Pretty pedestrian stuff this week, except Matt’s answer when someone asked him if John Christopher was returning punts (16:05 time stamp): “I really have nobody else right now, to be honest with you.” I guess he forgot Nate L. Smith’s terrific return on the last punt of the Memphis game.
Years of watching and trying to predict outcomes of Temple football (and other NCAA) games have taught me two things:
Stay away from Transitive Property as the sole tool. TP is the theory that if Team A beat Team B and Team C beat Team A than Team C Will Beat Team B as well.
Look at matchups first.
We’ve detailed a couple of reasons why we’re picking Temple to beat Penn State all this week and none reference Transitive Property. I think Temple will win because Temple’s defensive line should disrupt Christian Hackenberg enough to cause at least one game-changing sack and fumble and at least one game-changing pick. Two of each or more would be nice, but I’m not greedy.
That’s a matchup working in Temple’s favor.
Another is that Penn State’s extremely disciplined defense runs into trouble against dual threat quarterbacks like P.J. Walker and I think Walker is a gamer and a winner who will turn enough third and eights into first and 10s with his feet. Hackenberg, on the other hand, is not capable of that. P.J. is also capable of scrambling around and finding sure-handed guys like Romond Deloatch and Keith Kirkwood on busted plays, assuming the Temple coaches are sure-headed enough to have those two targets in the game. If Hackenberg ran around on similar-type plays, chances are better than even Sharif Finch or Praise Martin-Oguike would have caught up to him.
That’s another matchup working in Temple’s favor.
Good thing because Transitive Property, at least in head-to-head matchups, does not favor the Owls. UCF beat Temple, 34-14, and Penn State beat UCF, 26-24.
On the other hand, Penn State “only” beat Akron, 21-3, and I’ve got to believe Temple is at least 19 points better than a team that has lost four-straight MAC games, including a 55-24 loss at old rival Buffalo. Penn State lost to a Maryland team that struggled to a 24-17 win at South Florida, which “only” beat Uconn, 17-14. (Temple beat Uconn, 36-10.) Penn State lost to Northwestern, 29-6, a week after Northwestern lost to old Temple rival NIU, 23-15.
Of course, that’s why the game is played on the field and not on paper and that, thankfully, is only a few hours away.