It was a beautiful day for some football today in Happy Valley. With game three underway and a match-up with yet another over-matched non-conference team, it was an expected blowout.
The Nittany Lion’s performance this afternoon stirred up some frustrated sighs among the student section. With Clark taking a couple of hard hits and the defense allowing the Owl’s to gain some valuable yardage on some plays, the crowd’s enthusiasm began to slowly wane.
The defense allowed the Owls to get dangerously close to the end zone a few times, but were able to prevent Temple from scoring anything but two field goals. Although PSU ended the game with decent statistics and a 27th straight defeat over the Temple Owls, the fans expected a bit more intensity from the lions.
Many feel that there is a level of discomfort throughout the student body due to the criticism of Penn State’s football schedule every year. The first several games are always against teams that are expected to be easy victories for the team, which for the most part has proven to be true.
Maybe the main problem is that although football season is finally here, the true Penn State atmosphere doesn’t fully kick in until the conference games begin and the competition level rises.
Regardless of whom we play, PSU fans are always ecstatic about their football team. It has come to the point where there is an expectation to murder these non-conference teams that we play every season in the beginning of the year, which most likely leads to this speculation of why fans expected to see a higher score against Temple today.
Zach Fleagle, a junior and loyal football fan, gives his insight to the topic.
"I don't think you can blame the players for not executing as much as the coaches for hiding the spread HD against the lower competition we've faced. I don't think we've used anything more than 30 percent of the playbook, which is why the offense looks only alright. I think numbers will look better and the team will look sharper as game importance increases and competition becomes more level."
Mike Grim, a senior film major, also states his opinion on their recent performance.
"Seeing every play of the game, and looking at the miscues of Temple including three passes that should have been intercepted but were dropped, the game could have been a lot closer. It is worrisome, because solid teams in the Big Ten are not going to make those same mistakes.
"I'm very satisfied with our defense, especially our front four, but our secondary has revealed today that they can give up the big play. If our offense stays consistent and avoids mistakes like Clark's interception today, and the defense forces more turnovers then they are now, I think we will still be tough to beat. Today surely wasn't spectacular, but it was a win, and that's ultimately what matters."
Next weekend marks the highly anticipated game against Iowa, an event that the players should be looking forward to after last year's shocking loss. Every fan is pumped for the game, and the boys should be aching for revenge against the Hawkeyes. Regardless of how they played the first three games, many of the fans are hoping that the Lions step it up and play to their potential from here on out.