Saturday's Maryland-Temple game featured an interception, a muffed punt, a goal-line stand, a safety, a failed fake field goal and a missed field goal...just in the first half of a game that will undoubtedly go down as one of the craziest of the season. Temple begged Maryland to win this game. They tried to give it away over and over again, but the Terps weren't biting.
To say Maryland’s 20-17 loss to Temple was an ugly game does not adequately convey how horrendous this contest was. The game of football was set back several years, and it may never recover from what the Terps and Owls did to it on Saturday.
There were too many brutal standouts in this game to mention. but here are the five ugliest moments that led to Maryland’s first loss of the season.
A first-quarter goal-line stand
The Terps were in business early in the first when Antoine Brooks recovered a muffed punt at the Owls’ 19-yard line. Four plays later, Maryland got the ball down to the Temple 1. On fourth down, Mike Locksley rolled the dice...and the Terps got stuffed.
The slowest fake field goal ever
A bad snap on a Temple punt put Maryland on the board with a safety. Trailing 7-2 in the second quarter, the Terps elected to try the slowest fake field goal you have ever seen. You can guess how that turned out.
At this point, you realized we were in for something special with this game. Going for it on fourth down on the goal line is one thing, but you add that to this fake field goal and it sure felt like the Terps were playing desperately. Why would a team with the top-scoring offense in the nation through two weeks decide to play as if they would never score again? Good question.
Maryland gets the lead...and loses it in one play
OK, so that first half was bad, but surely the Terps would rebound in the second half and take control, right?
Not so much.
Anthony McFarland gave Maryland its first lead of the game in the third quarter with a four-yard touchdown run. That lead lasted one play.
Literally, one. Here’s what happened on the first play from scrimmage after the kickoff.
No one can recover a fumble
If you want to encapsulate how bananas this game was in one play, this would be it.
Temple running back Jager Gardner busted a big 15-yard run, but fumbled the ball...and then things got nuts.
Maryland did end up recovering the fumble, but instead of getting it at the 40 like they should have, they ended up finally controlling the ball at the 26, losing 14 yards because no one was able to just fall on the ball like they were taught in peewee football.
Maryland gives Temple 1st and goal and the go-ahead touchdown off a 3rd down defensive holding
Somehow the Terps retook the lead because, as I mentioned, Temple really did not want to win this game. Clinging to a 15-13 lead, Maryland came up with a big defensive stand on third down at their own 16 by forcing an incomplete pass. But a flag was thrown on the play and, to no one's surprise, it was on Maryland.
That was just the kind of game this was.
Cornerback Tino Ellis was called for defensive holding, which gave Temple an automatic first down at the 8-yard line.
Instead of fourth and 14 for a team that had trouble on special teams all day long, the Terps gave up the first down and, two players later, the go-ahead touchdown.
Maryland walks away with zero points after getting first and goal twice in the fourth quarter
There was life for the Terps late in the fourth as D.J. Turner returned a punt 55 yards all the way down to Temple 4. Surely the Terps, the top scoring offense in the nation, would be able to get four yards in four plays, right?
Clearly you have not been paying attention.
Maryland got the ball down to the one and on fourth and one, elected to go for it again. Again, they were stuffed.
The issue here was that the offensive line forgot they were supposed to block. That is a significant part of the job of an offensive line. Temple was in the backfield almost instantly.
Because Temple really, really did not want to win this game, however, they gave Maryland one more chance. Owls punter Adam Barry unleashed a seven-yard punt (you read that right, seven yards) that gave the Terps the ball back at the 10. Four plays later, Maryland once again failed to score. In fact, they actually lost two yards overall thanks to a false start penalty.
Woof. This is one of those games where you just burn the tape and move on.
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