STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Memo to Penn State opponents: Sean Lee is looking like an all-American again.

That is not good for Temple, which faces the Nittany Lions on Saturday at Beaver Stadium.

The fifth-year senior outside linebacker missed last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

The presence of the 6-foot-2, 236-pounder gives the Nittany Lions (2-0) a decided advantage. The play of the 2007 Pro Football Weekly all-American has helped them climb in the rankings: The Nittany Lions are fifth in the Associated Press (tied with Mississippi) and USA Today polls.

"He reminds me very much of [Jack] Ham," said Penn State coach Joe Paterno, comparing Lee to the former Penn State great and Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Famer. "I think Ham was a step faster, but Sean's in the same league."

Through two games, Lee leads the team in three categories: total tackles, with 20; solo stops, with 11; and tackles for losses, with five. He also has a sack.

The cocaptain recorded 13 tackles and the sack in Saturday's 28-7 victory over Syracuse. The Pittsburgh native had six solo stops - three for losses - and seven assists.

He wasn't totally satisfied with that performance, however.

"I missed a tackle," said Lee, whose 259 career stops rank ninth in school history. "It would have been a tackle for a loss. . . . But I feel good."

That's because he's readjusting to things more quickly than he expected to. Another positive is his health.

"I don't feel like my knee is a problem out there," he said. "I'm excited that I physically feel so good."

That could lead to a miserable afternoon for Temple (0-1).

Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at 610-313-8029 or kpompey@phillynews.com.