Originally written on Nittany Lions Den  |  Last updated 11/12/14


The next game is always the most important. As tired as the cliché is, it appears to be true for the Penn State football team.

We know that this game is always one that Temple circles on its calendar. However, if Penn State wants to have a shot at a winning season, this game had better be one that it is focused on as well.

The Nittany Lions (1-2), after two difficult losses to start the season, are coming off a dominating win over Navy. They will find out Saturday against the Owls if indeed they have righted the ship.

The Owls enter the contest 1-1 with a win over Villanova and a loss to Maryland in the first two weeks. They also had an extra week to prepare for Penn State after having last week off.

Temple gave Penn State all they could handle last year in Philadelphia and it would be surprising if this game was anything but a tight one.

The Owls did not look good early against a poor Maryland team and their second-half rally came up short. There’s little question they will be ready from the opening kickoff this week.

Temple coach Steve Addazio talked earlier in the week about the importance of this game to the Owls’ players and to the program.

“I think what happens is obviously our roster is filled with a majority of Pennsylvania players,” Addazio said. “And Penn State was Penn State, so every guy on our roster didn’t get recruited by Penn State. So they come in here, and you know, [playing Penn State} is a measuring stick.”

Expect a big effort from Temple.

With the Big Ten schedule looming ahead, Penn State can ill afford a loss this week. If a winning season is in the cards, it would seem a win against Temple is critical.

The Lions certainly looked better against Navy – but, then again, it was a poor Navy team.

Despite a 29-game winning streak against Temple, Penn State coach Bill O’Brien expects tough game.

“At no point in time do I ever address winning streaks,” O’Brien said. “That has nothing to do with this game. Every year is different. I don’t know what they were like in 1940, but win 2012 this is an excellent Temple team with a bunch of good players. This is a good football team. These guys had, what, five or six guys off last year’s team get drafted. Looks like they have a bunch of draft picks on this team right now.

“So I don’t know about the series or win streaks or anything. All I know is that it is going to be a very, very tough football game on Saturday.”

Temple desperately wants a win over Penn State and Penn State desperately needs a win to keep its hopes of a good season alive.

That kind of desperation, combined with rosters that aren’t that far apart in talent, generally leads to good games.

It would be surprising if either team scored a ton of points. I do, however, look for the Nittany Lions to get a few more and even their record at 2-2 heading into the Big 10 opener at Illinois.

Prediction: Penn State 17, Temple 14.

Marty Valania covers football for nittanylionsden.com. Follow him @EastRecruiting on Twitter.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Short selling leaves hundreds of fans without S.B. tickets

Hamilton, Edmonds' spouses to appear on 'Real Housewives'

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix trolls LSU over Kevin Steele hire

2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class announced


Jerome Bettis elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Report: Duncan suing financial adviser, lost $20 million

Bret Bielema wanted Dolphins to draft Russell Wilson early

Nick Diaz apologizes to fans for skipping open workout

NFLPA President compares Goodell to a 2-year-old

NFL explains how Super Bowl balls will be prepped

Sabres had a horrific month of January

Ole Miss uses Katy Perry as prop in recruiting

PHOTO: Ezekiel Elliott gets new national title tattoo

WATCH: Rondo takes brutal knee to face from teammate

Pig auctioned off at halftime of college basketball game

Should the Super Bowl be played on a Saturday?

Underwear company shows support for Marshawn Lynch

WATCH: WVU player flips opponent the double-bird

Five NFL players who could be cap casualties in 2015

Making the case for NFL co-MVPs

WATCH: Tom Brady sings about balls being deflated

WATCH: Bruce Pearl gets warm reception in Tennessee return

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

Tim Duncan suing financial adviser?

Five likely cap casualties of 2015

Making the case for NFL co-MVPs

WATCH: Tom Brady sings about balls

Missy Elliott to join Katy Perry at SB?

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Tiger Woods, misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.