STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Temple quarterback Chris Coyer took a few steps to his left before throwing a wobbly pass that sailed out of reach of wide open teammate Cody Booth as the tight end stumbled backward into the end zone.
Once again, the Owls had no luck against Penn State.
Finding little success through the air, Temple also couldn't contain Penn State's penalty-prone offense in a 24-13 loss Saturday to the Nittany Lions.
This isn't the kind of momentum Temple (1-2) was hoping for before returning to the Big East in two weeks against South Florida.
"I felt we had our opportunities in that game, opportunities to make some plays we didn't make," coach Steve Addazio said. "In that kind of game, we need to make those plays. It started early."
Matt McGloin threw for a career-high 318 yards and ran for two short scores for the Nittany Lions (2-2), and linebacker Michael Mauti led another strong defensive effort.
Allen Robinson added to his torrid start as the Nittany Lions' top receiver with a 41-yard touchdown catch on a fourth-down play in rookie coach Bill O'Brien's new offense.
Officially, the Temple losing streak in the series stands at 23 games since the seven Penn State victories between 2003-2011 have been vacated because of NCAA sanctions. The Owls tied Penn State 7-7 in 1950, but otherwise have been winless in the series since a 14-0 shutout on Oct. 18, 1941.
Temple couldn't capitalize on a number of early Penn State penalties and mistakes. McGloin got the Nittany Lions back on track after two long completions before stumbling into the end zone from a yard out with 22 seconds left in the first half for a 14-3 lead.
Temple finally got a touchdown on Matt Brown's 1-yard catch off a shovel pass with 1:33 left in the game.
Temple added two field goals from standout Brandon McManus. Coyer ran for 64 yards on 13 carries but Penn State contained the Owls' passing game — not exactly a Temple strength in the first place.
"Yeah, we definitely had some struggles," Coyer said. "I need to throw it better and we need to catch it better. That's all there really is to it."
Coyer finished 13-of-26 passing for 124 yards — 65 coming in the final drive with less than three minutes left that ended with Brown's short score.