STATE?COLLEGE - Bill O'Brien quickly dismissed the history lesson.
When asked if he's addressed that the Nittany Lions are riding a 29-game win streak in the series with Temple, O'Brien immediately switched to the present.
"At no point in time do I ever address winning streaks," he said Tuesday. "That has nothing to do with this game. I don't know what they were like in 1940 [Temple last won in 1941], but in 2012, this is an excellent Temple team with a bunch of good players."
O'Brien noted that Temple, which led much of the way in a 14-10 loss to PSU last year, has upgraded its talent in recent years.
"It started when Al Golden went there, and Steve Addazio has done a great job of keeping it going," O'Brien said. "This is a good football team. These guys had, what five or six guys off last year's team drafted [actually three]? Looks like they got a bunch of draft picks on this football team right now. So I don't know about series or win streaks or anything. All I know is that this is going to be a very, very tough football game on Saturday."
O'Brien knows Penn State will get Temple's best shot, but he believes the Lions will match the Owls' intensity. This is one instance where not being eligible for a bowl game may help PSU's focus.
"We only have 12 games this year, so every game for us is a very, very vital football game," O'Brien said. "I mean, we're playing in front of 100,000 people here at Penn State. I would assume our players will come out with a lot of intensity. We've only got two more months to play. So I'm glad it's their Super Bowl, but this is a big game for us, like every single game this year."
PSU center Matt Stankiewitch said he played with or against many of the Owls in high school (Blue Mountain) and, "all the way back to Pee Wee and Big 33."
"They always come with an intensity," he said. "It's an in-state rivalry. They'll come with a lot of intensity and so will we."
Since the Lions got their first win of the season last week against Navy, and they'll open the Big Ten next week at Illinois, some may see this as the proverbial trap game. Stankiewitch doesn't.
"Coach O'Brien never lets us relax," he said. "He keeps our minds on the bigger picture."
For Penn State, that means getting to the .500 and taking momentum into conference play.
"We want a winning record, not just for us but for the future of the program," fullback Michael Zordich said.
Saturday's game will mark Penn State's "blue out," as a statement against child abuse in the wake of the Sandusky scandal.
"From the day I arrived here, I felt like it was so important to be involved in the community, like Penn State football has been in the past, and especially as it relates to putting an end to child abuse," O'Brien said. "I believe it's going to be a great day for the Penn State community. I think it's going to be a very, very tough football game, but I believe there will be another great crowd."