The Maryland offense slogged its way to a single touchdown in the season-opening 7-6 win Saturday against William & Mary, but Temple Coach Steve Addazio had high praise for the Terps during the weekly Big East teleconference.
“We know it’s going to be a battle at [Lincoln Financial Field],” said Addazio, whose Owls trounced Villanova 41-10 in their first game back in the Big East. “They’ve got a lot of talent. Receiving corps is outstanding.”
Addazio mentioned senior Kevin Dorsey, whose 22-yard reception in the fourth quarter set up the game-winning six-yard touchdown run by Justus Pickett, freshman standout Stefon Diggs (three punt returns, 50 yards), and Kerry Boykins (two receptions, 21 yards).
Defensively, Addazio singled out Joe Vellano (11 tackles, two for loss, one interception), linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield (13 tackles, five solo, one fumble recovery), and safety Eric Franklin (seven tackles).
“We know they have some talented players, highly motivated, come in here, going to be a real contest,” Addazio said. “Our guys will have to step up, and as I said, continue to play hard, continue to play physical. ”
As far as the Owls go, Temple came into Byrd Stadium last season and demolished the Terps 38-7 behind 144 rushing yards and a school-record five touchdowns by running back Bernard Pierce. Pierce has since moved on to the NFL. Temple brought in transfer Montel Harris.
But Harris, Boston College’s all-time leading rusher, is day-to-day for the Maryland game.
“Probably too early to say right now,” Addazio said of Harris’ status. “We’re going to make sure he really feels great. This isn’t a serious thing or anything, but these things are nagging when you’re a running back or a skill player and the most important thing is to try to do the best you can to get that thing put away and not let it linger.
“We’ve got to wait and see.”
Other notes from Addazio
● Addazio isn’t putting much stock into the debut of Perry Hills, who threw three interceptions against the Tribe. A team’s biggest improvement, Addazio said, comes between the first and second games of the season.
“We’re trying to prepare for everything we think could come our way,” Addazio said. “You look at one game tape, opening day sometimes, you’ve got a young quarterback, things going on, you can’t get lulled to sleep there.
“They’ve got playmakers, a good scheme. We’re trying to project all the scenarios, because off of one game, how do you know?”
●The Owls put up 301 rushing yards against the Wildcats, but quarterback Chris Coyer had just 61 passing yards on 11 attempts.
“We just need to call more throws,” Addazio said. “That’s my fault. We get in this situation sometimes where we get up, and I want to run the ball and burn the clock. We need to be more balanced.”
●Temple kicker/punter Brandon McManus was named the Big East Special Teams Player of the Week. He was 2 of 2 on field goals with five extra points against Villanova, and averaged 44.3 yards on four punts.