, holding Temple to 113 yards rushing in the game. The Owls came into the game averaging a rush on 75 percent of their offensive plays. However, they were forced to hold back their rushing attempts primarily due to the containment of the Lions’ line and ultimately threw the ball 26 times. C.J. Olaniyan stepped up in place of Sean Stanley at defensive end, helping to halt the run with four tackles. The defensive line also helped to put pressure on the quarterback, totaling two sacks and three tackles for a loss in all.
Throughout the game, Temple quarterback Chris Coyer seemed to be lost, unable to make the right decisions on the fly. The deception of the Lions’ linebacking corps certainly played a part in this, as the play of Michael Mauti, Gerald Hodges, Glenn Carson offered very little open space for Coyer to squeeze the ball in over the middle of the field. Although Temple’s offense was able to move the ball through this part of the field in the latter part of the game, this was primarily after coach O’Brien began resting his starters with the game out of reach.
Penn State’s secondary has been under the microscope so far this season, as it has been the biggest question mark of the defense. After a few games in which the back four played respectably, the Lions’ secondary broke out for an excellent performance against Temple. The Owls’ passing attack was all but nullified, completing 50% of their passes for a total of just 124 yards in the air. Despite still having zero picks on the season, the secondary helped shut down Coyer’s down-field options. The only question mark in regard to the secondary at this point is depth, as Da’Quan Davis has still yet to prove himself a reliable option, filling in for Adrian Amos or Stephon Morris when they need a breather.