UNIVERSITY PARK -- It hurt. Penn State's players freely admit that.
They looked forward to the Alabama game -- or more precisely, the Alabama opportunity -- for months. It helped them stay focused during grueling summer workouts, knowing they had a chance to make a major statement against the highly ranked Crimson Tide.
The Nittany Lions failed to make any kind of statement in a 27-11 defeat.
"The Alabama loss, it hurt," offensive lineman Quinn Barham said, "because we thought we could do a lot better than what we showed on Saturday."
The players wanted to forget about the game as soon as it was over.
"It was tough watching film [Monday]," tight end Andrew Szczerba said. "I know a lot of us just didn't even want to watch the film. We wanted to move on to this week."
That's the focus now. Moving on.
Months of eagerness leading up to the Alabama game has given way to disappointment, but the players understand they can't dwell on any of it.
"Football is all about the present tense," Barham said. "If you have a bad play, go on to the next play. We had a bad game Saturday, so we move on to Temple and get ready for that one."
The Lions had better be ready, because Temple undoubtedly will be geared up for them.
The Owls are 2-0 with blowout victories against Villanova (42-7) and Akron (41-3), and first-year head coach Steve Addazio has picked up right where predecessor Al Golden left off when it comes to establishing Temple as a legitimate threat.
Addazio might be new to the program, but he comes into this game with one distinct advantage. He was the offensive coordinator at Florida last year, so he was able to study all of Penn State's defensive schemes and tendencies when the teams met in the Outback Bowl, a 37-24 Florida victory.
Addazio said he sees a tougher, more mature defense from the Lions this year.
"They're not the same," he said. "I think they're elite."
Temple isn't the same old Temple, either, and Penn State's players know that after a tough 22-13 win last year at Beaver Stadium. Gone are the days when the Lions could expect to blow out the Owls.
"Early on in my career ... that was some of our thought process," defensive tackle Jordan Hill said. "But by last year, it just proves to all of us how good they actually are and how good they can be, because they came out and played us tough and it was a dogfight the whole way. And we expect nothing less Saturday."
Part of looking forward, Szczerba noted, is not looking back and blaming others for what went wrong in the Alabama game.
"After a loss, it's easy to point fingers at different players," Szczerba said. "But after watching film, we realize everybody made mistakes."
Szczerba went on to add, "It's easy after a game to point fingers at other people because that kind of makes you feel better about yourself when you're saying how this guy didn't do that well or that guy didn't do this well. So I think the biggest thing is just to get over that game. We've got to learn from it, and it's got to make us a lot more hungry than we were last week."
SUBHD: Injury update
Right tackle Chima Okoli is expected to start on the offensive line Saturday after suffering what Barham called a mild ankle sprain.
Receiver Curtis Drake is still not 100 percent yet after coming back from a broken leg, Joe Paterno said, but is expected to play this week after making his season debut against Alabama.
Szczerba acknowledged he did suffer a slight concussion in the opener against Indiana State, on the second play of the second half.
"I was rolling out for a pass, and Rob, he started to run up the field, so I turned back to block somebody and I got hit in the temple of my helmet pretty good," Szczerba said.
The tight end was held out of practice most of last week until he could pass his post-concussion tests. He did pass and returned to practice Thursday but said he didn't have much contact.
Szczerba had a key fumble after a catch near midfield, negating a first down, and Alabama went on to score a touchdown for a 17-3 lead in the second quarter.
"Obviously I would like to have the play back to do one or two things different, but I've just got to learn from that, and it will make me a better player at the end of the day," Szczerba said.
SUBHD: Green out
Paterno was short and definitive when asked about backup running back Stephfon Green's status and if he's still with the team.
"He won't be with them this week," JoePa said.
When, or if, Green will return remains unknown.
Green got in trouble for undisclosed reasons during the preseason and was kicked off the team before being allowed back. Paterno was not aware, however, that Green allegedly had provided alcohol to minors on July 15 and didn't find out until the senior was charged by police last week.
SUBHD: Timeout turmoil
Penn State has drawn plenty of criticism for having to take three timeouts on its opening drive of the game against Alabama.
"I'm angry upstairs," Paterno said. "I didn't know exactly what had happened either. I'm yelling down at [the coaches on the field], 'You guys going to make up your mind what you want to do?'"
The assistants then told JoePa that a couple of players were to blame, one being Okoli for not sitting down on the field when he was injured, like he was taught.
"We don't want you to be phony about the substitution, but we had kids who were half off the field, back on the field, back out," Paterno said. "The guys on the sidelines weren't sure what exactly was going on. And finally we ran out of time."
Cory Giger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and @CoryGiger on Twitter.