Offense in a rut
Maryland’s offense needs to find rhythm and balance. Backup quarterback C.J. Brown was the Terrapins’ leading rusher against Temple with 29 yards. The Terrapins had four drives of three or fewer plays, which in turn hurt Maryland’s defense because it received little rest. The Terrapins reached the red zone just twice. All eyes will be on the return of wide receivers Ronnie Tyler and Quintin McCree, seniors who served two-game suspensions, and how much the expected high-octane offense improves with them back. Quarterback Danny O’Brien has not looked himself in their absence. Towson’s defense is no pushover. The Tigers rank first out of 120 Football Championship Subdivision teams in scoring defense and 12th in total defense.
Terps’ defense lagging
A new system is part of the reason for Maryland’s slow start defensively. But that is no excuse for such poor tackling during the two-game losing streak. Maryland ranks 103rd nationally in scoring defense and total defense. Injuries already have taken their toll on a defense that had little depth at the start of the season. Seven freshmen are on the two-deep depth chart, including expected starters Keith Bowers (end), Lorne Goree (middle linebacker) and Titus Till (safety). Then there is fifth-year senior Maurice Hampton, a converted offensive lineman making his second career start and first on the defense.
Maryland was horrible on special teams against Temple. The Terrapins allowed a 78-yard kickoff return, committed a roughing-the-kicker penalty on a punt and had their first punt blocked since 1999.
3:30 p.m. at Byrd Stadium. TV: Comcast SportsNet. Radio: WWXX (92.7 FM), WWXT (94.3 FM), WJZ (105.7 FM, 1300 AM), WFMD (930 AM), WTEM (980 AM), WPTX (1690 AM). Records: Terrapins 1-2; Tigers 3-0.