UNIVERSITY PARK - Justin Gildea will remember his final game at Penn State for the rest of his life, and the result will always bother him.
Saturday's game marked the final chance in Gildea's Temple career to beat the in-state rival Nittany Lions.
The former Hollidaysburg standout said he was disappointed at not only the Owls' loss but also because he will not get to beat the team he grew up less than an hour away from and that never seriously recruited him.
"This is something I am going to remember my whole life and always think about it," a dejected Gildea said after the game. "It is going to be something that bugs me. You'll never forget about it. It's just tough."
The senior said he felt an increased sense of excitement and intensity throughout the week of practice and knowing that he would be playing in front of a large number of friends and family. He said once the game began it felt like any other, however.
But Saturday was clearly more than just another game to Gildea.
After being able to spend some time with a group of friends and family outside the Temple locker room after the game, Gildea commented on how nice it is to be able to have so many supporters in the stands and share some time with them.
Although the Owls took the loss, Gildea had a strong performance in his final trip to Beaver Stadium. The senior was the game's leading tackler with 10 from the safety position.
"Coming from a defensive perspective, especially, we just have to get off the field," the senior said. "There were a lot of opportunities where we could have gotten a stop and got the offense on the field, but we just didn't do that."
Penn State kept the Temple defense on the field and controlled the game with 36 minutes and 52 seconds time of possession.
And when the Owls were on offense, they failed many times to convert on key third downs and only picked up 13 first downs compared to Penn State's 27.
Temple coach Steve Addazio attributed that in large part to his team being a young and developing football squad that needs to learn how to make more plays. The coach said the building process takes time.
The Owls featured a more balanced attacked compared to their first two games when they were predominately a running team. Addazio said part of his game plan was to even up the run-to-pass ratio and take some more chances downfield.
Addazio added after the game that he would have, in hindsight, changed the playcalling during his team's final drive of the first half that stalled and led to a Penn State touchdown.
The drive started at the Temple 7-yard-line, and Addazio called three straight running plays in hope of breaking one and being able to run out the clock. Instead, Penn State used all three of its timeout and got the ball back in good field position before scoring a touchdown right before halftime.
The Lions are dealing with a slew of injuries to starters and other key personnel. Along with RB Michael Zordich's knee (see separate story): DE Sean Stanley missed Saturday's game with a back issue, and Bill O'Brien said he expects him back next week (C.J. Olaniyan started in his place and had four tackles); RBs Bill Belton (ankle), Derek Day (shoulder) and Curtis Dukes (thigh) all sat out, as did OT Donovan Smith (ankle) and DE Pete Massaro (shoulder); CB Adrian Amos took a shot to the head late in the game but was able to return; OL Ty Howle returned to action after suffering a torn pectoral muscle in the summer.
Student sportsmanship issue
Three times - during the pregame and also in the first quarter - the PSU student section was loudly chanting, "[Expletive] you, Temple."
In the second quarter, following a series in which PSU was called for several penalties, the students were chanting, "[Expletive] you, refs."
"Sportsmanship in general is always a concern with all our fans and our students," said PSU associate athletic director Greg Myford, who noted crowd behavior is always "an ongoing process."
"If it ever got to the point where it was a problem we would certainly address it," Myford said.
Cheers for Paterno shown on video board
Penn State's 1982 national championship team was honored at halftime, and video highlights of the Sugar Bowl win over Georgia were shown on the video board. When Joe Paterno was shown, the crowd gave a loud cheer. It was the first time the late coach's image has appeared at the stadium this season.
Area players visit
A quartet of players from the area was among the recruits who visited for Saturday's game.
Tyrone senior receiver/defensive back Charles Wilson-Adams - the reigning PIAA Class AA high jump champion - was on hand, as were two of his junior Golden Eagle teammates, defensive back Erik Wagner and running back James Oliver.
Philipsburg-Osceola junior running back/defensive lineman Curtis Matsko was part of the 93,680 crowd, too. Matsko probably projects as a defensive end in college.
Ironically, the four local players all were on the same field Friday night, as well: Tyrone beat P-O, 60-7. Oliver scored four touchdowns and rushed for 184 yards on just 11 carries before sitting out the entire second half.
"It was cool, a crazy feeling," Oliver said when asked to describe the visit.
Oliver said Wagner received the invitation and took him and Wilson-Adams along. He said it's possible they could be making a return visit somewhere down the road.
Dunmore's 6-foot-7, 300-pound junior James McHale made it to Beaver Stadium for the second straight week; McHale is drawing interest from several Division I colleges. Another junior offensive line prospect who is being recruited by a number of big-time colleges and showed up for Saturday's game is Governor Mifflin's Connor Morehart - Morehart already has a scholarship offer from Rutgers.
Montour wide receiver Devin Wilson and Mars safety Owen Nearhoof also were part of the contingent.
News and notes
The crowd of 93,680 was the smallest since Beaver Stadium expanded above 100,000 seats in 2001. Last year's game against Eastern Michigan (95,636) had been the previous low. ... PSU's game captains were CB Stephon Morris, OT Mike Farrell and LB Michael Yancich. ... TE Paul Jones got his first career carry on the game's second play but was stopped for a 7-yard loss. ... DISH Network subscribers once again are able to watch the Big Ten Network after the two sides reached a carriage agreement Saturday. They had failed to do so in time for last week's games.