Victory wasn't much of a kick
Michael Zordich, center, bulls into the end zone with the go-ahead touchdown as Penn State rallied for a 14-10 win against Temple Saturday in Philadelphia.
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PHILADELPHIA -- Penn State's two quarterbacks barely got the job done Saturday against Temple.
And the Nittany Lions' kickers still are kicking themselves.
Penn State led for 162 seconds in beating Temple, 14-10, in front of 57,323 fans at Lincoln Financial Field.
Starting quarterback Rob Bolden engineered the first winning drive of his career as the Lions rallied to beat the Owls for the 29th consecutive time.
Penn State (2-1) converted two fourth-downs on the decisive 12-play, 44-yard drive, which was capped by fullback Michael Zordich's 1-yard plunge with 2:42 left.
"That last drive felt really good -- it was a confidence booster for me as well as my team," Bolden said. "That summed up how good we can be."
On the winning drive, which was set up by outside linebacker Michael Mauti's first career interception at the Temple 44, Bolden completed 4 of 5 passes for 33 yards.
He found wide receiver Derek Moye for an 11-yard reception on fourth-and-2 from the Temple 23 and tailback Brandon Beachum picked up 2 yards on a fourth-and-1 from the 3.
The Penn State coaching staff initially sent kicker Evan Lewis onto the field for a field-goal attempt, but changed their minds following a timeout with 3:06 remaining.
It was an easy decision, given that Lewis had earlier missed field-goal attempts of 45 and 36 yards and Sam Ficken had a try blocked from 49 yards. Also, Anthony Fera had a punt blocked.
"I just felt that that was the thing to do, even though we got to improve our kicking definitely," Penn State coach Joe Paterno said.
On the play after Beachum's fourth-down clutch conversion, Zordich found his way into the end zone. He also scored on a 1-yard run against the Owls last season to clinch a 22-13 win at Beaver Stadium.
Asked if the Lions came out of the game Saturday feeling good about their win or lucky, offensive coordinator Galen Hall said: "Probably a little of both."
Lewis and Ficken, both scholarship kickers, are a combined 1 of 6 on field-goal attempts. Lewis also missed an extra-point attempt in the opener. And punter Fera, rated the No. 2 kicker coming out of high school, missed the opener while serving a suspension for a second alcohol-related offense.
"Some days, we do kick really well [in practice], some other days we don't," Paterno said. "I wish I had the answer to [what's wrong], I'm not sure."
Bolden, who rotated with McGloin again and will do so for the foreseeable future, completed 9 of 17 passes for 92 yards with an interception against the Owls (2-1).
McGloin, who led a 7-play, 50-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter that tailback Silas Redd finished off with a 17-yard run, completed 13 of 19 passes for 124 yards.
For the third consecutive game, neither quarterback threw for a touchdown, although McGloin threw a 52-yard scoring strike to Moye in the third quarter that was called back due to a holding penalty on right tackle Chima Okoli.
Moye, a Rochester High School graduate, also felt as if he could have snagged a 17-yard pass for a score from McGloin that bounced off his hands in the end zone on Penn State's first touchdown drive.
"I thought I should have made some plays in the first half that I didn't," said Moye, who had a team-high seven catches for 112 yards. "I took it upon myself to make them in the second half."
Penn State's defense forced three second-half turnovers. In addition to Mauti's interception, cornerback Chaz Powell picked off a pass and free safety Nick Sukay, from Greensburg Central Catholic, forced a fumble.
Penn State held Temple to 197 yards offense, a 3-yard touchdown run by Bernard Pierce in the first quarter and a 40-yard field goal by Brian McManus in the second.
"Other than those two drives in there, I thought we played a good defensive football game," Paterno said.
"[But] today poor kicking offset the fact that we did a really good job in coming up with some turnovers."
NOTES -- Redd had 16 carries for 86 yards and scored his fourth rushing touchdown this season. ... Wide receiver Justin Brown had six catches for 62 yards. ... Moye had two punt returns for 39 yards and 151 all-purpose yards. ... Bolden was 4 of 6 passing on third downs and 1 of 1 on fourth down. ... Defensive tackle Devon Still and defensive end Sean Stanley each had a sack. ... Mauti and Still led the Lions with six tackles each.
First Published September 18, 2011 12:00 am