After opening the season with wins over No. 23 Texas and Bowling Green, Maryland football turns its attention to a home opener against Temple.
The Terps racked up yardage in the rushing game against Bowling Green, passing less than they did in the season opener. Interim head coach Matt Canada is calling plays, and when addressing reporters Tuesday, shared how he manages the game from the sidelines.
Here’s his full press conference:
Interim HC Matt Canada is here to address reporters before Maryland's home opener against Temple. https://t.co/h8N9sdoqK7— Testudo Times (@testudotimes) September 11, 2018
Canada opened his weekly press conference addressing the death of Mary Gossett and acknowledging the victims of 9/11. Gossett, a longtime donor and Maryland football fan, died Monday. Gossett, and her husband Barry, have been Terrapin Club donors for 45 years, and the Gossett Varsity Team House is named in their honor.
“The loss of Mary is certainly something that is a tremendous loss for our entire university,” Canada told reporters. “And for our program, she was very, very special to our players, to our program. Certainly thoughts to Barry and their entire family through this, another grieving situation. She loved Maryland football and she loved our players.”
After opening on a somber note, Canada addressed what happened on the field last weekend and Maryland’s success in the running game. The Terps amassed 444 yards on the ground against Bowling Green, in a rainy game that saw two backs finish with over 100 yards and five finish with at least 40 yards. After backing some of the defenders out of the box with some early throws, Canada stuck to what worked in the second half.
“When I became the coordinator at Northern [Illinois] for Coach [Joe] Novak ... he called me in and said, ‘I have one piece of advice for you,’” Canada told reporters. “And he said, ‘You offensive guys, sometimes the plays work and you change them because you think you have to call all the plays on your sheet. If the play works, keep calling it.’
“And that sounds very silly, but it was great advice. So obviously the running game was working, and until it wasn’t going to work, the odds of something happening handing the ball off in the rain are much less than dropping back and throwing the ball in the rain.”
Maryland’s running backs had a day. Ty Johnson finished the game with 124 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, while Tayon Fleet-Davis added 102 yards and two scores. Anthony McFarland piled on another 122 all-purpose yards (69 rushing, 53 receiving), and Lorenzo Harrison put up 86 more yards on the ground. Meanwhile, it was a quiet day for receivers, in an offense predicated on spreading the ball around.
The Terps will continue to spread the ball around against a Temple team that has won 27 games over the past three seasons. The Owls are off to an 0-2 start, with losses to Villanova and Buffalo, but have scored two non-offensive touchdowns over the first two weeks and won the last time they visited Maryland Stadium in 2011. However, Maryland returned the favor with a road win over the Owls in 2012.
“They’re a team that’s won a lot of football games and beat a lot of very good opponents,” Canada said. “I think they do a great job, starting with their special teams. ... They’re coming in here to play to win. Defensively they fly around, they’ve got a multiple front package they use. And offensively, they’ve got weapons.”
Maryland will take on the Owls in its home opener Sept. 15 at noon, airing on BTN. After a moment of silence before the game, the Terps will continue on with Jordan McNair’s No. 79 emblazoned in front of the student section and on the sidelines.