College football’s opening weekend included several ranked teams falling to unranked competition. Games, such as Northwestern over Stanford and Texas A&M over Arizona State, marked the beginning of the juggling act the committee will need to do when it releases the season’s first rankings in late October/early November.
But this past weekend was also one for the history books.
In an upset over Penn State – in which Christian Hackenberg was sacked 10 times – the Temple Owls and their 69,000 fans at Lincoln Financial Field dusted off their shoulders with a 27-10 over the Nittany Lions; Temple’s first win in 39 games against the Nittany Lions dating back to 1941.
The milestone earned the Owls AutoNation’s team of the week for their valiant effort.
Things were going smoothly for Penn State in their first two possessions (10 points in Q1), but the grass turned green for Temple, who disallowed any scoring chances for the remainder of the game.
We don't what the _____ the Penn State offense was doing in this game either. https://t.co/h3D6wFhjJa
— CFB Nation (@UofCFB) September 5, 2015
But it’d be Temple linebacker, Tyler Matakevich, who intercepted Hackenberg to set up a late-third quarter scoring drive with a passing touchdown by Temple quarterback, P.J. Walker (Temple leads 17-10 in Q3). Matakevich would finish his season opener with three sacks and a team-high seven tackles.
Temple head coach Matt Rhule commented on the win, hoping it’s the first of many to come:
“I am very proud of Temple, our fans, our students, our trustees, our president. Everybody that stuck with us and hopefully this won’t be the only highlight of the season. The reason I believe we won is because we focused on ourselves and the players bought into that and only worrying about the next play. After the game I said, ‘We won.’ It’s not about Penn State; it is about us. For our guys to do that and focus on themselves shows great maturity.”
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports