Maryland football came out flat and never got it going against Temple on Saturday, falling 35-14 without a single point from the offense. The loss dropped the Terps to 2-1 with Big Ten play upcoming.
Interim head coach Matt Canada addressed the media Monday afternoon, a day earlier than usual (Mary Gossett’s funeral is Tuesday). Here’s what he had to say:
Here’s Matt Canada, whose weekly press conference has been moved up a day. https://t.co/zjnPSAX4bU— Testudo Times (@testudotimes) September 17, 2018
Canada adamantly took the blame for the loss in his presser on Saturday, and although he said Monday he could break down every one of Maryland’s 52 offensive plays, he continued to point the finger at himself.
“I can rip them off for you right now, but that’s not what I want to do,” Canada said. “I called the plays, they didn’t work, so it’s my fault.”
Maryland isn’t changing its approach at quarterback after a disappointing performance by Kasim Hill on Saturday. He went 7-of-17 for just 56 passing yards and threw a pick-six, but Canada’s still confident in the redshirt freshman. “He’ll play better, we’ll play better, I’ll coach them better,” he said.
A key factor in Maryland’s loss was a slew of injuries on offense, especially up front. Starting tackles Derwin Gray and Damian Prince were both late scratches, and the Terps allowed seven sacks with both seniors out of commission. Lorenzo Harrison III was held out with a hamstring injury, while Jake Funk has missed two straight games with a broken hand. Funk won’t be back until after the bye week at the earliest, but Canada is optimistic that the others will be in action Saturday.
“All of them, we’re hoping, are gonna be back this week. They’re all planning to be back this week, but a couple of them we thought were gonna be able to go and were kind of game-time decisions,” Canada said. “So it’ll be very similar this week. Obviously, we’re not in the business of making excuses. We didn’t play well enough. We had some guys out, and the next man up’s gotta go play.”
Minnesota comes to town 3-0 and led by a coach Canada knows well. P.J. Fleck was a wide receiver at Northern Illinois from 1999-2003; Canada was on the Huskies’ offensive staff that whole time. After a brief NFL career, Fleck has rapidly risen through the coaching ranks. He was Western Michigan’s head coach from 2013-16, leading the Broncos to a Cotton Bowl appearance in 2016 before taking the job at Minnesota.
“He has great energy. He has great passion. His football teams are playing for him, there is no question about that,” Canada said of Fleck. “I’m happy for him. He’s done a great job.”