Terrance Davis

Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Temple defense shuts down No. 21 Maryland in 20-17 upset

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The first two weeks of the 2019 season saw Maryland putting up points at an incredible pace, but none of that seemed to matter Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia. No. 21 Maryland (2-1) suffered the first loss of the Mike Locksley era in a 20-17 setback against Temple (2-0) in a game that saw Maryland unable to score any points inside the 10-yard line despite having multiple opportunities. Multiple goal-line stands and fourth down stops by Temple’s energized defense were the key to a big victory for the Owls.

While neither team really had much to be proud of on offense, Temple quarterback Anthony Russo turned in a fine day on the box score with 277 passing yards and three touchdowns. That included a 79-yard pass to Jaden Blue just two plays after Maryland took its first lead of the game in the third quarter to retake the lead. But the story of the game was the defense, who shut down Maryland time and time from start to finish to frustrate a Terrapins offense that had scored close to 100 points in the first half of their first two games, only to score two points before halftime on Saturday. Maryland certainly had their chances, but far too many points were left on the field despite knocking on the doorstep.

 

Neither team was effective on third downs in the game. It took a combined 16 failed third-down conversions before Maryland converted back-to-back third downs late in the first half. But the teams then combined for 8-of-35 on third down. Maryland quarterback Josh Jackson was off the mark all afternoon, completing 15 of 38 passes for 183 yards. Temple wasn’t able to slow down Anthony McFarland on the ground (163 yards) but they did stuff the Maryland running game when it counted the most.

The hits piled up for Maryland too as offensive lineman Terrance Davis left the game with a lower-body injury. He was helped off the field after appearing to have his left leg rolled on by a defender at the end of a play, and he returned to the Maryland sideline in street clothes.

Maryland will get the next week off to prepare for their Big Ten opener. The Terps host Penn State on Friday, Sept. 27. The Nittany Lions, who have dominated the all-time series, will also be coming off a bye week after facing Pittsburgh in State College this afternoon. Because Maryland lost to Temple, the chance of seeing both Penn State and Maryland ranked in the same game for the first time since 1985 was wiped out.

Temple will hit the road next week to play at Buffalo. Buffalo defeated Temple in the season opener in 2018, 36-29, snapping a three-game winning streak by the Owls in the series.