Surging Terrapins look for some payback against the Owls in Philadelphia
In College Park, the Terps destroyed the then-No. 21-ranked Syracuse Orange, 63-20. Because of the win, Maryland is now ranked 21st in the country entering this game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
Temple has only played one game to this point under new head coach Ron Carey. On Aug. 31, the Owls defeated FCS member Bucknell 56-12 in their season opener.
Coming into Saturday's game, Maryland has a 7-2 advantage over Temple in head-to-head meetings but the Owls were victorious in last season's meeting, beating the Terps 35-14 in College Park.
Maryland at Temple
Kickoff: Saturday, Sept. 14 at 12 p.m. ET
Spread: Maryland -7
When Maryland Has the Ball
Virginia Tech transfer Josh Jackson has been the leader of the Maryland offense during their first two games. He has thrown for 541 yards, seven touchdowns and only one interception with a quarterback rating of 165.4. Not only have the Terps relied on their passing games, but their ground game has been strong as well.
Maryland has three running backs that already have more than 100 rushing yards this season, led by junior Jake Funk. In two games, Funk leads the Terps with 173 yards on a healthy 10.3 yards per carry clip.
Tayon Fleet-Davis has 146 rushing yards with one touchdown while Javon Leake has 130 yards and two scores and is averaging 13 yards per attempt. Not to be left out, Anthony McFarland Jr. has four rushing touchdowns on 20 carries (93 yards, 4.7 ypc).
As a team, Maryland piled up 354 yards and six touchdowns on the ground alone last week against Syracuse. Temple held Bucknell to just 21 rushing yards in their opener, but obviously the Terrapins will be a much tougher opponent than the Bison from the FCS ranks.
When Temple Has the Ball
Quarterback Anthony Russo had a monster season opener against Bucknell as he threw for 409 yards and four touchdowns in the blowout victory. He completed 23 of 31 passes with three touchdowns in the first half as the Owls had a 35-9 led after just two quarters.
Russo started his first career game on the road against Maryland a year ago. He completed 15-of-25 passes for 228 yards, a touchdown, and an interception as he led the Owls to a 35-14 victory.
The Temple offense will receive a boost this week with the return of tight end Kenny Yeboah. Two weeks ago against Bucknell, Yeboah sat out because of injury.
Yeboah recorded just 13 receptions, 154 yards, and a touchdown in 2018, but he could potentially pose a problem to the Maryland defense. He was a factor in the Owls' victory over the Terps last season with a 47-yard touchdown catch.
Saturday's game will come down to which defense can make a stop. In that case, the advantage goes to Maryland.
Temple's defense is not as good as it was a season ago. The Owls lost cornerback Rock Ya-Sin and defensive end Michael Dogbe to the NFL draft. The game plan for Temple against Maryland is tough because not only have the Terrapins been able to run the ball effectively, quarterback Josh Jackson is one of the most talented signal-callers the team has had in years.
Look for Maryland to try and wear down the Owls defense with the ground game, which should make things easier for Jackson and the passing attack. The Terps close out their non-conference slate with another impressive win.
Prediction: Maryland 41, Temple 20
— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post and is a reporter for Pro Player Insiders. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.