Temple put the clamps on No. 21 Maryland and its high-scoring offense in a 20-17 upset Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia.
The Terrapins (2-1) entered the game averaging 71 points, and Temple scored 56 in their win over Bucknell.
But on Saturday, Temple’s defense stole the show, holding Maryland without an offensive score in the first half, also recording four sacks and stopping the Terrapins twice in the final minutes on fourth-down attempts deep in Temple territory.
Maryland took over at the Owls’ 4-yard line with 4:53 to go in the game when DJ Turner returned a punt 55 yards. Anthony McFarland, who had 26 carries for 132 yards, was smothered on fourth down from the 1-yard-line by linebacker Shawn Bradley.
Temple couldn’t advance the ball on the next series, and Maryland was set up to score again when Adam Barry shanked a punt that traveled just seven yards. Taking over at the Temple 10-yard line, Maryland couldn’t score again, with quarterback Josh Jackson’s fourth-down pass to Turner caught out of bounds with 2:14 remaining.
The Owls (2-0) took a safety on the final play.
Trailing 15-13, Temple went ahead with 7:27 left in the game when quarterback Anthony Russo hit Kenny Yeboah for a 7-yard touchdown to culminate a 14-play, 76-yard drive.
Maryland trailed by the improbable score of 7-2 at the half. The high-scoring Terrapins’ first possession ended in an interception, and the Owls marched right down and cashed in on a 29-yard Russo pass to Isaiah Wright for a 7-0 lead at 11:33 in the first quarter. It marked the first time Maryland had trailed this season.
After a first-quarter fumble recovery by the Terps on a punt, Temple stopped McFarland on fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard-line. Maryland got a safety when the Owls snapped the ball out of the end zone on a subsequent punt attempt at 8:07.
The Terrapins didn’t score on offense until there was 8:22 left in the third quarter, with McFarland capping an 11-play, 86-yard drive with a 4-yard run to put the Terrapins up 9-7. Temple answered on the next play from scrimmage, Russo finding Jadan Blue for a 79-yard touchdown and a 13-9 lead.
Russo was 20-of-37 for 277 yards and three scores.
The Terrapins regained the lead when Jackson hit tight end Tyler Mabry from 17 yards out at 2:14 of the third for a 15-13 advantage.
Temple travels to Buffalo next week, while Maryland enjoys a bye week before hosting Big Ten rival Penn State on Sept. 27.
—Field Level Media