Temple Digs Too Deep a Hole, Rally Falls Short Against Maryland

Temple Digs Too Deep a Hole, Rally Falls Short Against Maryland

This isn't the first time Temple's had a letdown after a big win the week prior. In fact, one week after rolling Maryland 35-7 last season, the Owls were rolled themselves, 36-13, by Toledo at home.

On Tuesday, Chris Coyer pointed to that game as an example of what Temple couldn't afford to have happen on Saturday against Maryland.

Four days later, after the Owls' 36-27 loss to the Terrapins, Coyer said postgame, while receiving IV fluids : "We were playing very sloppy [in the first half] and we didn't come out as fired up as we should have been. We came out very slow."

Very slow was understatement. So just how bad was Temple in the first half?

- 25 plays, 34 yards. An average of 1.36 yards per play.

- 25 plays, three passing attempts.

- Four fumbles, two lost. One by Matt Brown on the Owls' first play from the scrimmage.

- Score at the break: Maryland 26, Temple 3.

From there, Temple came out passing and won the second half 24-10, but it wasn't enough.

Senior kicker Brandon McManus, who at least did his share on Saturday, echoed Coyer after the game:

"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 … They just played harder than us.

Laziness was one reason for the loss. A running game that barely got out of the backfield was another. By game's end, Temple had run the ball 39 times on 57 plays. Those 39 carries went for 52 total yards.

Asked after the game to explain his strategy in the first half, Steve Addazio pointed to his team's fumbles and emphasized that his receivers had to catch the ball. They were targeted three times in the first half.

"Everyone wants to talk about throwing the ball," he said. "That's great and terrific but you have to catch the ball, or it is 2nd and 10 and you don't have a rhythm going. We didn't have a rhythm going for a lot of reasons."

"You need to first establish who you are."

Temple, obviously, is a team who runs the football. But on a day when they couldn't establish the run, it didn't make much sense to continue trying. Sadly, that's the way the first half went.

When Temple balanced the offense in the second half (15 passes, 14 rushes), they gained 194 yards, as compared to their 34 in the first half. Coyer, who woke up with a 101-degree favor, set a new personal record for passing yards in a game with 178 on 7 of 18 attempts.

In fairness to Addazio, the Temple wideouts did have a number of drops in the second half that kept Coyer's completion percentage down, including one (pictured below) that went off C.J. Hammond's hands and was grabbed by Maryland defensive back before it hit the ground.

Still, the tale of two halves, and tale of two play-calling schemes, presented a stark difference in terms of success for Temple.

When it came time to do something else on Saturday, Temple didn't. By the time it finally did, it was too late.

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Another award: Carson Wentz named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month

Another award: Carson Wentz named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month

Three games into his NFL career, Carson Wentz might need a bigger trophy case.

The 23-year-old, who picked up his first NFC Offensive Player of the Week award for his performance against Pittsburgh, has been named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Month for September.

Yes, Wentz's first NFL month was a special one.

The No. 2 pick from North Dakota State has completed 64.7 percent of his passes for 769 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions. He's the first rookie in NFL history to put up those numbers in the first three games of a career. And his 102 straight passing attempts without an interception is also a rookie record.

It's hard to believe that a little over a week before the season began, Wentz was scheduled to be the Eagles' third-string quarterback and have a redshirt year. That all changed when de facto GM Howie Roseman traded away starter Sam Bradford and the team decided to start the rookie.

While many thought the decision to start Wentz was the beginning of a long rebuilding year, the rookie has the Eagles off to a fast 3-0 start. Wentz has played very well, but has also been aided by a stout defense, led by NFC Defensive Player of the Month Fletcher Cox.

This week, Wentz is spending some time hunting while the Eagles are on their bye week. He bagged another trophy on Thursday.

The team will be back in action on Oct. 9 in Detroit to face the Lions.

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Watch: Joel Embiid can't get over how much he trusts the process

Watch: Joel Embiid can't get over how much he trusts the process

Joel Embiid really trusts the process. 

And he'll tell you as much over and over.

In fact, JoJo said it so much yesterdady that he was cracking himself up about just how much he trusts the process.

By most accounts, Joel was a bit rusty in the first couple of practices to kick off training camp, but, you know, you've just got to trust the process.

And he does. Trust the process.