Temple 38, Maryland 7: Stock Report and Helmet Stickers

Ouch.

Stock Up

C.J. Brown. It's often said that the backup quarterback is the most popular man on every college campus, and Brown backed that up yesterday. There is no QB controversy, or anything remotely approaching it, and the people who are suggesting that at this point are probably the same people advocating firing Randy Edsall. Frankly, it's a ridiculous idea that Maryland would bench the guy everyone thought two weeks ago was the best QB in the conference based on a game and half of bad football. And remember that Brown was in against Temple's scrubs, and they lack the quality of depth to hold a candle to Maryland's second-stringers.

But Brown did look at home in his only drive with the offense. He offers something Danny O'Brien doesn't: a true running threat. He gave the zone option reads that Gary Crowton used so heavily a bite they were lacking with DOB under center - because, again, O'Brien isn't a runner. Brown's quickness was jarring and his passing, while basic and a little erratic, was serviceable. They kept his reads simple and were able to move the pocket on rollouts, an easy way to avoid Temple's pressure. If Brown impresses in practice - remember that he was "pushing" DOB early - perhaps he gets a Wildcat-esque Portis Package all his own. That's a ways off, but it was a noteworthy seed in an otherwise dreary day.

Nick Ferrara. The blocked punt wasn't his fault so much as it was the result of that weird formation, and when he wasn't getting his kicks blocked he was impressively, consistently booming punts. He averaged 47.5 yards per punt, with two landing inside the 20 and a long of 54, which is a darn good statline. I'm still not sure about him as the placekicker, but he saved his punting job if nothing else today.

Devonte Campbell. Dude scored the only touchdown of the day. I mean, that's gotta count for something, right?

Kevin Dorsey. He did have a painful drop early, but he made up for it with an underrated shoestring grab for a first down later. He continues to show his very obvious potential on almost every play.

Hold

Tony Logan. Logan was desperate to make something happen on his sole punt return, which is why he fielded a ball he obviously should've fair caught. That counts for something for me. He's not a kick returner, a fact which is painfully obvious - his wiggle matters much less in the kick return realm, where quickness, speed, vision, and decisiveness are more important - and he's still a vulnerability going down the field as a wide receiver, as he appeared to turn the wrong way on an apparent sure touchdown pass. But he did make three catches, plus another big one that the officials missed that would've kept one of Maryland's third quarter drives alive.

Demetrius Hartsfield. Missed a painful tackle on one of Bernard Pierce's many touchdown runs, and was also nailed with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that was basically just salt in the wound. He also, however, had a big, perfectly-timed third down sack and was otherwise active in stopping the run, when it was actually able to be stopped.

Stock Down

Danny O'Brien. Look, it has to be said: Danny just plain wasn't good. It was probably a worse game than against West Virginia. I know some of the chemistry is off without Ronnie Tyler and Quintin McCree, but that doesn't explain why he suddenly can't connect with Matt Furstenburg, either, or misses easy throws to running backs, or seems jittery in the pocket. His confidence is shaken right now, it seems, and it's just snowballing downward. With any luck, he'll get his stuff together against Towson and go into the meat of the ACC season as the same ol' Danny we know and love. If he doesn't, this is going to be a very long season.

Davin Meggett. The offensive line failed to open up many holes, but what Meggett disappointed me with was his constant insistence of bouncing every run to the outside. He tried to do it against Miami, too, and it didn't work then, either. Against WVU, he more often picked a lane and got vertical, which is a better fit for his size and speed. He just doesn't have the quickness to play how he wants to play.

The offensive line. When D.J. Adams came in for the short-yardage situations, he basically ran into a wall of his own linemen. There was nowhere for him to go. It was indicative of the entire night, really. Running lanes were few and far between, and O'Brien was under consistent pressure for the first time all year. They hadn't given up a single sack in the first two games - they gave up three yesterday.

The Kenny Tate experiment. The fact that this is still going on is absurd. Tate is out of place at linebacker, and should be moved back to where he's more comfortable. Against a run-heavy team like Temple he gets swallowed up at the line of scrimmage and appears a little lost. I know Maryland lacks quality depth at linebacker, but surely the end result would be better with Tate at safety.

Just about everyone on defense. When the opposing QB goes perfect - Chester Stewart was 9-9 - and the opposing RB rushes for five touchdowns, I think it qualifies as a bloodbath. And that's what happened today, so, y'know. The defensive line was manhandled (again), the linebackers failed to make a significant impact, the safeties got caught upfield too often, and the cornerbacks didn't cover, for the little they were asked to. I don't know if anything went right. I figured I'd just put this, as opposed to literally putting down every other name and saying everything that went wrong. Some days, it's just enough to know that stuff didn't work.

Special teams. With the exception of Ferrara, what an unmitigated disaster this was. First a dumb formation gets a punt blocked and digs Maryland's hole 7 points deeper, and then a Ryan Schlothauer roughing the kicker penalty gives Temple a first down after Maryland's first stop on the afternoon. Kick returns were below-average and Logan had nowhere to go on the only punt return of the game. That blocked punt, by the way, was the first in 139 games - that was the longest active streak in the country. Emphasis on was.

Todd Bradford. No one has ever had much faith in Bradford, right since he was hired, and he's proving people right. He doesn't have much to work with, true enough, but the Kenny Tate debacle plus the basic playcalling and inability for him to compensate for the defense's weaknesses (small defensive line, questionable cover secondary) with its strengths (very quick, a few superstars in Vellano, Tate, and perhaps Mackall) isn't doing anything to change the perception. And then when, as I said before, the offense both runs and passes all over you, it's pretty much unmitigated disaster time. What I wouldn't do for Don Brown or Randy Shannon right now.

Gary Crowton. The playcalling has been worse than it was today, but Crowton's hand was largely forced by the early deficit. Even early on the offense clearly wasn't clicking, and he didn't appear to have his side of the field prepared. The most memorable moment for me is when Davin Meggett got Maryland their first first down of the game on a run, and then he proceeded to go back to the same exact play the next two snaps instead of trying to use that as a kickstart for other areas of the offense.

Randy Edsall. No one should be calling for his head after three games. That entire thought process is a little wonky. But the head man's two biggest hires are failing, and his team was nowhere near ready enough to play. I know they're not his recruits, and for that he gets a bit of leeway, but he still should've been able to have them focused enough to play Temple like they cared. In all honesty, it almost appeared as though they quit today, and that's a very bad indication.

Helmet Stickers

Devonte Campbell, TE. I feel bad giving out helmet stickers at all to anyone, but hey, Campbell scored a touchdown on a great individual effort. Give it to him.

Demetrius Hartsfield, LB. The unsportsmanlike conduct earned him an earful from Edsall, and the missed tackle is bad, too. But he was one of very few players to actually be average defensively.

Nick Ferrara, P. I'm not sure who else I'd give one to in the special teams world. Ferrara had a few great punts and deserves credit for them, even if he was out there too often.

C.J. Brown, QB. He led a touchdown drive. That doesn't mean he's pushing for a starting job or that he's a great QB, only that he was decent on a day when everyone else was awful.

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