PHILADELPHIA —- Just a little less than an hour before kickoff, so it’s time for this week’s Maryland-related predictions.
1. Justus Pickett will set a career-high in carries.
The sophomore established career bests in rushes (14) and yards (82) in last year’s victory over Towson. While Maryland will probably split carries among Pickett and Albert Reid, look for the Terrapins to try to to establish the run as much as possible.
2. Stefon Diggs will have at least 12 touches.
Coach Randy Edsall acknowledged he wanted to get Diggs double-digit touches on offense last week. He got five on offense, eight overall (including punt returns). It’s easier to say that an actually pull it off with a wide receiver, but Diggs’ role should be larger in Game Two.
3. Demetrius Hartsfield will have his sixth straight double-digit tackle day.
Hartsfield made 13 stops in the opener, and the 3-4 defense essentially funnels ball-carriers up the middle toward him. He should have another fine day against run-heavy Temple. Nonetheless …
4. Matt Brown will run for 100 yards.
The Owls tailback rushed for 145 yards on 19 carries a week ago against Villanova, and the speedy senior should be able to crack the century mark again. That’s not necessarily a knock against Maryland’s improved defense, but Temple’s commitment to the ground game should allow Brown to produce a solid outing.
5. Temple will win.
This won’t be the bludgeoning last year’s 38-7 Temple victory was a season ago, but Temple is probably deep enough to wear down Maryland eventually. It might not even be a double-digit victory, but the Owls should improve to 2-0.
—- Patrick Stevens