STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – the No. 23 Nittany Lions are the only team in the country that hasn't allowed a sack.
Pass-rushing specialist Adrian Robinson and the Temple defense want to halt that streak Saturday when they visit Beaver Stadium.
"Personally, I don't want the quarterback to get hit or get touched," Nittany Lions left guard Johnnie Troutman said.
That's practically what the line has done so far for quarterback Rob Bolden, off to a promising start for an 18-year-old true freshman.
Bolden has gotten hit, but coach Joe Paterno is more worried about his freshman's penchant for scrambling. The 6-foot-3 Bolden has completed 59 percent of his 85 pass attempts for 600 yards and three touchdowns for Penn State (2-1), though five interceptions are a concern.
Owls coach Al Golden seems impressed.
"I think he's tremendous, I really do," said Golden, who played at Penn State and once served as Paterno's assistant. "He can create. He's long. He can move around in the pocket. ... No question why he's the starter."
At 3-0, Temple is off to its best start since 1979, and the 6-foot-2, 250-pound Robinson is one big reason why north Philadelphia is buzzing about football again.
Last year's Mid-American Conference defensive player of the year led the league with 13 sacks and five forced fumbles in 2009. He's got one sack so far this season, with a starring role in last week's 30-16 win over Connecticut by forcing a fumble and returning it for a touchdown.
Golden doesn't think Robinson has reached his full potential.
While talented and powerful, "quite often, he's his own worse enemy ... on the field if he makes mistakes," Golden said. "We're just trying to have him to develop a 'next play' mentality.'"
Beating FCS champions Villanova, Central Michigan and UConn at home is one thing; beating the Nittany Lions on the road will be a dramatically different task — one that could vault the Owls into the national spotlight if Golden's team can pull off a David and Goliath-type upset.
Recent history indicates the odds are long. Temple will try to end a 27-game losing streak to Penn State, which hasn't lost in the series since 1941. Penn State has outscored Temple 154-9 since Golden took over in 2006.
For the success that the offensive line has had in pass protection, much of the concern in Happy Valley has been over Penn State's running game. Senior tailback Evan Royster is off to slow start with just 110 yards on 31 carries, and fans didn't expect Royster to be sharing more carries with backups Stephfon Green and Silas Redd.
Paterno said he isn't worried about Royster, and he's just trying to get more experience for his younger reserves.
The offensive line also takes some of the blame. The Nittany Lions ran for a season-high 162 yards last week, though there were worrisome stretches of the first half when the ground came came to a halt.
"We've got to get more consistent with the offensive line so that ... you can stick a kid like Royster in there and give him the ball 11, 12, 13 times and he can have significant yardage," Paterno said. "Right now, he's fighting for his life to get five."
The Temple game might be coming at an opportune time for Royster. Last year against the Owls, Royster ran for 134 yards and a touchdown after being slowed by the flu.
The front five hope their growing familiarity pays off as much on the ground as it has in pass blocking. Troutman has secured the starting job at left guard after rotating early on with DeOn'tae Pannell.
"I think now we're starting to get into a groove, the only team with no sacks," center Doug Klopacz. "We're starting to get a good feel for each other."