After reviewing the film of Saturday's 34-27 loss at Penn State, Temple coach Matt Rhule saw mixed results from his veteran players.

Rhule liked the way the passing game got into a rhythm, with Phillip Walker throwing for a season-high 286 yards and nine players catching at least one pass.

"Our quarterback and wide receivers played as well as they have played," Rhule said Monday during an American Athletic Conference call with coaches.

Rhule didn't need to watch the film to realize how subpar the special teams were, especially early in the game. The Owls also had 13 penalties for 118 yards.

The return of running back Jahad Thomas, who missed the first two games with a dislocated thumb, gave the offense a spark. But the running game still hasn't hit its stride. Against Penn State, Temple averaged just 1.4 yards per carry.

Going into the season, one of the better units on the team figured to be the linebackers. But Rhule was disappointed in the play of that group against Penn State. The starters are redshirt seniors Stephaun Marshall and Avery Williams and senior Jarred Alwan.

"I didn't feel anybody in the linebacker position played well" Saturday, Rhule said.

The three veterans combined for 14 tackles.

Rhule said that cornerbacks Nate Hairston, Derrek Thomas, and Artrel Foster did well. But he wasn't as pleased with the safeties, who he said gave up too many big plays.

As for injuries, redshirt freshman guard Jovahn Fair hurt his ankle, and Rhule said he would know more Tuesday about his status.

Tight end Colin Thompson played against Penn State despite an injury, and Rhule expects him to be ready this week.

One young player who pleased Rhule was highly touted defensive lineman Karamo Dioubate, a freshman from Philadelphia's Prep Charter.

On Saturday, Temple (1-2) will host Charlotte (1-2) in homecoming at Lincoln Financial Field.

Charlotte is coming off a 37-19 loss to Eastern Michigan. Temple won at Charlotte, 37-3, last year.

After this week, Temple will be finished with its nonleague schedule. So this game is a chance for the younger players and veterans to make a final impression before the Owls begin their AAC schedule Oct. 1 against visiting Southern Methodist.

mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard