Anderson is X-Factor Against PSU

Hopefully, Matt Rhule has sat down with Robby and impressed upon him all those hand gestures that were legal 2 years ago are now 15-yard penalties.

When a school like Penn State regularly attracts over 100,000 fans to each of its home football games, the business of previewing every game both in print and on the internet is a lucrative one.

Newspapers are sold and site counters go out of control with every mention of each matchup with host Temple on Saturday. All of the things written about this game, almost none of them mention a guy that just about everyone will be talking about afterward and that is Temple wide receiver Robby Anderson. Only by Wednesday did Penn Live even mention him and that was a fine piece by a great writer named David Jones.

MEMPHIS, TN - NOVEMBER 30: Robbie Anderson #19 of the Temple Owls catches a touchdown pass against Andrew Gaines #28 of the Memphis Tigers on November 30, 2013 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee. Temple beat Memphis 41-21. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

MEMPHIS, TN – NOVEMBER 30: Robbie Anderson #19 of the Temple Owls catches a touchdown pass against Andrew Gaines #28 of the Memphis Tigers on November 30, 2013 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee. Temple beat Memphis 41-21. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

Black Shoe Diaries, one of the best blogs ever, did a 1,000-word story on the matchups and did not even mention Robinson’s name.

The largely Penn State-focused press can certainly be forgiven for overlooking Anderson, since they have never seen him play, but many in Philadelphia have and are anxious to see him in action again. Anderson is the kind of weapon Temple fans are more than content to roll out at kickoff (3:30 EST, ESPN). Almost all of the Penn State-centric previews have focused on a repeat of last year’s matchups.

Anderson, who flunked out of Temple in January of 2014 as Robbie before his current resurrection and change of first-name spelling to Robby, brings a whole different dynamic to this one. When fans last saw him, in the 2013 finale at Memphis, he dominated the game, catching three touchdown passes in a 41-21 win. Memphis would go on to win the AAC last year.  That day, even though the Tigers rolled their coverages over to his side, they could not stop him.

It was the exclamation point on a spectacular 10-game season for the 6-3, 190-pound receiver, who caught 44 passes for 791 yards for nine touchdowns and averaged 18 yards-per-catch—the second highest average among all 126 FBS teams. Anderson has a remarkable skill set which includes a 44-inch vertical leap, sub-4.5-speed in the 40-yard dash and moves of a premier punt returner in the open field. In fact, he is also Temple’s starting punter returner this season.

Anderson’s late start  in 2013 can be chalked up to the fact that he was a defensive back in the spring and had to take care of family matters in Florida before rejoining the team later in the 2013 season. Just before a game at Idaho, Temple coaches tried him out at wide receiver and found that he and then true freshman quarterback P.J. Walker formed a cosmic connection and the rest was history.

Anderson will be on display for the nation to see on Saturday and, afterward, the question Penn State fans will be asking of their media is why they never heard of him.

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29 thoughts on “Anderson is X-Factor Against PSU

  1. This is one of the Owls best chances to beat PSU in a my lifetime. Because of their defense and the fact they have real weapons in the receiving ranks the Owls could pull off this upset. Go owls….and don’t screw up the kicking game.

  2. This is the big game. The one that can show whether Temple has turned the corner. Some of us have been waiting for this game since Hardin was hired.

    • Hopefully, as “Matt” said in the press conference yesterday, the moment is not too big for this team. He doesn’t think it is. Neither do I. P.J. is a prime-time player who was the victim of some brutal coaching schemes that left him more unprotected than a rich guy who accidentally wanders into Compton.

    • Im excited to see Anderson play. I’m excited about TU’s whole squad. I’m a philly fan so I’ll be rooting for both teams Saturday. I hope TU gets 9/10 wins and gets that stadium built

      • not allowed to root for both teams on saturday. 🙂 if you are on the fence, root for history to be made for the first time since 1941. I don’t even know how rooting for both teams works. I never went to an athletic event of any kind rooting for both teams. Do Eagles and Cowboy fans go to that game rooting for both teams? I think not.

  3. PSU fan here. We’re aware of Anderson, and Jennings too. Curious as to why neither is listed as a starter.

  4. “Penn State saw nothing like this last year.” C’mon.

    3 of the top 41 picks in last year’s draft were WRs PSU played against last year (Perriman–UCF, Smith-OSU, Funchess-Michigan). Those 3 players averaged 3.7 catches for 52.7 yards and 0.3 TD. They didn’t do poorly by any means, but look at those numbers. PSU made some extremely talented WRs look very average last year. And PSU returns both corners from last year’s secondary.

    Anderson is a good talent, an NFL talent, but if you’re expecting PSU to be blown away at his ability or him to just run roughshod over PSU’s secondary, that’s expecting a lot.

    • He played against Perryman in 2013. Even the UCF writers will tell you that Anderson was far and away the better player in that game. Roughshod? I expect him to catch 3 TD passes if he doesn’t do a very Temple-like thing and get hurt on a punt return in the first half. Remember, he 2010, Bernard Pierce was running roughshod over PSU before breaking his ankle in the first half. Don’t know why Kareem Ali cannot return punts. Or Nate L. .Smith.

  5. PSU 31- Temple 13.., PSU corners run 4.4s and will cover Anderson one-on-one.., if Anderson scores it will be by PR.., look for PSU to be able to run the football against Temple and stay out of 3rd and long. They ran for over 280 yards last year and they are bigger and better up front

    Temple will not be able to run against PSU and will be faced with 3rd and long all day

  6. Robby will get open, by I am concerned that Temple can’t stop the run. Mike, anything you see different in that respect? Looks like same “D” that gave up a ton of yards to PSU last year.

    • With Ioanndis, walton and robinson up the middle (and Tyler and Alwan behind them), not that concerned about stopping the run. we got fouled up on the run because we played so passively against Hack last yr. go after him and the running backs in the backfield; don’t sit back on your heels and wait for them to come to you.

  7. Mike – Thanks for all you do. What do you see as A. Jennings role this week. Will he be a key factor, based upon what you have noticed in camp and up to this point?

    • thanks, wayne, you do not know how much something like that means to me (a lot) … key factor will be our small ends not being pushed around on running plays. Nate D is as tough as they come so I think they will try sweeps around the other side. I trust P.J. and Robby and think somehow they will kickstart a running game.Robby change s the whole dynamic. we did not have a player they feared last year. Fearing him make Romond and John Christopher and Colin that much more effective. As Bart Scott would say, can’t wait.

  8. Wayne – Thank you for all you do. What role do you see A. Jennings playing in this matchup? Will he be a key component based upon what you have seen in camp and up to this point. Thanks.

  9. Conference takes a hit- FIU beats Central Florida

  10. I’m loving the end zones at the Linc. Temple spelt out in diamonds! Beautiful throw back.

  11. Sorry Mike, I didn’t take a picture.

  12. I saw the endzones last night at halftime of the Eagles game. Channel 10 had an overhead shot of the Linc during a short news update.

    It looks outstanding! I’m pumped for the game big time. Can’t wait for kickoff.

  13. I’m extremely optimistic and bullish, Temple will have a good season and go to a bowl.

    But you guys are intoxicated on hope., PSU is on the verge of being a great college team. They have talent at the skill positions, have a pro QB, and are big, physical and nasty on both lines. This is a home game for them as they will have over 35,000 fans in the Linc. Our defensive ends will be completely worn out by halftime, great teams exploit weaknesses. Expect PSU to run off tackle all game long and amass more rushing yards than last year.

    This will be an embarrassing game for Temple as their fans will starting leaving the stadium by the end of the 3rd quarter and the game will end in a sea of blue and white. The images will be devastating and expect Rhule to panic going into next week in preparation for Cincy.

    Final score PSU 31 – Temple 13

  14. Remember, Temple kept it close well into the 3rd quarter last year until the interceptions started (4 of them). Not counting on a win but hopefully a much closer game barring mistakes (penalties, fumbles, interceptions, bad time out calls, etc.) and first-and-ones HAVE to be converted and playing and coaching solidly to the end of the game. That’s the kind of stuff that shows a team is mature and improving. I also look at the fact that PSU lost 6 games last year but beat Temple pretty soundly. To me the interceptions and PSUs run game were the difference last year. But it’ll be fun. Go Temple. And BTW, if you’re from PA you can’t lose in this matchup, but I’m rooting only for the Owls.

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