November 20, 2014 |
It's something that Penn State coach James Franklin has said repeatedly: The key to his team's success on either side of the football starts with the guys in the trenches. The defensive line has been excellent all season, but Franklin gave a special shout-out Tuesday to his offensive line for one of its best performances of 2014 that resulted in a season-high 254 yards rushing and a 30-13 win over Temple on Saturday. At his weekly news conference, Franklin credited the return of the Nittany Lions' two most experienced offensive linemen - redshirt junior tackle Donovan Smith and fifth-year senior guard Miles Dieffenbach - with a major assist to the running game, which ranks last in the Big Ten Conference.
November 16, 2014 |
Downingtown East's offense did not huddle until the waning minutes of Friday night's District 1 Class AAAA quarterfinal at Quakertown. When the Cougars finally did, it was simply to run down the clock in a 21-0 victory. The fast-paced Cougars wore down Quakertown's defensive line, rushing the ball 30 times for 120 yards. Keith Conner ran for a pair of touchdowns. East's defense allowed just one first down, which came on the game's first drive. Tight end Cary Angeline racked up 128 first-half receiving yards.
November 8, 2014 |
SO, ARE ALL successes created equal? Before knocking off East Carolina last Saturday in rainy South Philly, Temple (5-3, 3-2 American Athletic Conference) hadn't beaten a nationally ranked opponent since 1998. Even though it had 34 chances. So that has to be something, right? Yet in the overall scheme, maybe not as much as most of us outside the locker room would surmise. "I think you need every win," said junior defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis, one of several players whom coach Matt Rhule singled out for their selflessness in helping to make the victory possible over the Pirates, who were ranked 23rd in the College Football Playoff poll.
November 6, 2014 |
IT'S HARD TO DO a meaningful midseason report card on a team that just lost its starting quarterback and its defensive leader. The main purpose of these evaluations isn't so much to recap what happened, but to assess where the team is going, to take its temperature at the midpoint. We were getting ready to do that, going into Game 8, and then the Eagles bit through the thermometer. Nevertheless, here are some ideas on where the NFC East leaders stand halfway through 2014: Stuff that is way better than we'd dared to hope when the season began: * Special teams.
November 2, 2014 |
Temple entered Saturday's game knowing it had to get pressure on East Carolina quarterback Shane Carden, and it did, keeping the hot quarterback off his rhythm and holding him without a touchdown pass for the first time this season. The defensive line came up with a huge game, accounting for all four sacks of Carden. "Coach [Matt] Rhule challenged us at the beginning of the week and said this is going to be a great week for the defensive line," said defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis, who had three tackles and 11/2 sacks.
November 1, 2014 |
FLETCHER COX' value to the Eagles' defense can't be measured in statistics. The third-year defensive end is seventh on the team in tackles, but that means nothing. He doesn't have any of his team's 19 quarterback sacks, but that really doesn't mean much either. "I can't say enough about Fletcher Cox and what he's done for our pass rush," defensive coordinator Bill Davis said. "We talk about it all the time. When the sack numbers weren't up and we said there were guys making [the quarterback]
October 17, 2014 |
ABOUT THIS time a year ago, there were at least a few Temple folks wondering if Matt Rhule was the right guy to coach the Owls' football team. And definitely many more than a few who were questioning Rhule's choice of making well-traveled veteran Phil Snow his defensive coordinator. But that's what can happen when you lose your first six and opponents keep converting long passes at the end of a lot of those games to erase whatever good had come before. "My oldest boy said, 'Dad, do you read message boards?
October 17, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE - Six games into the college football season, Penn State coach James Franklin is still talking about things that need to be fixed. No team is perfect, but the issues confronting the Nittany Lions (4-2, 1-2 Big Ten) aren't encouraging this deep into the season. Saddled with a vulnerable offensive line, halfhearted commitment to the running game and an offense that has been a far cry from consistent, the Penn State defense has carried this team. With exception to its Sept.
October 11, 2014 |
In those fleeting moments when Temple linebacker Tyler Matakevich and backup Michael Felton can catch up with each other on the sideline during games, the two exchange information that they know will benefit both. "It's key," said Matakevich, who leads the Owls' voracious defense with 26 tackles. "He's watching me, and I'm watching him. We tell each other what we see and what we need to do. " It's the type of conversation that many defensive starters for Temple - looking to improve to 4-1 for just the third time since 1979 - are having much more regularly this season than last.
October 10, 2014 |
RAHEEM BROCK (Dobbins Tech) and Dan Klecko were teammates on the defensive line at Temple for a couple of seasons at the turn of the century, and then again with an Indianapolis Colts team in 2006 that won the Super Bowl. So now maybe it's only right that they're part of the six-person class being inducted into the university's Athletics Hall of Fame, a group that also includes the late football coach Ray Morrison (1940-48). They'll be introduced - along with field hockey's Michelle Murawski (1997-2000)