Best and Worst awards for Temple vs. Maryland game
My look at some of the best and worst performances from Maryland’s 36-27 victory over Temple on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field:
Best player in the game: Any person in his right mind knows Stefon Diggs wins this by a landslide. The Terrapins’ true freshman wideout torched the Owls with 135 all-purpose yards. His highlight was his 38-yard reception on a third-and-11 play to Temple’s 13-yard line late in the game. That play set up the game-clinching touchdown. The 6-foot, 180-pounder also returned a punt 27 yards and had a 25-yard kickoff return. He did have one blunder, though, fumbling on a punt return. But Diggs more than made up for it on the late third-down reception.
Worst performance by a group: This has to go to Temple’s ground gainers. The Owls looked nothing like the team that rushed for 301 yards against Villanova a week ago. Temple had 39 carries for just 52 yards (1.3 yards per carry) against the Terps. Matt Brown, who played with a sprained ankle, had 31 yards on 10 carries. Often times, Temple’s rushing attack was hard to watch. How many times can you watch a running back run up the middle for no gain? Better yet, how many times can you watch that when they're trailing by 23 points?
Best defensive performance: Temple’s Nate D. Smith gets this award after compiling game highs of 11 tackles and two forced fumbles. The 5-foot-11, 230-pound linebacker’s forced fumbles set up Temple scores. The redshirt freshman is the face of the Owls defense after posting dominant performances against Villanova and now Maryland.
Worst stat of the game: The Owls were called for four personal fouls. Most of them were bone-headed plays. Temple reserve defensive end Sean Daniels, who had two of the personal fouls, recorded the most avoidable one. He hits Diggs a few steps out of bounds on a punt return. For a team that played clean a week ago, the Owls were extremely undisciplined against the Terps.
Best bounce-back game: Maryland quarterback Perry Hills completed 11 for 21 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns. The true freshman also scrambled for an 11-yard score. That was way better than the three interceptions he threw last week against William & Mary.
Worst individual performance: Let’s just say it was rough day for Temple center Sean Boyle. Two of his snaps sailed over the head of quarterback Chris Coyer, who recovered one in the end zone for a safety.
Best quote: This goes to Temple placekicker/punter Brandon McManus about the Owls' lackadaisical play. "We just came out and played lazy. I don't know why that is the case. But we knew they were coming up here for a revenge game [after Temple's 38-7 victory at Byrd Stadium in 2011]. We knew they were going to play hard. They are a young team and an athletic team. They just played harder than us."
Worst of the worst: This has to go to Temple’s fans for not showing up. There was a listed crowd of 23,322. Maybe there were 23,322 tickets sold. But, it can be argued that there were fewer than 18,000 fans in the 69,000-seat stadium. Where were the all Owls’ fans who swear they bleed Cherry and White? I was hearing that 30,000 were going to show up.