Maryland (1-2, 1-0 ACC) came in to today’s contest against Temple (3-1, 1-0 MAC) with high hopes, and looking to avenge a tough loss the previous week to West Virginia.  Instead, the Terps came out uninspired – as did the fan base – and let Temple jump out to a 21-0 lead before the first quarter was over.

The coaches and players emphasized a lackadaisical attitude all week in practice, and it showed on the field on Saturday.  If you take out Maryland final scoring drive against the second teamers, Maryland had 160 total yard of offense.  In the first two games of their season, Maryland had averaged 488 yards of offense – against, arguably, two tougher opponents.

Maryland QB Danny O’Brien, who came in averaging 318.5 yards passing, was held to just 153 yards and an interception today.  The only scoring drive was facilitated by backup QB C.J. Brown. Brown was 4-of-4 on the drive for 42 yards and the TD to TE Devonte Campbell, he also was the teams leading rusher with 29 yards.  Edsall did make it clear that O’Brien was in no jeopardy of losing his job. The Terps offensive line also gave up their first three sacks of the season this week.

Meanwhile, the Maryland defense couldn’t contain Temple RB Bernard Pierce this week, as he had 32 carries, for 149 yards and 5, yes 5, touchdowns.  Pierce’s backup, Matt Brown, had 12 carries for 75 yards.  Not to mention that Temple QB Chester Stewart didn’t have an incomplete pass, as he was 9-of-9 for 140 yards, and also had 9 rushes for 43 yards.  Maryland LB Kenny Tate said after the game “It didn’t matter who was running the ball, we couldn’t stop them”

It seemed like it all day, no matter what the play was, Maryland’s defense couldn’t stop Temple.  After last week, we all know a Randy Edsall coached football team doesn’t quit, but he said that “It came down to will, and their will was stronger than ours today”. So if they don’t quit, they just come out flat.

The loss was a deflating one, for sure, and the coaches and players knew it.  Edsall mentioned how he “didn’t have to sugar coat it” and that “There was no point getting upset, just told them [the players] how I felt and what I saw”.  It was evident in every phase of the game today, that Maryland got their butts kicked.

“I wouldn’t say we took them lightly, we just didn’t execute. That can’t, and won’t, happen next week.” DL Joe Vellano said after the game.  With Towson on the schedule next week, it would be easy to assume that the Terps will be looking forward to two weeks from now, when the Terps travel to #25 Georgia Tech. Kenny Tate reassured everyone that wouldn’t happen, “Not after today’s performance” he said.

One key to take from this, despite the loss, Maryland is still tied atop the ACC Atlantic standings with Wake Forest and the winner of the Clemson/FSU game.  After all, as Vellano pointed out “The ACC Championship game is our goal, you want to win every game, but this doesn’t affect our goal”.

Game Notes:

  • The only injury note is DL Andre Monroe.  Coach Edsall said it was his ankle, but wouldn’t elaborate.  Darin Drakeford also came off, but no info was given (expect an update).
  • Receiver Kerry Boykins set a new career high with eight catches for 76 yards.  It should be noted Boykins also had at least two critical drops.
  • This is the first loss in Maryland’s history to Temple. Granted, the Terps had only played six previous games against the Owls.  It’s also Temple’s first win ever against an ACC opponent, and the first over a BCS opponent on the road since 2002 (Rutgers).
  • For the first time in 139 games Maryland had one of its punts blocked, which had been the longest streak in the nation.  Edsall acknowledged after the game that he saw immediately one player didn’t shift over to help in protection and that led to the block.
  • Quote of the day went to OL Andrew Gonnella: “I don’t know how to say this, but we have to play like we are Freshmen, or something.  We have to act like we haven’t earned anything, and have to play for everything”.
  • Tweet of the day: @dcsportsbog “Like the Terps, I never much liked Temple on Saturdays”.

Follow Brendan Darr on twitter: @BrendanDarr1067


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