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Posted at 09:38 AM ET, 09/20/2011

Maryland vs. Temple, a first look at Saturday’s matchup

Maryland Coach Randy Edsall will address reporters at 12:30 p.m. today in his regularly scheduled news conference. Here are a couple interesting notes from the team’s depth chart:

Suspended wide receivers Ronnie Tyler and Quintin McCree are not listed on the two-deep depth chart. Two wide receiver positions are listed and Kevin Dorsey and Tony Logan are listed as starters. True freshman Marcus Leak is Dorsey’s backup; Kerry Boykins is Logan’s backup.

Redshirt freshman Andrew Monroe, who saw significant action in Saturday’s loss to West Virginia, is listed as a starter at defensive tackler ahead of A.J. Francis.

Now, on to Temple, which is 2-1 after relinquishing a lead against Penn State late in the fourth quarter Saturday and ultimately losing, 14-10. This is a dangerous game for the Terrapins, who will need to play well to win. The first two things that jump out to me about the Owls, who had become a successful program that last few years under Al Golden (now Miami’s coach), is that the Owls have a powerful running back in Bernard Pierce and a strong secondary.

But turnovers proved costly against Penn State. The Nittany Lions recovered one fumble and intercepted two passes, none bigger than the one that set up the game-winning touchdown drive. Penn State converted two fourth downs on a 12-play drive that resulted in a one-yard touchdown run with a little less than three minutes to play.

During Monday’s teleconference, Temple Coach Steve Addazio said: “Our plan was to play great defense, not give up big plays, hit them in the face and bring the game into the fourth quarter. We knew we could not turn the ball over. We played very physical and tough.”

Later during the call, Addazio added: “You saw a team play with great passion, great effort, great intensity. We went toe to toe with them. There is no shortage of physical toughness, competition. I am proud of the way our team fought. Just very disappointed I couldn’t help more as the coach so we didn’t turn ball over. We would have executed our game plan flawlessly had we not turned that thing over. I don’t think you saw much difference between those teams on the football field.”

It was indeed an impressive effort by Temple. The Owls drove 82 yards on their first possession of the game. Pierce, who had entered the game as the nation’s sixth-leading rusher, scored on a two-yard run. But Pierce finished the game with just 54 yards on 17 carries. And after their initial drive, the Owls gained just 137 yards.

Addazio attributed the struggles in the running game to Penn State’s defense, which had played well against Alabama the week before. “That’s one of the best defenses in the country,” Addazio said of Penn State’s defense. “The best running team in America could not run the ball on them. We knew this was going to be a defensive game. We knew this was going to be hard sledding.”

Addazio, the former offensive coordinator at Florida, played two quarterbacks — redshirt junior Mike Gerardi and redshirt senior Chester Stewart — in the Penn State loss. Gerardi started before Addazio inserted Stewart, apparently because he is more suited to running the spread-option offense. But Gerardi was re-inserted in the fourth quarter. Temple struggled to throw the ball downfield. Addazio said Monday that he has not yet decided who he will start at quarterback against Maryland.

Regarding wholesale personnel changes at this point, Addazio said: “We played the first two games and played extremely well. We played the third game and played extremely well in a lot of phases. This is not time to rock the boat. This is time to steady the boat.”

By  |  09:38 AM ET, 09/20/2011

 
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