College football capsule: Temple at Idaho


College football capsule: Temple at Idaho

The Temple Owls are in search of their first win of the 2013 season and likely a sack of potatoes:

Temple (0-2, 0-1 American) at Idaho (0-4)
Kibbie Dome - Moscow, Idaho
Saturday, 5 p.m., Altitude TV (Direct TV 681)

Temple (-7.5). The Owls are 1-2 against the spread this season, 0-1 as a favorite.

Scouting Temple
Temple had a bye week to try to forget its miserable loss to FCS Fordham two Saturdays ago. The Owls went through three quarterbacks and two kickers and still managed to take the lead twice in the fourth quarter. But the defense gave up a 29-yard touchdown pass with four seconds remaining, coughing up the lead for good.

Over the bye week, head coach Matt Rhule has made several changes to his depth chart.

Starting at quarterback, Connor Reilly remains under center, but true freshman P.J. Walker, who burned his redshirt against Fordham, is now the No. 2. He moved ahead of senior Clinton Granger, who went 6-for-15 for 58 yards and two turnovers in the first half of that contest.

Changes along the line protecting Reilly include sophomore Zach Hooks, who's back at right tackle ahead of senior Sean Boyle, freshman Dion Dawkins, starting at right guard over senior Pete White, and redshirt freshman Brendan McGowan, at left guard ahead of senior Jeff Whittingham. Call it a youth movement. Cody Booth, by the way, is back at left tackle.

At tight end, Chris Coyer is now No. 1, as Romond Deloatch is potentially done for the season with an ankle injury.

Switching to the other side of the ball, sophomore middle linebacker Nate D. Smith appears to have made a permanent change to defensive end. Smith, a promising recruit, was stuck behind Jarred Alwan and Rob Dvoracek at MLB, before vacating the pass rushing role of Sean Daniels, who recently underwent season-ending hernia surgery.

The only other change includes sophomore Matt Ioannidis starting at defensive tackle over senior Kamal Johnson.

Scouting Idaho
It's a team without a conference -- or much talent.

Idaho has lost its four games this season by a combined 169-51. The Vandals have let up at least 40 points in each of their losses. Their margin of defeat has been by at least 32 points in three of those four losses. Their best performance came on Sept. 14 in a 45-35 loss to Northern Illinois, which is actually astounding.

But for all of Idaho's defensive issues, it's actually one spot ahead of Temple in yards given up this season. The Owls' 529 per game ranks 119th in the nation (see story), and the Vandals' 520 come in at 118.

As far as scoring goes, Idaho (again, astoundingly) hung 35 on Northern Illinois. Otherwise, the Vandals have put up totals of six, 10 and zero.

This isn't Russia, is it, Danny?

The Owls left for Idaho late Friday morning and flew into Lewistown, about 30 miles from Moscow.

Temple hasn't played a game this far west since the 2011 New Mexico Bowl. Otherwise, the Owls once opened the season at Arizona State in 2005. I'll spare you the details.

This particular trip spans 2,595 miles. The next longest trip Temple will take this year is to SMU in Dallas, 1,463 miles. Trips like this would have potentially been the norm had Boise State and San Diego State opted to join the American.

Some other travels notes: This is the first meeting between the two programs and will be the first game Temple has ever played in the state of Idaho, making it the 36th state the Owls have played in in the last 115 seasons. The 14 remaining states: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Oregon, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Vermont.

No. 24 Penn State looking to turn around road skid against Purdue

No. 24 Penn State looking to turn around road skid against Purdue

STATE COLLEGE, Pa.  -- National rankings and bowl games didn't matter a whole lot to Brandon Bell when the linebacker committed to Penn State, a program then under unprecedented NCAA sanctions.

Four years later, the usually stoic linebacker found himself considering his team's sudden ascension Tuesday after its biggest win in front of more than 107,000 fans and a national audience.

"It's great, definitely," Bell said. "It's definitely not over though."

With five games left, No. 24 Penn State (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten) can make a run at a conference championship but faces plenty of hurdles.

Before considering they'd need No. 2 Michigan and No. 6 Ohio State to lose some games, the Nittany Lions first need to find their game away from the friendly raucous of Beaver Stadium. They've lost seven straight true road games and eight of 10 since 2014 but can turn that around against Purdue (3-4, 1-3) with a win at Ross-Ade Stadium.

A player who enjoys being smack-talked and says he thrives on hostile energy, Bell has always liked the challenge of playing on the road. Bell's played in all but two of those road games and said the trick is to maintain your energy level throughout the game, something that's easier to do with an atmosphere like the one Penn State last played in.

With Ross-Ade Stadium less than half the size of their facility, Penn State coach James Franklin said players will have to "bring their own juice."

Penn State players know they'll need it. Some had already taken notice of Purdue before taking the field following a massive pyrotechnics display on Saturday night. As he waited to head over to the stadium, tight end Mike Gesicki watched parts of Purdue's 27-14 loss to No. 8 Nebraska.

"I think that people are kind of disrespecting Purdue," Gesicki said. "They gave Nebraska a very tough time in the first half and Nebraska is obviously one of the toughest teams in the country."

And one that plays an offensive style Penn State hasn't faced yet.

Purdue quarterback David Blough has passed for more than 767 yards with seven touchdowns in his last two games. He completed nearly 60 percent of his throws against Nebraska working Purdue's short and intermediate passing game in its first game since Darrell Hazell was fired.

"These type of teams, they kind of pass it to open up the run," Bell said. "At the same time, definitely got to be more read-oriented on the wide receivers and tight ends. The team's going to try to make you look this way and then throw it back this way. Definitely got to be able to keep your head on a swivel."

Interim coach Gerad Parker will coach his second game after changing up the Boilermakers' approach in the wake of Hazell's Oct. 16 dismissal.

"Change has happened, so we changed a lot of things in our routine," Parker said. "You need to demand out of yourself that you believe and think a different way, that the mind's a powerful thing and then take off and move faster out on that practice field so you'll move faster during the game."

Despite its road woes, Penn State's practice plan won't change, although Franklin altered his schedule due to a funeral on Tuesday. He did opt for one adjustment earlier in the week, however. On Sunday, Franklin sat in on the offensive and defensive meetings to make sure the postgame excitement from the Ohio State win had died down.

"We don't need to change our approach on the back end, and you know, it's business as usual for us," Franklin said. "It was a great game. It was a great environment and it was great to see our players go out and play well and it was great to see the fans enjoy it so much, and our alumni and Lettermen and all those things. But again, it's on to the next game."


Ex-Penn State TE Brent Wilkerson gets probation for indecent assault

USA Today Images

Ex-Penn State TE Brent Wilkerson gets probation for indecent assault

BELLEFONTE, Pa. — A former Penn State football player will serve five years' probation and register as a sex offender after pleading guilty to indecent assault.

Twenty-two-year-old Brent Wilkerson was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty in connection with a February outing to several bars with a young woman and others.

Police say Wilkerson was drunk but the woman was sober when he insisted on making sure she got home safe.

The woman tells police Wilkerson pushed her upstairs to her bedroom where he fell asleep. The woman says she went to bed later and woke up to find Wilkerson kissing and fondling her and fondling himself. He later apologized in a text message.

Wilkerson was kicked off the team in March. Court records say he lives in Clinton, Maryland.