Gameday preview: Maryland at Temple

Matt Brown was the runaway winner last year of a poll on this website
that asked “Which RB best epitomizes the term   “Temple TUFF”, beating 

Heisman Trophy runnerup Paul Palmer and Bernard Pierce, among others.
 In this photo , taken  after the New Mexico Bowl win, Brown holds up two hands, 
signifying his number change this season.

Temple vs. Maryland
Lincoln Financial Field
Kickoff: Noon
TV: ESPNU
Radio: WPHT (1210AM)
Tailgate: Lots open 7 a.m.
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 82 at kickoff, 87 by 3 p.m., slight wind (15-25 mph), rain coming in after the game is over
Notable: Owls have won five straight at LFF and are 16-3 at home in their last 19 games

A famous football coach, now disgraced and dead, once said:
“You always improve the most between the first and second week.”
I’ve always agreed with that.
Some of the best Temple football teams in my memory did not start out well opening week, but had a heckuva Week 2 on the way to a terrific season.
So here’s the formula for today’s noon showdown with visiting Maryland:
Mix in an improved Temple football team vs. an improved Maryland team, add a touch of revenge on Maryland’s part and what comes out of the oven?
Well, I think the faulty ingredient in that mix is the revenge part.
Sure, there are SOME Maryland players still on the team steaming about Temple’s 38-7 win at College Park last year.
Still, what about the 14 new players, 12 true freshmen, who saw their first action for Maryland last week in an opening 7-6 win against William and Mary?
I’m not sure they are feeling the same rage.
Temple, on the other hand, talked all week about avoiding a letdown ala Toledo last year.
I don’t think it’s going to happen against Maryland.
Look at it this way.
That “letdown” had to do as much with two awful picks thrown by Chester Stewart as it did with overlooking Toledo.
It’s what I call the CSF Syndrome or, simply, the Chester Stewart Factor.
There is no CSF now.
Matty Brown, Temple’s dynamite tailback, plays every game like it’s a freakin’ Super Bowl.
If Brown could give his teammates a pre-game shot in the arm that gets their blood flowing as fast as his, that’s the kind of thing that would ward off any emotional advantage any other team could have. I don’t think that’s possible, but they seem to feed off his energy.
Brown is a Temple fan favorite. Last year, after a season in which Bernard Pierce gained 1,747 yards and scored 27 touchdowns, I asked a question on this website. “Which RB best epitomizes the term Temple TUFF?” Brown was the runaway winner, garnering 75 percent of the vote, and solidly beating Pierce and former Heisman Trophy runnerup Paul Palmer.
I could not argue with that choice.
Another factor is that we haven’t seen the “real” Montel Harris yet and you know he’s got to be motivated to show his skills on Saturday.
So there you have it.
Take away Maryland’s rage, which is a red herring, and decide whether an improved Temple team in Week 2 is better than an improved Maryland team.
Since William and Mary, in my view, is no better than Villanova, I think Temple takes this one by a fairly comfortable margin.
I’ll go with 28-13.

Later tonight: Game analysis

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7 thoughts on “Gameday preview: Maryland at Temple

  1. On the Toledo game: I think Brown's two fumbles in our own end to start the game were bigger the CS INTs

  2. I think Matty's first fumble, on the punt, was a bad decision on his part. He's grown, matured, and learned that the most important thing is ball security, although he gave me a heart attack on that great punt return against Nova last week.

  3. Off to the tailgate. Won't be able to moderate any more comments until tonight. Bad storms coming in at 8:30 p.m., but now Channel 6 says the entire day should be fine.

  4. I'll add any comments I get between now and then at 8:30 p.m. or so.

  5. Love your blog, Mike, but this renaissance was due to one exceptional player who wore #30. I hope you are right about Addazio.long term, but I doubt it.

  6. At halftime I had to check the date, thought maybe I went through a time vortex on the way to the game and ended up back in the Bobby Wallace era. This game was like Toledo last year all over again. First, I was a bit disappointed in the crowd size; don't know the official attendance yet but certainly looked smaller then last week.Now about the game, we are too predictable on offense, Brown off tackle, Coyer between the tackles then a consistent 3rd and long. At one point Temple ran a trips formation and Maryland still kept 8 men in the box. Team need to pass more from the get go. I thought the clock management at the end of the first half was awful, 2:39 left and not even an attempt to move downfield for some points. Thought the defense played reasonably well, they were on the field a lot, but didn't blitz enough, especially on Maryland’s last scoring drive. On the plus side we did show some ability to come back and strike quick. Coyer did show he can be an effective passer. Temple needs to play this way more to get teams from stacking the box. I'm glad there is a week off before the PSU game as that becomes a win there is now more critical for a good season, which right now I think can end up anywhere between 5-6 to 7-4

  7. We have a lot of work to do. I'm glad we didn't accept the big payout to go to Oregon State. It really irks me we gave up 36 points to a team Bill and Mary held to a touchdown. Bothers me to no end and I will be in a foul mood for two weeks. I'm sure it bothers Steve Addazio and Chuck Heater more.

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