What a debut for head coach Rod Carey. Temple put up 21 quick points in the first quarter and never looked back, defeating Bucknell 56-12. While Anthony Russo and the offense clicked, the Temple defense allowed only 66 yards in the first half and not a single touchdown the entire game. There were some major milestones broken during Temple’s season opening victory.
The Temple Owls broke the single season record for yards in a game on offense with 695 total yards.
- It was the largest opening day victory for Temple (44 points) since 1969.
- Anthony Russo became the first Temple QB to throw for two 400+ yard games in his career.
- First time since 2015 that Temple had two WRs with 100+ yards receiving (Brandon Mack 9/130 & Jaden Blue 10/117).
- First career TD for Jaden Blue (CONGRATS, JADEN!).
- First multi-touchdown game for Jager Gardner (CONGRATS, JAGER!).
Get to know the 2019 Maryland Terrapins
Let’s talk about Maryland. The Temple Owls host the Maryland Terrapins on September 14th. Temple’s success vs Maryland has been trending upward over the last several years. Temple has won two of the last three games against the Terrapins since 2011. Maryland’s offense will be looking for revenge after Temple’s upset win over the Terrapins 35-14 in 2018. Temple’s defense held Maryland to 63 yards passing and forced two interceptions in that game.
While the Owls walked through their first matchup vs Bucknell, the Terrapins literally ran through Howard 79-0 during week one. Maryland had 317 total yards on the ground while junior QB Josh Jackson threw for 4 touchdowns (245 yards in the air). Sophomore wide receiver Dontay Demus Jr. had 3 receptions for 100 yards and two touchdowns. Similar to Rod Carey, first year head coach Mike Locksley’s high tempo offense also broke several records.
- School record 56 points in the first half
- 1 point shy of equaling Maryland’s single game scoring record (80, 1927)
- First shutout since 2013 (West Virginia, 28-0)
All Temple fans will be watching Maryland as they host #22 Syracuse next Saturday at noon. Las Vegas currently has Syracuse as a 3 point road favorite, and the game will be shown on ESPN. What should you be watching in that game? Maryland’s passing attack is back. During the last four seasons, Maryland has accumulated more rushing than passing yards on offense. This year looks very different as the Mike Locksley era has arrived.
When we get to comparisons, Temple and Maryland have some striking similarities this season. New head coaches and offensive systems. Unproven defensive lines. Young offensive tackles. Experienced groups at linebacker. Young talent everywhere.
Here are some of the major matchups and storylines heading into a huge matchup vs the Maryland Terrapins.
Winning in the Trenches
While redshirt sophomore DT Ifeanyi Maijeh was a standout for the defensive line, Temple’s defensive ends had an average game vs Bucknell. Maijeh is 6’2″, 285 pounds and turned heads all summer long. He was a two star recruit from New York and is definitely someone you want to watch out for. Maijeh had a sack, two tackles for losses, and 5 total tackles vs Bucknell.
On a positive note (for Temple fans), Maryland’s offensive line struggled protecting QB Josh Jackson vs Howard. Jackson had to make several throws under pressure and had difficulty creating holes for their running backs. Another area to watch in the Maryland game next weekend is how the Terrapins handle the depth and talent at defensive end from Syracuse. Alton Robinson and Kendall Coleman are one of the top duos of defensive ends in the ACC and college football.
Maryland replaced three starters on the offensive line this year with a lot of young talent. Redshirt sophomore Marcus Minor and redshirt freshman Jaelyn Duncan are the starting tackles for the Maryland Terrapins. Maryland doesn’t have much depth here either. If Temple wants to beat Maryland, this is where it all starts. Temple’s defensive line and linebackers must expose Maryland’s rebuilt offensive line.
The High Flying Anthony Russo
What a start for junior QB Anthony Russo. 32/41 for 409 yards and 4 touchdowns. While he did throw a pick, the Doylestown product was masterful on 3rd downs. The Anthony Russo led offense finished 11-15 on 3rd down and nearly 11 yards per passing attempt vs Bucknell. Temple led 35-9 after the first half and had already put up some offensive numbers you would expect after four quarters.
Rod Carey has talked about his high tempo offense throughout practice, and the results were clear: this Anthony Russo offense could be the real deal. Anthony Russo moved up and down the field at will. Most importantly, he showed clear chemistry with wide receivers Branden Mack and Jaden Blue. Mack and Blue finished with over 100 yards receiving. Anthony Russo made his first career start vs Maryland in 2018. His next game against Maryland will easily be his biggest.
Jager Gardner & Re’Mahn Davis vs Maryland’s Big Three
While we heard Rod Carey talking about his flashes during practice, Re’Mahn Davis was listed as the fourth starter heading into Bucknell. The biggest storyline of the Bucknell game was the freshman’s debut. Davis put on a show. He scored two touchdowns, one on the ground and one through the air. Here are some of his highlights. The 51 yard reception by Davis was easily my favorite play of the game vs Bucknell.
Re’Mahn displayed the explosive playmaking that Rod Carey talked about during practice with those two scores. Jager Gardner has a rare combination of size, speed, and athleticism. Gardner had a pair of touchdowns against Bucknell. On the Terrapins side, Maryland brings a ton of depth and experience at the running back position. The big three for Maryland are Anthony McFarland, Tayon Fleet-Davis, and Jake Funk. All three are very good backs that will pose a huge test for the Temple linebackers.
QB Josh Jackson & Dontay Demus Jr vs Temple’s Secondary
It was a very good day for the Temple secondary, who held Bucknell to only 4.5 yards per pass attempt and a 45% completion percentage last Saturday. But let’s be clear, this upcoming battle will be the first test for the Owls’ secondary. A major matchup to watch will be redshirt junior QB Josh Jackson vs an unproven Temple secondary. The Temple secondary is led by Baylor transfer junior Harrison Hand and senior Linwood Crump. Linwood Crump had 3 interceptions in 2018, and Harrison Hand had 2 tackles vs Bucknell.
Dontay Demus Jr. is a speedster on the outside and a major deep threat for the Maryland Terrapins. He’s a 6’3″ sophomore wide receiver who played 12 games as a freshman. Demus Jr. had 3 receptions for 100 yards and two touchdowns during week one versus Howard. Above is a quick look at those two scores.
Isaiah Wright vs DJ Turner
Elite punt returner Isaiah Wright will be facing senior DJ Turner, who had a punt return for a 40 yard touchdown vs Howard. Although he caught an 11 yard touchdown pass from Anthony Russo, it was a generally quiet day for the star punt/kick returner. For Maryland, the 5’9″ senior wide receiver from DeMatha, DJ Turner, led his team with 4 catches for 38 yards during the last time he played Temple in 2018. Between Wright and Turner, the star that leads their special teams’ unit in the return game could be the biggest difference in the game.
What a huge game for the Temple Owls. With a relatively easy game on the schedule vs Buffalo on 9/21, it is easy to see the Owls at 3-0 when they host Geoff Collins’ return to Philadelphia on 9/28. The Temple vs Maryland game will be decided by which group of experienced linebackers take center stage. It is a bit too early to make a sound prediction because I need to see how Maryland handles a very good Syracuse team. I will be doing another write up on a game prediction for next week. For now, Temple wins 33-30 in a nail biter.