Freshman QB leads No. 10 Penn St. to 49-8 rout of Temple in first start


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The drain of an uncomfortably clos win the week before and the drama of a freshman starting quarterback provided plenty of inspiration for Penn State yesterday.

The No. 10 Nittany Lions, behind strong-armed Wally Richardson, danced past Temple, 49-8, at Beaver Stadium. That pushed Penn State's record to 2-0 after a tight 24-20 opening win at Cincinnati.

"That Cincinnati game was a big lesson for the whole team," said Lions defensive tackle Tyoka Jackson, who had three of his team's four sacks and five tackles, all unassisted, against the Owls (1-1).

Penn State learned that it had to shore up a leaky defense. More important, it discovered its offense could function without the quarterbacks who had been expected to lead the way this season.

Richardson, a 6-foot-4, 211-pounder from Sumter, S.C., was 10-of-19 passing for 164 yards and a touchdown in his first start. He also ran 1 yard for a TD.

Those final numbers were tempered by a rough start for Richardson. He overthrew, underthrew or misjudged several passes during the first few series.

"He's got all the arm he needs," said Penn State coach Joe Paterno after starting a freshman at quarterback for just the second time in his 27 years here. "We were a little ragged there to begin with, but when he settled down, he looked pretty good."

His favorite target was O.J. McDuffie, who had six receptions for 118 yards.

Injuries to the top three quarterbacks forced Richardson to quickly climb the depth chart. He got his first taste of action in the second quarter against Cincinnati.

"Wally played excellent, and we had complete confidence in him," said tailback Richie Anderson, who rushed 12 times for 103 yards and two TDs yesterday. That pushed Anderson's career yardage to 1,042, making him the 26th player in Lions history to reach 1,000.

Although both offenses sputtered early, Penn State went ahead 7-0 on Anderson's 15-yard -- in the first quarter. It was 16-0 at halftime after Richardson's 1-yard plunge and Craig Fayak's 21-yard field goal.

Fayak's 12th straight successful field goal, a 22-yarder, Anderson's 34-yard scoring run and Mike Archie's 15-yard scoring pass from Richardson put it out of reach at 35-0 after three quarters.

Penn State's subs kept it going in the fourth. Scoring runs of 11 yards by Stephen Pitts and 2 yards by Ki-Jana Carter made it 49-0 before Temple's Sam Jenkins ran 3 yards to score late in the fourth quarter.

The Owls were held to 197 yards of total offense. Temple coach Jerry Berndt alternated Chris Paliscak and Marc Baxter at quarterback, but all the time his admiration for Richardson was growing.

"You could see him [Richardson] gain that confidence as the game went on," Berndt said. "I think if it had been reversed -- if we had gone up 14- or 16-0 -- I think you would have seen a lot more confidence in our quarterbacks."

In keeping with its policy that freshmen are off-limits to the media, Penn State did not make Richardson available for comment.

Someone might have asked him if he thinks he has earned the start next Saturday against Eastern Michigan, regardless of the status of quarterbacks Kerry Collins, John Sacca or Matt Nardolillo, who played in the waning moments yesterday.

Paterno declined to address any quarterback controversy. "I want to be fair to everybody," he said.

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