Temple’s 36-27 loss to Maryland on Saturday was marred by miscues. As a result, the Owls can’t feel good about themselves heading into a bye week with a 1-1 record.
With 13 days before the next game, here are five things Temple needs to focus and work on before facing Penn State.
1. More offensive balance: The Owls have several five-receiver offensive sets. Yet, it’s hard to tell. Temple has run the ball 74.7 percent of the time through two games. That works against teams unable to stop the run. Penn State held Virginia to 32 rushing yards on Saturday, proving that it is not one of those teams. The Owls must find ways to throw the ball.
2. Running backs need to get healthy. With the time off, Montel Harris (sore hamstring) and Matt Brown (sprained ankle) can heal. Temple needs Brown’s big-play potential and Harris’ rugged running style. Though a nice complimentary player, fullback Kenny Harper can’t fulfill their roles. Temple must get Harris and Brown healthy during the bye week.
3. Defense has to limit big plays. The defense gave up big plays in a season-opening victory to Villanova, and did the same against Maryland. The Owls allowed 11 plays of 21 yards or more in the two contests. Temple will have to work on limiting those gains during the bye week.
4. Deon Miller has to have a bigger impact. What has happened to Miller? The Owls said he’s over the viral infection that hampered him during training camp. There was a thought that he would take some pressure of Temple’s running game. Miller hasn’t done that. In fact, he has yet to catch his first pass of the season. The Owls must find a way to get him involved in the offense.
5. Discipline must improve. The Owls were extremely undisciplined against the Terps, being called for four personal fouls. One of the penalties was extremely avoidable. Sean Daniels hit Maryland’s Stefon Diggs a few steps out of bounds on a punt return. The Owls must work on being more aware of their surroundings and being more disciplined.