Before even playing its first Big East game, Temple is already feeling added pressure: Upholding its new conference's honor.
But Steve Addazio is confident the Owls can handle it when they take on ACC stalwart Maryland Saturday afternoon at the Linc.
"There's no question going into Week 2 playing a BCS team from the ACC is a challenge for us," said Addazio, who knows his team will be in for a much sterner test than Friday's 41-10 romp over Villanova. "We take a lot of pride as a member of the Big East. Maryland has a talented receiving corps and some dynamic players on defense, so our guys are going to really have to step up and play hard and physical."
They did against 'Nova, as Matt Brown ran for 146 yards on 19 carries for a chunk of Temple's 301 rushing yards. Defensively, Temple had four sacks and forced two turnovers, including Vaughn Carroway's 57-yard TD interception return, but was also victimized by some big plays.
According to Addazio, the adjustments a team makes between its opener and Game 2 is the key to its season.
"I'm a believer that from Week 1 to Week 2 you have to see tremendous improvement from an execution standpoint on both sides of the ball," explained Addazio, whose club crushed the Terps 38-7 last year at Maryland. "We got in a situation against Villanova where we got up and I just wanted to run the ball and burn clock. But I understand we need to be more balanced, call more throws and make them defend the whole field."
The Terps edged William & Mary, 7-6, in their opener behind freshman quarterback Perry Hills.
"We know they have some talented players who are highly motivated," said Addazio. "They're going to come in here and it's going to be a real contest."