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MD Seeks Revenge
The Temple Owls will host Maryland Saturday at 12 noon est. as they look to build off of last weeks opening day thrashing of Villanova. Temple is a hefty -10 point favorite at both 5 Dimes and SBG Global, down from a high of -11. The betting percentages listed at sportsbook.ag favor Maryland slightly, with 54% of the bets coming in on the Terrapins, although it's important to note when viewing betting percentages, they don't always hold true from one book to another. For example, another popular book that lists percentages has 89% of their action coming in on Temple.
Why is Temple a double digit favorite here you ask? Look no further than last weeks results for these two teams as well as last years results when these two played. Maryland struggled to get by William & Mary last week, 7-6. Temple, as mentioned above, rolled over Villanova 41-10. That, coupled with last years 38-7 Temple win over the Terrapins, along with a 9-4 record compared to the 2-10 mark of Maryland, equates to a double digit spread this week. Oh, and injuries, but we'll get to that later.
But you have to dig a little deeper than that. Consider that Temple played one of the weakest schedules in all of college football last year. Their schedule was roughly two touchdowns, yes 14 points, weaker than Maryland's. They padded their record with wins over the likes of Akron, Buffalo, Kent State and Army. There were no vacation weeks for Maryland other than Towson in week 4. How about Miami Florida, West Virginia, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Florida State and Notre Dame. We left a few out, and the few we left out, were all better than any team Temple faced.
Of more importance is that Maryland didn't go out and lose 56-3 to all of those elite programs. They beat Miami Florida, lost by 6 to West Virginia, 5 to Georgia Tech and 11 to Clemson. It's safe to say that if Maryland played Temples schedule, they likely would have had an equally impressive record. A winning one at the very least.
So what happened last year? Well, there were two factors that without question had an impact on this game. Number 1, Maryland was in off knocking off Miami and almost knocking off West Virginia. Can you say "LETDOWN"?. Number 2, the Terrapins were so cocky coming into this one, so much so, that they were trash talking during warm ups telling Temple players the game was going to be a blowout. Can you say "BULLETIN BOARD MATERIAL?" Added motivation in college ball is huge. That would explain the 31-0 halftime lead. When the rage wore off, it was a 7-7 2nd half.
Maryland isn't as bad as last years game, and last weeks narrow 7-6 win over W&M made them look. Temple isn't as good as last years game, and their 41-10 blowout of Villanova made them look. What's more likely is that these two teams are fairly equal in talent although right now, give Temple the edge at QB.
Maryland did lose several players from last year's roster, including QB Danny O'Brien, who left for Wisconsin. They lost 13 players in all. Injuries also had an impact last week against William & Mary as 13 starters did not play due to injury with Edsall obviously feeling some weren't needed, giving them another week of rest. 7 players made their first career starts and Maryland has 27 Freshman and Sophomores on the roster, including a freshman QB.
Some of the injured players are expected back this week. Edsall was purposely quiet about this during his Tuesday press conference, but a couple of the Terps, linebacker Isaiah Ross and Defensive back A.J. Hendy both tweeted that they would play, with Hendy adding “I gotta play this week, dis one is personal.”
Let's also not forget that Temple lost their share of players as well. This is a young Temple team. Also, RB Montel Harris strained his hamstring last week against Villanova.
Here are a couple of quotes following last years game. "Down where we were warming up at, there were rude things said," Pierce said.....and "They were booing us a lot before the game. It really motivated us," quarterback Chester Stewart said. "We felt like (the Terps) didn't respect us too much. We all kind of came out with a chip on our shoulders and we came out ready to play."
MD Coach Randy Edsall had this to say about his teams performance last year. "What happened today is unacceptable and really, embarrassing," he said. "We didn't rise to the challenge today, pure and simple."
We still believe in Randy Esdsall after having watched him at UCONN for several years. We expect a much different game this time around. We'd be very surprised if Temple were to come out and dominate like they did last year. Maryland has the revenge motive working in their favor and a team that at worst, is equal in talent to the Owls, despite player losses and injuries. The 10 point spot should be enough to get us a cover in this one. We'll take Maryland here to show up and at least make it close. Another game where a straight up win by the dog shouldn't surprise anyone. Maryland +10
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