Who: Maryland (1-0) at Temple (1-0).
When: Saturday, noon.
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia.
DMV radio: WTEM (980 AM), WJZ (105.7 FM).
Coaches: Terps, Randy Edsall (second season, 3-10 overall); Owls, Steve Addazio (second season, 10-4).
Series: Maryland leads 6-1. Teams last met last season, a 38-7 Temple win in College Park.
Gone are the days when Temple beating Maryland would be considered an upset. No longer a nonconference doormat, the Owls, in their first season back in the Big East, are 10-point favorites over the Terps, who barely escaped with a 7-6 win over FCS foe William & Mary at Byrd Stadium last Saturday. Revenge – more on this shortly – will be on Maryland’s mind, but Temple defensive coordinator Chuck Heater spoke about the edge his team plays with every week, so this could wind up being a very physical affair.
Maryland’s new uniforms, the new offense, the new defense – all have settled in. The Terps’ true freshmen, including quarterback Perry Hills, have one collegiate game under their collective belts, so improvements will be at the fore this weekend in Philadelphia.
1.Time for revenge? Think the Terps have forgotten about the 38-7 beating Temple handed them at home in 2011? Not a chance. The buzz in College Park throughout this week has been about getting revenge on an Owls team that had its way in all facets of the game. Plenty more to come about this in Saturday’s paper, but rest assured that Maryland will be playing with an extra edge given the loss, the boos and its first blocked punt allowed since 1999. Edsall called his team’s performance “unacceptable and really embarrassing.” Count on heightened motivation; that much is certain.
2.Can the Owls take flight on the ground? Temple Coach Steve Addazio talked earlier this week about the need to call more pass plays, but the Owls are by far most effective offensively when their running game operates on all cylinders. Boston College transfer Montel Harris, the Eagles’ all-time rushing leader, is day-to-day with a strained hamstring, but Matt Brown is more than a capable fill-in. Brown had 19 carries for 145 yards and one touchdown against Villanova last Saturday, and ranks third nationally with 270 all-purpose yards.
3.Will the offense move? Even with Keith Bowers and Isaiah Ross back on the line, the Maryland defense can only do so much. Mike Locksley’s offense will need to move the chains and eat up clock, and Hills can’t get away with three interceptions again. Justus Pickett and Albert Reid will be counted on in the backfield, and the Terps might need major yards-after-catch from their talented receiving corps.
14: Terps who made their collegiate debut against William & Mary, including 12 freshmen.
1: Punter Nathan Renfro’s national rank after he averaged 53 yards per punt against the Tribe.
65: Height of Temple’s Brown, in inches. In other words, he’s 5 feet 5. For reference, kicker Brendan Magistro, running back Kwabena Ofori and defensive back Tony Perry are the shortest listed Terps. All are 5-9.
“They talk about him being a state wrestling champion. Is that a true statement? Yes? In some circles that’s about as high as it gets. That tells you all you need to know about the guy. Wrestling is tough and competitive, and I think because of that DNA he’ll get better every week. He’s not weak mentally, and he’s going to compete. It’s a game that rewards guys who are tough mentally, so I suspect he’ll get better every week, and he’ll be better Week 2 than he does Week 1, because that’s seemingly who he is.” – Heater on Hills.
“One of the biggest things we’re looking at is payback. We’re going to do everything we can this week to make sure it won’t happen again.” – Maryland linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield.
The Song of Saturday