The celebration in the stands behind Temple's bench at the east side of Lincoln Financial Field took a while to get underway as the final minute wound down, as if the people sitting there still had difficulty believing that the Owls were going to defeat Penn State for the first time in 74 years.
Similarly, the celebration on the Temple sideline also was delayed until the gun sounded and the players poured on to the field to dance around. It turned out, however, that this was the way Owls coach Matt Rhule wanted it because it showed, he said, that his team expected to win.
Saturday's win might not have been a surprise to the Owls, but the way in which Temple dominated the Nittany Lions in a season-opening, 27-10 victory before a record crowd of 69,176 was totally stunning, unexpected, and something that the Temple fans who remained inside the Linc for a long time afterward may never forget.
"Not that our guys just came back, there was no finger-pointing," Rhule, a Penn State player in the late 1980s, said of an early 10-0 deficit. "They just kept fighting and fighting. I was really proud of the fact they didn't celebrate until the game was over. They didn't act like they didn't expect to win."
Junior running back Jahad Thomas rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns. Fellow junior P.J. Walker scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard run late in the third quarter, completed 15 of 20 passes, and smoothly controlled the game against the highly touted Nittany Lions defense.
The Temple defense completely shut down the Lions after the visitors took a 10-0 lead their first two possessions - Joey Julius' 34-yard field goal and Akeel Lynch's 42-yard run. Penn State gained 124 yards on the first two drives and just 56 yards on their final 13 possessions.
The nightmare for Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg carried over from last season. Hackenberg, touted in the offseason as a possible first-round NFL draft choice, finished just 11 of 25 for 103 yards.
The junior suffered 10 sacks, three of them by all-American Athletic Conference linebacker Tyler Matakevich. After allowing 44 sacks last season, all of them involving Hackenberg, the Penn State offensive line exhibited little if any growth on Saturday.
"Our best five are playing," Penn State coach James Franklin said. "The guys that are backing them up are redshirt freshmen that we don't feel at this time are ready. We'll look at it, and obviously there will be adjustments we are going to have to make."
Temple's victory ended 39 games of frustration against the state's predominant football program. The Owls' last victory, 14-0, came in 1941. Penn State won the next seven games before a 7-7 tie in 1950, and then ripped off 31 victories in a row. There were some close contests, especially in the Lions' last trip to the Linc, in 2011, when a late touchdown clinched a 14-10 victory.
There was nothing close about Saturday's contest.
"We've got enough players out there that, at any moment of the game, can go out there and make a play," Walker said. "I felt that if we scored we were going to get hot. We all realized that we've got to stay humble and just keep going out there playing."
The Owls started slowly but found their offense on a 93-yard drive capped by Thomas' 1-yard run that made it 10-7 at the half. After Austin Jones kicked a 40-yard field goal, Temple capitalized on an interception and 26-yard return by linebacker Sharif Finch, going in front for good on the Walker TD.
Thomas scored his second touchdown on a 24-yard run with just over 11 minutes to play.
Rhule talked about how happy he was for his players, former Owls, former coaches, and Temple fans. But he emphasized his team will go right back to work Sunday preparing for a vital AAC game Friday night at Cincinnati.
"It won't help us if we lose next week," he said. "It's like when we beat Maryland [two years ago], and we were feeling really good. Then Toledo came in here and put it on us. So that is the truest test of where I think we are, how we play next week."