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.
Penn State held decisive edges in first downs (27-13) and total offense (491-237). Running back Michael Zordich himself had 101 total yards of offense by halftime — or five more than Temple's entire team at the break.
After early struggles against Temple's blitz, Penn State moved the ball at will on the Owls but tripped themselves up with penalties. At one point late in the second quarter, two consecutive long gains into Temple territory were negated by offensive pass interference and holding penalties, respectively.
But Temple, pinned deep in its own territory, went 3-and-out on its next drive to give Penn State the ball back at the Owls' 35 with 1:10 left.
Plenty of time for McGloin against the Owls' porous defense.
The senior connected with freshman tight end Kyle Carter for gains of 13 and 20 to get Penn State to the 2, and a personal foul penalty pushed them a yard closer.
On the drive, sunlight broke through the heavy, gray clouds that lingered over Happy Valley most of the day and streamed down on the Beaver Stadium field — an ideal setting for McGloin's first touchdown run. With Owl defenders Marcus Green and Nate Smith hanging on to him, McGloin took two laborious steps forward before falling into the end zone on his right knee for a momentum-swinging score going into the half.
A Temple offense that couldn't move the ball through the air opened the third quarter with two more 3-and-outs, and the Nittany Lions answered with an 11-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown run for McGloin.
After going three games without a rushing score, Penn State's first two touchdowns on the ground for the season came from the senior quarterback. McGloin finished 24-of-36 passing with his touchdown to Robinson and one interception, which occurred after a pass near the goal line deflected off of Brandon Moseby-Felder's hands and into the arms of Temple's Tavon Young.
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