Morning Six Pack: Temple Hosts Woefully Shorthanded Maryland

Morning Six Pack: Temple Hosts Woefully Shorthanded Maryland

Fresh off a 41-10 win over Villanova, Temple takes on its first FBS opponent of the season Saturday when it hosts Maryland at the Linc (Noon / ESPNU).

A win would give the Owls their third straight 2-0 start, their sixth consecutive win at home dating back to 2011, their sixth consecutive win overall and just their second-ever victory over an ACC program.

Click here for the game preview and check out these six quick-hitters to get you prepped for kickoff:

1. Immediate History
Temple's first win over an ACC opponent came against the Terps last year in the form of a 35-7 thrashing in College Park. Bernard Pierce set a single-game program record with all five touchdowns in the victory. Also of note, Chester Stewart went 9 of 9 passing.

2. Where'd Everybody Go?
Twenty-five transfers. Head coach Randy Edsall has lost 25 players to transfer since taking over the Maryland program in Jan. 2011. 

Included in that list is quarterback Danny O'Brien, who lost his job as the starter at some point last year but parlayed that into another starting gig at Wisconsin.

Anyhow, as if they weren't already a little short on experience given the departures, the Terps had 13 guys get injured in the preseason, including two who are done for the year. The other 11 missed last Saturday's 7-6 win over William & Mary. Thus, they have 27 freshman and sophomores on their current two-deep depth chart, with the 14 true freshman on that chart serving as the third most in the nation. They had a whopping 14 guys see their very first college action last week.

Maryland will have two of its defensive lineman, Keith Bowers and Isaiah Ross, back against Temple, though the rest of those who missed Week 1 remain more than likely out.

3. Running up that Hills
One of the Terps whose out for the entirety of 2012 is O'Brien's would-have-been replacement, C.J. Brown. But Brown has a torn ACL, leaving true freshman Perry Hills to run the offense.

Hills went 16 for 24 against William & Mary, throwing three interceptions and zero touchdowns. He was sacked just once.

4. Expanded Offense?
The Temple offense was pretty boring against Villanova, because running the ball over and over was really just a good option. That and it didn't show much to future opponents.

Temple coach Steve Addazio said after Tuesday's practice that he tried to open a bit more of the offense earlier that morning, but that he wasn't satisfied with the team's performance, as guys had trouble re-adjusting to sets they hadn't worked on in two weeks.

Keep an eye on whether Temple chooses or is forced to go the pass more often this week.

5. Will You Show Up?
The Mayor's Cup set its third straight attendance record last Friday night and made for the largest crowd to watch a Temple game at the Linc that did not involve Penn State.

It's not unusual for the Owls to start off strong on opening night, just like it's not unusual to see the attendance figure suffer soon thereafter. For reference, even after Temple started 3-1 last season and rolled Maryland the week before, only 21,000 showed up for Week 5 against Toledo. In 2010, only 15,000 showed up Week 2, after 31,000 had been present opening night.

6. Odds and Ends
Vegas Insider lists the Owls as a 10.5-point favorite. If you're betting the money line, you'll need to throw down $375 on the Owls to win $100 or $100 on Maryland to win $290. The over/under is set at an even 45.

Bonus Brew
We're back with the musical outros this season:

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Andres Blanco fractures left index finger, likely heading to 15-day DL

Andres Blanco fractures left index finger, likely heading to 15-day DL

PITTSBURGH --- Utility infielder Andres Blanco suffered a fractured left index finger in the fifth inning of Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates and is expected to be placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday.

Blanco was injured when Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco slid into his hand during a play at third base. Blanco was making his second straight start at third in place of Maikel Franco, who was out with a sore left wrist after being hit by a pitch Friday from Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole.

Franco took over at third for Blanco, who hit a solo home run off Pirates rookie right-hander Jameson Taillon in the first inning. Blanco is hitting .271 with four homers in 75 games this season.

Meanwhile, catcher Cameron Rupp was not in the lineup after being hit in the left ear flap of his batting helmet on Saturday by a pitch from Pirates rookie right-hander Tyler Glasnow. Carlos Ruiz started behind the plate.

Rupp passed Major League Baseball’s concussion protocol both Saturday and Sunday.

"If you get hit in the head, you probably want to take a little bit more precaution than if it was another part of your body,” Rupp said.

Mike Piazza inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

Mike Piazza inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Mike Piazza has been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Selected by the Dodgers in the 62nd round of the 1988 amateur draft with the 1,390th pick, ahead of only five other players, Piazza is the lowest-drafted player to reach the Hall of Fame. He made it in on his fourth try.

Piazza played 16 years with five teams and hit 427 home runs, including a major-league record 396 as a catcher. A 12-time All-Star, Piazza won 10 Silver Slugger Awards and finished in the top five in MVP voting four times.

Perhaps even more impressive, Piazza had six seasons with at least 30 home runs, 100 RBIs and a .300 batting average. All other catchers in baseball history combined have posted nine such seasons.

Ken Griffey Jr. inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

Ken Griffey Jr. inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Ken Griffey Jr. has been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Griffey, the first No. 1 draft pick to be selected for enshrinement, played 22 big-league seasons with the Mariners, Reds and White Sox and was selected on a record 99.32 percent of ballots cast, an affirmation of sorts for his clean performance during baseball's so-called Steroids Era.

A 13-time All-Star selection and 10-time Gold Glove Award winner, Griffey hit 630 home runs, sixth all-time, and drove in 1,836 runs.

Griffey also was the American League MVP in 1997, drove in at least 100 runs in eight seasons, and won seven Silver Slugger Awards.

In the 1995 ALDS, he became just the second player in major league history to hit five home runs in a postseason series.