SportsDesk Practice Report – Maryland Week

Temple aims to get their first win of the season when they travel down to Maryland.

Despite a strong second-half effort from Temple this past Saturday, they dropped their second straight game to open their season 0-2.

36-29 was the final as the Owls let another winnable game slip through their grasp. Their defense simply could not get a stop down the stretch to help them win the game. Instead, Buffalo scored a touchdown with :59 seconds remaining to break the tie and ultimately win the game.

Despite the loss, it was a good sign to see Temple’s running game a bit more alive from their season opener. Ryquell Armstead rushed 14 times for 107-yards, that includes a rush for 50-yards. WR Branden Mack caught his first career TD pass as the first-half expired on a Hail-Mary from Frank Nutile (15/31, 216 yds, 3 TD’s, 2 INT’s) and WR Randle Jones also caught his first career TD pass.

Frank Nutile is looking to keep the team’s confidence level up, heading on the road for the first time this season.

Only 59 combined yards and 5 catches between Ventell Bryant and Isaiah Wright, the two who are expected to be the leaders of the receiving core. Frank Nutile spoke at today’s practice about being more efficient. “I got to be more consistent, there’s been some turnovers for sure and some missed throws, I just have to make sure to limit the turnovers. I’m still confident, I trust myself, I trust my teammates around me, and I know we’ll turn it around,” the QB said.

The Owls hope to turn it around this week as they travel down to Maryland for their first road game of the season to take on the Terrapins (2-0). Maryland, in their first two games have put up some good numbers. Defeating #23 Texas 34-29 and Bowling Green 45-14.

Redshirt freshman QB Kasim Hill has started the season very well, with 66 passing attempts and zero interceptions. He’s got just under 350 passing yards and two touchdowns. Last week, Maryland’s rushing attack was a force to be reckoned with. They accumulated 444 rushing yards, the most since 1999 (the team recorded 445 that day). Senior Ty Johnson and sophomore Tayon Fleet-Davis both had 100+ yards on the ground.

Maryland looks to keep their rushing attack strong vs. Temple’s defense. // Credit: Tommy Gilligan

Maryland’s defense ranks 14th in the country in third down stops, holding opponents to just a 24% success rate. They’ve forced 18 punts in two games, the most for the program in a two-game stretch since 2015 against James Madison and USF. The Terrapins defense last week against Bowling Green let up only 15 rushing yards throughout the entire game.

Maryland has won 12 straight home-openers in College Park dating back to 2006. This Saturday will mark the ninth time the two teams have met since their first time in 1997. The Terps lead the series 7-1, most recently winning the last meeting 36-27 in 2012 when Stefon Diggs totaled 135 all-purpose yards.

Other than Penn State, Maryland is the first Big Ten team that Temple has played since Minnesota in 2006.

It’s interesting to note that the Owls started 1-2 in 2016 and went on to finish the season 10-4 and win the conference championship and play in the Military Bowl against Wake Forest. Though the Owls would need to make some major adjustments in order to achieve what the 2016 squad achieved.

The game is set to kick off from Maryland Stadium this Saturday at 12:00PM. The game will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network and you can listen in on 97.5 The Fanatic. Stay tuned with the SportsDesk for more coverage later this week.

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