Sept. 11, 2004
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - Joel Statham was more relaxed in his second start and it made a huge difference for Maryland.
Statham completed 18 of 25 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns in No. 23 Maryland's 45-22 victory over Temple on Saturday night.
"All I had to do was be more decisive and have more confidence in myself," said Statham, who fumbled four times and threw an interception in the Terrapins' season-opening victory over Northern Illinois. "I felt a lot more confident and I think I was mentally prepared."
Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said Statham finally played in a game like he's played in practice.
"He put us in the right play a lot of the time," Friedgen said. "He ad-libbed today. ... He kept his composure. I'm hoping he's going to get better the more and more he plays."
Sammy Maldonado ran for a career-high 106 yards and two touchdowns to help Maryland (2-0) win its 12th straight game at Byrd Stadium and improve to 5-0 against the Owls.
Quarterback Walter Washington ran for two TDs for Temple (0-2), which has lost nine straight games and 19 in a row to ranked opponents.
"Why did we get so behind so bad? We couldn't execute in the first half," said Temple coach Bobby Wallace. "Offensively, (I'm) very disappointed in the execution in the first half. I have to take the blame for that."
Maryland took a 28-0 halftime lead behind Statham, who was much more poised against the overmatched Owls.
"We felt early in the game he was still inaccurate," Wallace said. "We were trying to force him to throw it. We gave him too many easy throws. He got in a little rhythm for a while and he threw some excellent passes in long yardage situations."
Statham gave the Terps a fast start with a 12-yard TD pass to Jo Jo Walker 4:35 into the game.
Maldonado made it 14-0 with a left-side scamper with 3:46 remaining in the opening quarter, and Statham led 85- and 76-yard scoring drives in the second period, capped by Josh Allen's 5-yard run and Derrick Fenner's 14-yard reception.
Friedgen was impressed with the scoring pass to Fenner, an example of Statham's improvisational skills.
"I thought (Statham) was throwing it away, but he was throwing it to where only Derrick could get it," Friedgen
Maryland rolled up 319 first-half yards - 201 of them on Statham's 15-of-20 passing - while Temple had only 100 yards of total offense.
Early in the second half, Statham fumbled on a 12-yard keeper and Troy Bennett's recovery set up Washington's 3-yard scoring run.
Friedgen was disappointed that his mobile quarterback coughed up the ball so easily.
"If you're going to get hit, you need to get both hands on the ball," he said. "As much as we use him as a runner, he's got to learn to do that."
Maldonado leaped in from a yard for a 35-7 lead with 3:30 remaining in the third.
Washington scored his eighth rushing touchdown in his last three games on an 18-yard dash along the right sideline, cutting the lead to 35-14. He finished with 188 yards on 16 of 27 passing and rushed for 75 yards on 15 carries.