COLLEGE PARK — The Terps were embarrassed in their home opener on Saturday when they welcomed the winless Temple Owls. Maryland was routed 35-14, marking the first time the Terps have lost a home opener against an unranked opponent in over two decades.
For as good as the Terps looked week one against the Longhorns, and as well as they played in the second half of the Bowling Green game, they looked equally as bad against the Owls. They came out flat and were simply out played and out coached. Kudos to the Temple coaching staff who put together a game plan that put their team in position to knock off the Terps.
The Terps were utterly dominated by the Owls. Temple held the Terps offense to less than 200 yards total offense. The same Terps offense who ran for 444 yards just a week ago. The Temple defense also held the Terps offense completely out of the end zone. Terps quarterback Kasim Hill spent much of the day running for his life as the Owls forced seven sacks on the day. Hill posted atrocious numbers behind center, completing just 7 passes on 17 attempts for 56 yards and an interception. The offensive line clearly missed its two starting tackles, Derwin Gray and Damian Prince. The offensive line had only given up one sack prior to Saturday’s performance.
Bright-spots were few and far between during yesterday’s lackluster performance. The only highlights were from defensive and special teams play. A stellar interception returned 36 yards by Darnell Savage in the second quarter and a blocked punt return by Jessie Aniebonam for 27 yards in the fourth quarter.
During the post game press conference, Coach Canada ran through a gauntlet of questioning. When asked about the Kasim Hill’s quarterback play Canada responded,
“It’s probably just bad coaching by me. He’s got to play better sooner, we’ve got to start faster, obviously we saw that last week [as well]. I don’t know why it’s occurring but it certainly occurred today.”
Canada fully accepted the responsibility of this loss. Throughout the press conference he placed the blame on his shoulders.
“In the first half every second down it seemed like we did something silly — we missed an opportunity, we had a sack or we lost yardage, so all the sudden you’re in third-and-longs. Your base offense, which we think we’ve been OK at, we didn’t even get to see. We didn’t run our offense and that’s because we didn’t execute and that falls completely on me.”
- Commit to the run game. The Terps ran for 444 yards against Bowling Green, this week they only had 132 yards on 31 carries. (Both stats are season lows)
- Where is the pass rush? The Terps pass rush was non-existent Saturday. The defense exploded last week in Bowling Green recording 5 total sacks, and it certainly vanished against the Owls.
- Commit to one of the quarterbacks. If Hill is the guy, let him take the reins and control this offense. The dual quarterback system has yet to be successful this season. Tyrell Prigrome has been less than effective when under center.
- Injuries really hurt the Terps Saturday as they missed vital pieces on the offensive line. This would end up being disastrous as the Owls had constant pressure on Hill for most of the game.
The Terps open up conference play against the undefeated Minnesota Golden Gophers next Saturday 9/22 at 12:00 pm.
Image Credit: The Baltimore Sun