The Temple Owls are coming off the first loss of the Steve Addazio era on North Broad St. the competition doesn’t get any easier this week as the Owls head to College Park, MD. and take on ACC opponent Maryland.
The Owls are going against a Maryland team that gave up 38 points to West Virginia at home the weekend. That doesn’t change the outlook that this is still a very good defense, even up there with Penn State.
The Owls, who come into the game with the 33rd-best rushing offense in the NCAA, will be matched up with the 98th-ranked defense. Maryland gave up 423.50 yards per game in their first two contests.
In the opener against a Miami (FL) team that had many players suspended--including the starting quarterback--the Terrapins still gave up 367 yards, and then last week the defense gave up 480 yards of offense to West Virginia.
The Owls offense is averaging 362.7 yards of offense, despite just gaining 197 yards last week against the Penn State defense. The Owls gained 475 yards against Villanova and 416 against Akron.
Palumbo wasn’t about to give up any secrets of what the Owls were planning this week for Maryland.
“We will run whatever coach tells us to run, we can run and we can pass,” said Palumbo “We have confidence in running everything coach calls.”
The Owls coach Steve Addazio decided to switch the quarterbacks for this week and go with senior Chester Stewart over junior Mike Gerardi who threw two crucial fourth quarter interceptions against Penn State last week.
One of the differences between Gerardi and Stewart may be the way they are leaders of the offense.
“I think I’m more of a vocal leader than Mike, he leads more with action,” Stewart said.
Stewart may have given a few hints as to what the Owls offense will look like with him at quarterback.
“I think I give us the ability to spread the offense out, make it a little bit more difficult on the defense,” Stewart said.
When a team changes quarterbacks many times that has an effect on the offensive line. Temple has a very large offensive line, averaging 318 pounds a man. A front like that many times is built to run block and maybe Stewart gives them a better opportunity to do just that.
Stewart, even though he has been the backup so far this season, has always been preparing as if he were the starter. He was the starter at the beginning of the 2010 season before being replaced by Gerardi.
“I have prepared every week like I was going to start,” said Stewart. “So this week isn’t really any different preparation-wise than any of the others.”
If the Owls can get the offense back on track the way it was in the first two games against Villanova and Akron, then they will have a shot at knocking off Maryland. If not, it could be a long day in College Park for the Cherry and White.
Kickoff against Maryland is set for 12:25 p.m. EST and the game can be seen on the ACC Network, if you are in the Philadelphia area the game can be seen on ESPN3.com.
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