COLLEGE PARK, MD — Temple and Maryland, opponents on the gridiron in Saturday afternoon’s game in the shadows of the nation’s capital, could not have been any more divergent with the momentum they carried into the contest and, given those respective trends, the hometown Terrapins should have cruised to their second 3-0 start in the past three seasons.
But then the game was played, and the 0-2 Owls flipped the script in surprisingly dominant fashion.
Temple scored touchdowns on each of the three phases of the game, starting with a touchdown pass on a fake punt, and its offense gained more the twice the total yardage than the Terrapins in defeating Maryland 35-14 to earn its first win of the season. After two home losses to FCS member Villanova and Buffalo to start the season, Temple thoroughly outplayed a team that was almost on the verge of breaking into the national rankings in Maryland, a team that had beaten then-No. 23 Texas to begin the season two weeks ago.
Each of the first five drives of the game ended in a punt, and it appeared the sixth consecutive drive would do the same, but, as Temple was lining up to punt just inside Maryland territory, backup quarterback Todd Centeio took the direct snap after lining up as an up-back before rolling to his right and finding receiver Freddie Johnson for a 36-yard touchdown scoring strike to give the Owls a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter.
Two drives later, the Owls doubled the lead in the second quarter after a 12-play, 76-yard drive, capped off by a 1-yard plunge on a run by 330-pound defensive tackle Freddie Booth-Lloyd on a fourth-and-goal.
The Owls outgained Maryland 429-195 on offense, as starting quarterback Anthony Russo threw for 228 yards and a touchdown while completing 15 of 25 passes. Senior running back Ryquell Armstead ran for 118 yards on 26 carries.
Temple completed the scoring and iced the game late in the fourth quarter as linebacker Shaun Bradley went the distance on a 78-yard interception return for a 35-14 advantage.
Terrapins starting quarterback Kasim Hill completed only seven of his 17 passes for 56 yards and the interception to Bradley. Backup quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome came in to the game afterward on Maryland’s next offensive possession and went 1-for-4 for seven yards and an interception.
Both of Maryland’s touchdowns on the day came while the offense was on the sideline; Defensive back Darnell Savage had a 23-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter to cut Temple’s lead to 14-7, while defensive tackle Jesse Aniebonam blocked a punt and returned the loose ball 27 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to get the Terrapins back within 14 at 28-14.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Saturday’s game, with all photos taken by DC-Area photographer Yusuf Abdullah. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are currently 11 pictures in total.