Steve Addazio still won’t call last Saturday’s 14-10 setback to Penn State a moral victory.
But Temple's first-year coach is pleased with his Mid-American Conference team’s performance against the Big Ten squad.
It was a performance Addazio thinks will help the Owls (2-1) against Maryland in College Park, Md. on Saturday.
“You saw a team play with great passion, great effort, and great intensity,” said Addazio, who squad is a 9-point underdog against the Terrapins (1-1). “That was undeniable. We went toe-to-toe with them.
“And there’s no shortage of physical toughness, no shortage of competition. None of that was evident. I'm proud of how our team fought.”
Addazio was disappointed that he didn't put his team in a better position to win. He now second-guesses the coaching decision to throw downfield on a first-and-10 play from the Owls 33-yard line with 8 minutes, 50 seconds remaining. At the time, Temple was clinging to a 10-7 advantage.
Temple quarterback Mike Gerardi’s pass was intercepted by Penn State linebacker Mike Mauti. Twelve plays later, Mike Zordich’s 1-yard touchdown run turned out to be the game-winner.
“As a coach you are always going to ask yourself, ‘What could I have done better to make sure that didn’t happen?’ ” Addazio said of the costly turnover. “One of the thing we could have done, we could have handed that thing off in a draw or a screen.”
That way, he added, Temple would have been satisfied with punting if it didn’t get a first down.
“But as we move forward into the Maryland game, I don’t think you saw too much difference between those two teams on that football field,” Addazio said. “You saw a very proud MAC team take a very, very upper-tier BCS team, and very good football team by the way, and go toe-to-toe with them for four quarters.”