Sunday, October 3, 2010

Heisman Tracker: Robinson Leads Way

Michigan's Denard Robinson has achieved success that many others have never done in a CAREER.

Robinson has thrown for over 200 yards and ran for over 200 yards in the same game. Only nine players have ever done that before; Robinson did it twice.

He nearly had 300 passing yards and 200 running yards in the same game yesterday against Indiana (17 yards shy). That has only been done once before.

The Wolverines are undefeated, and Robinson is the clear cut Heisman favorite at this moment.

Besides Robinson, there are a few more quarterbacks to keep an eye on.

Terrelle Pryor remains a Heisman hopeful, but didn't put up any impressive stats against Illinois this past weekend, and missed nine plays because of an injury.

Auburn's Cam Newton and Arkansas' Ryan Mallett are also in the running for the Heisman, but both will need to knock off a higher ranked opponent AND put up impressive numbers as well.

1. QB Denard Robinson, Michigan
2. QB Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State
3. QB Kellen Moore, Boise State
4. QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
5. QB Jake Locker, Washington
6. RB Trent Richardson, Alabama
7. RB Mark Ingram, Alabama
8. RB LaMichael James, Oregon
9. QB Andrew Luck, Stanford
10. RB DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma

Animated Drive Chart: Temple - Army


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Matt Brown Steals the Show

No Bernard Pierce; no problem.

With Pierce sidelined following an injury to his ankle from last weekend's contest against the Penn State Nittany Lions, Matt Brown became the go-to-guy against Army.

He did not disappoint.

On 28 carries, Brown compiled 226 yards and four touchdowns. With the game tied at 28-28, Brown scored on a 11 yard run to put Temple up by a score, and then followed that up with a 20 yard touchdown run, which ended up becoming the game-winning score, to put the Owls up by two possessions.

Aside from Brown, the Temple offense was a bit of a disappointment.

Chester Stewart didn't put up impressive numbers, going 7-for-16 with 127 yards. He did connect with Michael Campbell on an eight yard touchdown strike in the fourth quarter, but other then that, the passing attack was held in check.

Defensively, the Owls didn't do as good as they would have liked, but they ended up holding Army to just 14 points in the second half, compared to Temple's 29 total points in the half.

All four of Army's touchdown belonged to quarterback Trent Steelman.

He scored on a a two yard run in the first quarter, a seven yard run in the second and a five yard run with 1:13 left in the game. He also threw a 31 yard touchdown to Austin Barr.

Temple now sits at 4-1 on the season, with their lone loss to #22 Penn State, and are set to take on Northern Illinois next weekend. Hopefully running back Bernard Pierce will be back in action to go along with Matt Brown in Temple's powerful running attack.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Last Look at the Temple-PSU Game

Just as we do after every game at Cherry & White Nation, we've contacted a Penn State blogger to give us his take on last Saturday's game.

Charlie of Nittany Lion Whiteout took part in our pregame Q&A, and will once again help us out in our "Last Look" Q&A.

1. Temple was so close to pulling out the upset, but the better team prevailed, and Penn State is now 3-0. At what point in the game did you begin to think "No way, Temple might win"?

The moment Temple scored their second touchdown. Although there was plenty of time left in the game, it was the defensive lapse I feared entering the game. Fortunately the defense eventually settled down and put on a clinic holding the Owls to 46 total yards in the air.

2. Sticking with the first question, when did you see the momentum turn in Penn State's favor?

I saw the momentum shift with 6:53 left in the 3rd quarter. Temple still held a 13-9 lead but Penn State's defense once again stifled Temple (with Stewart almost being sacked on the Temple 1 on 3rd down) and forced them to punt from their own 10 yard line. Devon Smith caught the punt at Penn State's 45 and would have taken it to the house had he not been tripped on the 7 yard line. Although that fantastic return would eventually be negated by a holding call, it provided the boost Penn State needed. It was tangible proof how easy it was to reclaim the lead with just a play.

3. Temple's Chester Stewart played very poorly, and did nothing to help his team; however, Rob Boldin did good enough to get the victory. How would you grade Boldin's performance in last weekend's game?

Bolden's performance was mediocre at best, going 18 of 28 for 223 yards but no touchdown. But he did exactly what was asked of him and that's to play smart and not turn the ball over. Chester Stewart is the perfect example of how detrimental it is to a team's success when you turn the ball over. Stewart single handedly accounted for 3 of Temple's 4 turnovers and makes it that much harder to overcome.

It was really great to see Evan Royster return to last season's form. He was unable to break the 100 yard mark through the first 3 games of this season, but accounted for 187 yards on 26 carries against Temple. But it would be foolhardy to expect such production against Iowa. Iowa's rushing defense is allowing just 65.5 yards a game, that's good for 3rd best in the nation. Even with Royster's record day against Temple, Penn State is averaging 159.3 total rushing yards a game, ranked 61st in the nation. Advantage, Iowa. I would just be happy if Royster breaks 100 against the Hawkeyes, but if the only way we can beat the Hawkeyes is through the air, then I'm all for it.

5. Where would you rank Penn State among Big Ten teams, as of now? Which team do you fear the most? How about player?

To date, Penn State has beaten the teams they were supposed to, and lost to the one most expected them to lose. But very few people expected the improvement shown by that team in Ann Arbor. So at this point I consider the Nittany Lions to be the 4th best team in the conference tied with Michigan and Michigan State but still well behind the preseason favorites Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin. No one in the league wants to face Ohio State and Terrelle Pryor right now.

--We thank Charlie of Nittany Lion Whiteout for helping us throughout the week of the Temple-PSU game.4. It looks like Evan Royster finally found his stride. Do you think he will be able to carry that momentum into next week's game against Iowa?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pierce Listed as Game-Time Decision

When Temple squares off against Army next weekend, star running back Bernard Pierce may be able to suit up.

When Pierce suffered the injury in the third quarter of the Penn State game this past weekend, his right leg looked to be more seriously damaged then just a "game-time decision" would suggest.

However, if Pierce is unable to go then Matt Brown would be next in-line.

Against Penn State, Brown was unable to convert on a third-and-short in the final quarter, which gave Penn State all the momentum following a huge defensive stop.

Brown composed 48 yards on 12 carries in the game, averaging 4.0 yards per run.

If Pierce can go, Temple will be a heavy favorite against Army; if he can't, then Temple could be in for a serious battle against the Black Knights.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pierce's Injury Remains a Mystery

We've all seen the images of star running back, Bernard Pierce, limping down the sidelines in front of 104,840 fans at Beaver Stadium.

Pierce injured his ankle halfway through the third quarter, and from that moment on, the Temple offense was never able to click with Matt Brown as the replacement back.

Before leaving the game, the sophomore running back had compiled 42 yards on 10 carries, and reached the endzone twice. His first touchdown was a five yard run with nine minutes remaining in the first quarter, and then from three yards out with :10 seconds left on the clock in the same quarter.

Once word breaks of the severity of the injury and whether or not Pierce will be forced to miss any time, Cherry & White Nation will report the news here as soon as possible.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Temple's Heroic Effort not Enough to Defeat PSU

The perfect season that was is no more, but that doesn't mean Temple shouldn't be proud of their 3-1 start.

For the first time in years, Temple competed with Penn State for nearly the entire game, and held the lead from 9:03 in the first quarter all the way to 1:38 in the third quarter.

Temple started off strong, scoring on a five yard run by Bernard Pierce to give the Owls a 7-3 lead.

With a 7-6 lead in the first quarter, Pierce continued to run strong, and found the endzone yet again, this time from three yards out. However, Temple failed on an attempted two-point conversion.

Speaking of Pierce, he left the game in the third quarter with an apparent injury to his ankle. He did not return to the game following the injury, and there is not word yet on the severity of the ankle injury.

If there's one area that Temple needs to work on, it's third down efficiency. The Owls went 1-11 on third downs, which proves that the Owls are not able to rely on the arm of Chester Stewart to convert on third and long.

Stewart didn't have a great day today, going 8-for-19 with a measly 49 yards. For the first time this season, Stewart had a problem with turnovers, throwing a combined three interceptions in the game, with two going to Penn State safety Nick Sukay.

The Nittany Lions didn't play good by their standards, but for the first time this season, running back Evan Royster was able to get off to a good start and carry that momentum throughout the game. He ran for a career-high 187 yards on 26 yards, but didn't reach the endzone once in the game.

Freshman Rob Boldin threw for 223 yards on 18 completions, and avoided throwing any interceptions.

The player of the game has to be kicker Colin Wagner, who made a career-high five field goals, with his longest coming from 45 yards away.

Penn State combined for 439 total yards compared to Temple's 202 yards.

Coach Joe Paterno is now 26-0 against the Temple Owls, who have won just three times against the Nittany Lions since the teams first started playing each other in the 40's.

Temple now stands at 3-1, and is off to a great start heading into conference play. They currently are 1-0 in their conference with a win over Central Michigan, and are now set to take on Army next weekend.