The Penn State football game notes are attached for Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. ET season opener at Temple. The game will air on ESPN, the Penn State Sports Network and www.GoPSUsports.com.
Web release: http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/083115aae.html
Penn State will face one of its most familiar foes to open its 129th year of football, opening its season at Temple for the first time since 1978.
This will be the 44th meeting between the Nittany Lions and Owls on the football field, with Penn State looking to continue its 39-game winning streak in the series that dates back to 1943. Penn State most recently defeated Temple in Beaver Stadium last season, 30-13, and traveled to Philadelphia in 2011 for a 14-10 victory.
The Blue and White enter the 2015 season opener with eight returning starters on offense and and seven from its vaunted defense which ranked amongst the best in the nation last season. Senior defensive tackle Anthony Zettel leads the group, garnering both preseason All-America and All-Big Ten honors.
Junior quarterback Christian Hackenberg enters the season poised to re-write the Penn State record books. He needs just 12 completions to tie Matt McGloin for second all-time in the category. He will be supported by talented and deep running back corps led by junior Akeel Lynch, who finished the 2014 season on high note becoming the team’s leading rusher. DaeSean Hamilton will be among his top targets, as the sophomore enters 2015 off a spectacular and record-setting freshman campaign.
Joining Hackenberg and Zettel as team captains are senior center Angelo Mangiro, senior safety Jordan Lucas and junior linebacker Von Walker. Mangiro will look to anchor the offensive line, while Lucas, who is moving from cornerback to safety this season, is the unquestioned leader of the secondary.
Temple cannot be overlooked, as it will open the 2015 season with an experienced group. Twenty-one players have numerous starts, and 10 starters return to the defense, including leaders in tackles, sacks and interceptions. The offensive side returns seven starters, including at quarterback and running back. Signal caller P.J. Walker will have new targets though, with the loss of his top-two pass catchers.
After traveling across the Atlantic to open the 2014 season, the Nittany Lions will remain in-state for its first six games, as the Temple game will be followed by five consecutive home games.
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