Temple football’s special teams struggle in close win over Maryland

Ed Foley, who ran the special teams for 12 seasons, left for Baylor in the fall.

Senior wide receiver Isaiah Wright carries the ball during the Owls' game against Maryland at Lincoln Financial Field on Sept. 14, 2019. Wright was the most successful of Temple's special teams players. | JUSTIN OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Before the game clock started running, Temple University football’s special teams struggled. 

At the kickoff, Temple was called offside and had to kick again. The first kick went 63 yards. Graduate kicker Jacob LaFree’s second attempt went out of bounds, allowing the University of Maryland to start at their 40-yard line.

Temple’s kicking and punting units were subpar from the start in the Owls’ 20-17 win over the Terrapins Saturday afternoon. 

“They were bad, is the best way to say it,” coach Rod Carey said postgame. “Kickoff I think did a nice job. Jake did a good job of putting the ball in the end zone. [Redshirt-sophomore kicker Will Mobley] missed a field goal, which is disappointing. He’s been really really good in practice and his numbers are way up from last year.”

Mobley’s second-quarter field goal attempt from the 34-yard line went wide right.

In the middle of the first quarter, a Temple punt attempt turned into 2 points for the Terrapins. Sophomore punter Adam Barry fumbled the snap out the back of the end zone.

With just more than six and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter, Barry made a 33-yard punt from the Temple 26-yard line. Maryland senior wide receiver DJ Turner evaded the defense and returned the punt 55 yards to the Temple four-yard line.

“The placement of that punt was not acceptable,” Carey said. “We had the tackle, and we didn’t execute the tackle.”

Barry would later punt the ball out of bounds for only seven yards with a little more than three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Maryland received the ball 10 yards from the end zone.

“There was nothing I needed to say,” Carey said. “I just tried to calm him down. I felt bad for the kid.”

Barry ended the game with a 32-yard average punt distance.

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