The last time Temple played a night game, it defeated Middle Tennessee State for its only victory last season. If nightfall makes the Owls play better, coach Bobby Wallace will be looking for more nighttime fortune when his squad heads to College Park, Md., to take on the No. 23 Maryland Terrapins.
The Terrapins are the Owls second nationally-ranked ACC opponent in two weeks, and fifth straight ranked opponent dating back to last season. Maryland is coming off a scare at home against Northern Illinois, having squeezed out a 23-20 victory.
The Owls are coming off a 44-14 blowout at the hands of No. 16 Virginia.
Although Temple did not commit a penalty in the game, the defense gave up 286 rushing yards. On the offensive side of the ball, a porous offensive line did little to give quarterback Walter Washington time to survey the field. Washington made costly and inaccurate throws throughout.
“He (Washington) should be ready from the first play,” Wallace said.
Washington did not respond to adversity well, according to Wallace, but the coach still trusts his QB and his leadership on the field.
“I’ve got all the faith in him that he’s going to bounce back and play well against Maryland.”
It will be interesting to see Washington maneuver against a Terrapin defense that thrives off fast linebackers and all-American candidate cornerback Domonique Foxworth patrolling the secondary.
The Owls will attack an inexperienced quarterback in sophomore Joel Statham, who tossed two interceptions last week.
Maryland’s coach Ralph Friedgen’s three plus seasons has turned around the program. The Terps are 20-1 at home in the last four seasons. A major factor is due to the loud and rabid crowd. Byrd Stadium should prove to be one of the toughest opposing crowds the Owls will face this season.
Donnell Jackson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.