Penn State entered the week third in the Big Ten by committing only 11 penalties for 95 yards (31.7 yards per game).
The Nittany Lions leave Saturday's 24-13 win against Temple feeling like they've regressed. Oh, there were plenty of positives in Penn State's win. Matt McGloin threw for a career-high 318 yards, he got the tight ends involved, the rushing game was solid and Penn State's defense stifled Temple quarterback Chris Coyer.
But it took a while for Penn State to break away -- despite a nearly 15 minute advantage in time of possession.
Penn State committed nine penalties for 100 yards. It was the most penalties against the Nittany Lions being penalized for 100 yards in 2000 against Louisiana Tech.
"We have got to do a better job on that," rookie coach Bill O'Brien said. "We have to look at the tape and coach that up better. The one thing we pride ourselves on after the first three games was doing a better job of not being penalized. We took a step back on that."
The Nittany Lions were called on everything from false starts to illegal formation to pass interference. All but one of the penalties were committed by the offense.
The end of the second quarter as particularly troubling, especially when the Nittany Lions brought the ball to the Temple 16 with four minutes remaining. But a pass interference call against tight end Kyle Carter was followed by a holding call against center Matt Stankiewitch. That brought Penn State to a first-and-30 situation on their own 36.
Some fans in the student setion began chanting, "[Expletive] you, refs!" Meanwhile O'Brien gave the ref an earful on the sideline, and at one point, almost threw off his earset.
The Nittany Lions marched on, and sealed a decisive win.
"[I thought McGloin] kept his poise a lot better than I did," O'Brien said.