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Temple 38 ... at Maryland 7
Posted Sep 24, 2011

Week 4 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Temple at Maryland

2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 4 - Temple at Maryland

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Sept. 24 Temple 38 ... at Maryland 7
CFN Analysis: It’s almost as if Temple decided to play the game against Maryland it wanted to play against Penn State. The Owls came out with an attitude and were fully focuses from the start, and by the time the Terps blinked, it was 21-0 in the first quarter and 31-0 at halftime. The story will be Bernard Pierce and the brilliant day from the O line, leading the way to a 149-yard, school-record five touchdown day, but it also helped that Chester Stewart made the Terps pay time and again connecting on all nine of his passes for a solid 140 yards. The defense did its part, too, keeping the high-powered Maryland passing game to just 195 yards. Now it’s on to the MAC season and a home game against Toledo, and the Owls are intimidating.

It’s like the Terps didn’t take this game seriously in any way after the loss to West Virginia. This was a total team meltdown with the special teams screwing up, the run defense getting gashes, and the offense way too sleepy and ineffective. Temple might be decent, but this has to be seen as a wake-up call. There won’t be any problems against Towson next week, but the defensive front has to be much tougher in the middle, and the linebackers have to be much stronger tackling – missing stops time and again – before dealing with the road game at Georgia Tech.

(AP) COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Bernard Pierce set a school record with five rushing touchdowns, and Temple built a 31-point halftime lead in a stunning 38-7 rout of Maryland on Saturday.

One week after coming agonizingly close to snapping a 28-game skid against Penn State, Temple (3-1) defeated Maryland (1-2) for the first time. The Terrapins fell to 6-1 against the Owls, who had dropped the last two games in the series by a combined 54 points.

Temple led 21-0 with just over 11 minutes elapsed, boosted the margin to 31-0 at halftime and played conservatively to the finish. It was 38-0 before the Terrapins got their only score, on a touchdown pass by backup quarterback C.J. Brown with 4:31 remaining.

Pierce ran 32 times for 149 yards, including 108 in the decisive first half. He had touchdown runs of 1,9,4, 44 and 13 yards, giving him 12 TDs for the season.

The old school record for rushing touchdowns in a game was four, performed four times previously.

Starting for the first time this season, Temple senior Chester Stewart completed all six of his passes in the first half and finished 9 for 9 for 140 yards. He also ran for 43 yards.

That, combined with a defense that hounded Terps sophomore quarterback Danny O'Brien all afternoon, produced Temple's first BCS win under first-year coach Steve Addazio.

Maryland wore unsightly yellow, black and red uniforms, yet their performance was far uglier. O'Brien was 17 for 33 for 153 yards and an interception, and he also absorbed his first three sacks of the season. The running game produced only 45 yards, and the defense allowed scores on all five of Temple's first-half possessions.

The Terrapins were terrible on special teams, too. Maryland had a punt blocked for the first time since 1999 and missed an opportunity to get a comeback going in the second quarter by roughing the kicker on a fourth-and-14 punt at the Temple 16.

Given a second chance, the Owls completed a 93-yard drive to increase its lead to 28-0.

After registering an emotional win over Miami in coach Randy Edsall's first game at Maryland, the Terrapins gave highly regarded West Virginia a scare last week before this dud against the Owls.

Nearly two-thirds of the crowd of 39,102 departed before the end of the third quarter.

Coming off a bitter 14-10 defeat against Penn State, Temple couldn't have drawn up a better start. After holding the Terrapins to one yard on three plays, the Owls' first offensive snap produced a 54-yard completion from Stewart to tight end Evan Rodriguez, setting up the first of Pierce's four first-half scores.

Following another three-and-out for Maryland, Stewart ran for 18 yards on a third-and-5 and connected with Rodriguez on passes of 18 and 18 yards before Pierce made it 14-0.

The Owls weren't done. Temple again forced a punt, and Rod Streater blocked the kick to set up a touchdown. Maryland had gone 139 straight games without having a punt blocked.

At that point, many in the crowd began to boo the Terps. The jeers continued as the teams changed sides after a first quarter in which Temple led 21-0 and held a 153-47 edge in yardage.

A roughing the kicker penalty kept alive the Owls' next possession, which ended with Pierce breaking through the line on a third-and-1 play.

Temple (2-1) at Maryland (1-1) Sept. 24, 12:30, ACC Network

Here’s The Deal … Though Temple and Maryland don’t play annually, they’re familiar foes, separated by a short strip of I-95 highway. Plus, a number of players from each squad have faced one another on the prep level. Both schools will be looking to rebound from emotional losses in games they feel they could have won. The Owls dropped their 26th straight to Penn State, a heartbreaker it led in the final quarter before collapsing under the pressure of the moment. Still one of the favorites to win the MAC, they get one more crack at a school from an AQ conference before lacing up for the start of their own league schedule.

The Terrapins rallied, but fell short against West Virginia, 37-31, in front of a disappointed home crowd. The program, which has opened with an unusually thorny couple of games, would like to tap on the brakes a little in order to assess where it stands in head coach Randy Edsall’s debut in College Park. Hosting Temple and Towson should allow Maryland to find an identity before the ACC schedule kicks back into high gear.

Why Temple Might Win: The Owls defense has been outstanding through the first three games, allowing just eight points and 284 yards a game. Penn State sputtered against this group, needing turnovers and short-field opportunities in order to reach the end zone. LB Tahir Whitehead and DE Adrian Robinson are relentless pass rushers, getting off the snap and into the backfield in a hurry. While Maryland is one of just five teams that’s yet to allow a sack, that’ll change this weekend. Temple will pressure Terps QB Danny O’Brien into rushed throws, which will diminish his effectiveness. On offense, the Owls can lean on RB Bernard Pierce who has already run for 347 yards and seven touchdowns.

Why Maryland Might Win: Temple’s problem when facing better opponents is that it lacks the offensive balance to deliver in big spots. The passing game, specifically, is feeble, producing poor results from quarterbacks Mike Gerardi and Chester Stewart. The inability to move the ball through the air will allow Edsall and defensive coordinator Don Brown to stack the box to stop Pierce. The Terrapins are loaded with speed and talent in the front seven, including DT Joe Vellano and linebackers Kenny Tate and Demetrius Hartsfield. If the Owls can’t uncork Pierce, the offense will have a hard time out scoring the more diverse Maryland attack.

What To Watch Out For: O’Brien versus the Temple pass defense promises to be a delicious game-within-the-game on Saturday. The sophomore is one of the ACC’s better passers, even after getting picked off three times by the Mountaineers. It was an unusually bad performance for a player who threw just eight picks all of last year. He’ll need to rebound with conviction on Saturday afternoon because the Owls don’t give up much ground in pass defense. Led by corners Anthony Robey and Kee-ayre Griffin, they’ve picked off five throws and have yet to yield a touchdown pass.

What Will Happen: Temple goes easy on no one. Just ask Penn State. The Owls will force Maryland into an alley fight, shortening the game and bloodying the nose of their host. Their problem in getting over the hump, though, rests with the offense. Pierce will run for 80 yards and a score, but the dearth of support in the passing game will haunt the visitors. The Terrapins will survive a physical game that’s short on long plays and big on reverberating hits.

CFN Prediction: Maryland 27 … Temple 16
- Click For Latest Line From ATS: Maryland -9   O/U: 51.5

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