That is Temple’s record against Penn State.
October 18, 1941.
That is the last time Temple beat Penn State.
The Philadelphia media tries to make it into a rivalry but does it really qualify as one?
When something is good, we try to tear it down. When something is poor, we try to build it up.
That’s clearly the case with these two programs.
Temple students try to make it a rivalry. Over 10,000 of them showed up at Lincoln Financial Field for the Penn State game last year. That was the largest student turnout EVER for a Temple football game.
Of course, that’s more than show up at the rest of the Owls’ home games combined, but that’s a whole other story.
The students – like the players on the team itself – have a collective chip on their shoulder when it comes to Penn State. The players feel they weren’t recruited by Penn State and want to show how good they are.
“I think what happens is obviously our roster is filled with a majority of Pennsylvania players,” said Temple coach Steve Addazio. “And Penn State was Penn State, so every guy on our roster didn’t get recruited by Penn State. So they come in here, and you know, [playing Penn State] is a measuring stick.”
3-37-1. How’s that for a measuring stick?
Many of the Temple students don’t like Penn State either. It could be for a variety of reasons - maybe they don’t like the attention the school gets, or maybe they didn’t get accepted at Penn State and harbor resentment.
Whatever the reason, it’s pretty clear there is a lot of venom and vitriol hurled toward the Nittany Lions and their fans.
Despite the enthusiasm for its own team and the hatred of PSU, last year’s record turnout, like previous generations of Temple students, saw another loss to Penn State.
It was a close, competitive football game like some of the ones that preceded it. Temple has played Penn State to the wire on multiple occasions - at the Linc, at the Vet and at Franklin Field. In addition to last year’s close game, you can go back through the records and find 26-25 and 31-30 victories by the Nittany Lions.
Clearly, Temple has had competitive teams.
But Temple has also had some terrible teams. Let’s not forget the Owls were actually kicked out of the Big East for being so terrible and for drawing so few fans.
Some of the worst teams in Penn State history still had wins over Temple.
That being said, everybody has to recognize Temple is getting better. In fact, Temple’s ascendance as a program can be directly attributed to one person - Al Golden. Golden, of course, is a Penn Stater.
Clearly, Steve Addazio has continued that success and the Owls are a serious threat.
Can Temple beat Penn State this year? Of course.
But is this a real rivalry?
It will take more than one win in 60 years for Penn State to drum up the same emotion that Temple generates for the game.
It may be a big game for Temple, but it’s just another non-conference game for Penn State. The biggest bonus is that away games in the series are just like home games.
If Temple wants an in-state rival, maybe it should look across the city instead of across the state.
The Owls should worry about beating Villanova regularly before they can count on being a true rival of Penn State’s.
There’s a reason that the series sees two out of every three games played at Beaver Stadium. There’s a reason that every time the game is played in Philadelphia there are more Penn State fans there than there are Temple fans.
There’s a reason this is NOT a rivalry.