September 14, 2019 – PHILADELPHIA — Relentless Defense. Temple Owls stymied a potent Maryland Terrapin offense to claim a 20-17 upset win at Lincoln Financial Field. An estimated crowd of over 30,000 fans saw the Owls bend but not break, holding the Terrapins to 360 total yards, far shy of the 600+ yards per game in their first 2 matches this season.
While it was far from a precision performance by both teams, it really just wasn’t Maryland’s day. The Terps squandered numerous opportunities handed to them throughout the contest, including Owl turnovers, missed field goals, and several goal-line scoring opportunities.
The Owls came into the game loose and confident, and the tone was set immediately, when Amir Tyler leveled Maryland start running back Jake Funk on the opening kickoff return. Temple later intercepted a pass by Terp QB Josh Jackson, which set up a 29-yard TD pass from QB Anthony Russo to WR Isaiah Wright to get the Owls on the board first.
Maryland later scored on a safety when a bounce from a bad snap got away from punter Adam Barry. Both defenses were strong and shut down scoring to close the first half with Temple leading 7-2.
Maryland started the third quarter with a glimmer of hope, driving 86 yards to capitalize on an Anthony McFarland TD run. But Temple immediately answered back with a 79-yard touchdown pass from Russo to Jadan Blue, putting the Owls back on top 15-9 after a missed 2-point conversion.
Late in the 3rd, Maryland intercepted a Temple pass, which set up a TD pass to Tyler Mabry. Temple blocked the point after attempt to put Maryland in the lead 15-13 as the quarter ended.
The fourth quarter saw a back and forth battle on both sides of the ball. Then midway through the quarter the Owls took advantage of blown coverage on a misdirection play for a 7-yard TD pass from Russo to Kenny Yeboah. This proved to be the game winning score.
Temple’s defense then found another gear to crush any counter-scoring attempt the Terps threw their way. This included 2 goal line stances, the second coming after an errant Barry punt from the end zone to give the Terps one last chance. But there were no rushing gaps to be found, and the Owls took over (again) just in front of their own goal line. The final scoring play was a sacrifice safety by Russo, and Temple had pulled off the upset victory 20-17.
Maryland has to fix a few things on offense before facing Penn State at home next week. The talent and power is there for sure. Temple needs to clean up some basic items as well, and next plays Buffalo in NY, who lost to Penn State last week.
[Photos by Rick Pettine]
[Article by Rick Pettine]
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