This afternoon two universities that gave me pieces of parchment with foil on them played football. It was an alma mater showdown. My first allegiance is to Temple University because I earned my undergrad degree there. So I went to a very blue and white Beaver Stadium wearing cherry and white.
The weather was amazing. Sun shining, a slight breeze, you really couldn’t ask for anything better. I biked to campus, then left my bike in the Tyson Building and walked to the stadium. I sat in section NA, which has bleacher seating. I’m not claustrophobic, but I value my personal space. As the section filled in I quickly realized my personal space was going to be invaded. On my right was a rather attractive blond female, on my left was a rather large and hairy male. Guess which one was continually brushing up against me during the game?
The Temple players did their pregame drills and warm-ups right in front of the section I was in.
A final pregame pep talk.
Hooter stares menacingly into the hostile PSU crowd.
Two girls sitting directly behind me spent the entire pregame and first quarter insulting Temple. I could smell the alcohol on their breath. I ignored them. Early in the first quarter cheerleaders from both schools danced along to music during a timeout. The Temple cheerleaders put on a more impressive show (accompanied by Hooter), prompting one of the intoxicated girls behind me to utter a line I will always cherish: “Temple can’t play football but they can dance.”
In the first quarter Temple played very well. They won the coin toss, deferred, and then held PSU to a three and out. Halfway through the quarter PSU scored a touchdown. On the last play of the quarter Temple kicked a field goal to make the score 7-3. On the first play of the second quarter the Owls pulled off a successful onside kick (the first one I have witnessed in person).
Vaughn Charlton, Temple’s junior QB, played a very nice game. Against a good defense he threw for 205 yards with no turnovers. He also had to deal with numerous drops from his receivers, one of which should have been a touchdown.
Vaughn Charlton prepares to fire.
Late in the second quarter the Lions tacked on two quick touchdowns to make the game much more comfortable for the Beaver Stadium crowd. The crowd still stuck around and was quite loud when the Lions were on defense.
The crowd stands with raised arms and voices as the Owls are pinned inside the 5.
The special teams from both sides were good. Temple went 2-for-2 on field goals, recovered an onside kick, and did not allow the Lions to get much return yardage on kicks. The Lions converted their one field goal opportunity and had a solid day kicking the ball.
Collin Wagner kicks a field goal as JoePa looks on.
As the game rolled on the PSU ground attack started to take a toll on the Temple defense.
Evan Royster navigates the field.
The final score was 31-6. As soon as the game ended Coach Golden and Coach Paterno talked at midfield. Coach Golden played at Penn State (TE, class of ’91) and served as a linebackers coach at Penn State in 2000. The Golden era of Temple football began in 2005, and so far it looks promising. The program has gone from outright laughingstock to snicker-inducer, and might soon elicit just a grimace from teams intending to schedule a cupcake.
I wonder what JoePa said?
I was proud of Temple today. They played hard for 60 minutes. They only turned the ball over once (and had a takeaway of their own), hung close in time of possession, and they kept the Lions from covering the point spread (PSU was a 28 point favorite). Only losers cling to moral victories, but this loss can be viewed as a step in the right direction.
We are Temple. And we can dance.