COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Temple stuffed Maryland’s potent offense, Anthony Russo threw for 228 yards and the Owls pulled off a 35-14 upset Saturday for their first victory of the season.
Ryquell Armstead rushed for 118 yards to help Temple (1-2) bounce back from losses at home to Villanova and Buffalo. The Owls took a 28-7 lead early in the third quarter and cruised to the finish as a 16-point underdog.
Shaun Bradley returned an interception 78 yards for a touchdown with 4:11 left to seal it.
Maryland (2-1) was striving to stay unbeaten under interim coach Matt Canada, who also serves as offensive coordinator. The Terrapins were averaging 39.5 points and 486 yards per game after rolling past Texas and Bowling Green, but nothing seemed to work against Temple.
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Maryland totaled 195 yards, made only 11 first downs and got its touchdowns on an interception return and a blocked punt.
Starting quarterback Kasim Hill went 7 for 17 for 56 yards, Tyrrell Pigrome was 1 for 4 for 7 yards and both threw an interception.
The sour performance took the luster from the Terrapins’ home opener in a season dedicated to fallen teammate Jordan McNair, who collapsed during a training session in late May and died of heatstroke two weeks later.
There was a moment of silence for McNair before the game, his No. 79 was painted in a large circle behind one end zone and a red 79 was painted outside both 21-yard lines, each of which are 79 yards from the goal line.
While the university investigates the circumstances of McNair’s death and the culture of the football program, coach DJ Durkin is on administrative leave. Canada has been running the team since August.
On this day, very little went right. The Terps were burned by a fake punt, the defense yielded several big plays and a running attack that last week amassed 444 yards finished with only 132.
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The game was scoreless late in the first quarter when Temple kept its offense on the field on fourth down at the Maryland 36. The Owls took a timeout, discussed the situation and went into punt formation.
Short man Todd Centeio took a direct snap, rolled right and threw a pass to a wide open Freddie Johnson for a touchdown.
In the second quarter, after Russo completed a 40-yard pass on a third-and-16, 330-pound defensive tackle Freddie Booth-Lloyd bulled into the end zone on fourth down from the 1.
Darnell Savage’s 23-yard interception return halved the deficit, but the Owls added a touchdown just before halftime with a 65-yard drive that included Armstead’s 25-yard run on a third-and-9.
Russo connected with Kenny Yeboah for a 47-yard touchdown on the opening drive on the second half.
Temple: The Owls needed this victory to show themselves and their fans that those first two games won’t have a bearing on the rest of the season. Beating a Big Ten team can only be a confidence booster before entering play in the American Athletic Conference.
Maryland: Maybe it was overconfidence, perhaps Temple figured out Canada’s scheme or maybe the Terps aren’t that good. Regardless, this is not the way Maryland wanted to play before opening in the Big Ten.
Temple begin American Athletic Conference play on Thursday night against visiting Tulsa.
Maryland launches its Big Ten schedule at home against Minnesota, a team the Terrapins beat 31-24 last year.
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