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Penn State finally got some good news last week, winning soundly against a pretty bad Navy team. But for the team, the school, alumni and fans, a win is a win. And we will take any sign of hope we can get.
Up until last week, the offense struggled to score (which is all too familiar) and the defense had trouble 'getting off the field'. But against Navy, things came together and Penn State put together a complete game and solid win.
But today's game vs. Temple will be a much better test to finding out what type of team Penn State has this year.
Navy is probably one of the worst teams in Division I and if they were in the Big Ten, would finish very close to the bottom of the conference standings. So while the win was desperately needed, it was not a very good test to see what type of team these Nittany Lions are.
Temple is solid, can score points and has wanted to be beat Penn State for a very long time. They will be amped up and if Penn State is not ready from the get go, and leaves Temple in the game, this could be a long day.
Temple really has no pressure, all of the pressure is on Penn State. First, on Penn State to get to a .500 record, second to win in front of the home fans and finally because they are playing Temple; everyone thinks Penn State should beat Temple.
While Penn State's offense looked much better last week, the running game is still not where it needs to be. We cannot expect to live off the arm of Matt McGloin all year (even though he does seem to be better than years past). And we will not win enough games to be over .500 if we cannot make field goals. The kicking game must turn around and be more realiable.
As for the defense, they absolutely play with passion and the past two weeks their ability to generate turnovers has been outstanding. But they still seem to struggle on the downs that matter, the ones where you need to make a stop and get your offense back on the field. This must be fixed.
If Penn State can win today, I think a 7 win season is possible, still a challenge, but possible (possible wins vs. Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Purdue and Northwestern). But if they lose today, I just don't see how they get to 7 wins. If they lose today, I think they only finish the year with 3 to 5 wins.
I think this teams needs confidence and a win today gives them that. A loss and unfortunately I think this team probably has one of the worst seasons (by ways of wins and losses) in Penn State history. I hope that is not the case but we must accept reality.
We are Penn State
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