A week ago, Maryland redshirt senior outside linebacker Jesse Aniebonam was all smiles after he got his first sack since returning from the broken ankle that sidelined him for most of last season. It helped that the Terps won at Bowling Green with a dominant second half.
Aniebonam’s mood was much different Saturday afternoon, sitting next to interim coach and offensive coordinator Matt Canada and teammate Darnell Savage Jr. after Maryland’s 35-14 loss to Temple in the home opener.
This time, Aniebonam mostly glared. Even when he was asked about blocking a punt and returning it for a touchdown in the second half Saturday, Aniebonam couldn’t change his mood or think much about his first career touchdown.
“It’s a good feeling, obviously,” Aniebonam said. “But at the end of the day, it doesn’t add up to a win. That’s all I’m really worried about. I’m worried about next week [against Minnesota]. I can make all the plays I want, but if we’re not good enough collectively, then it’s not going to matter at the end of the day. It’s a team game, team effort.”
McNair, McNamara honored
Maryland honored offensive lineman Jordan McNair, who died in June after suffering heatstroke, with a moment of silence before the game, during which several players encircled the No. 79 emblem in the West end zone, kneeling and bowing their heads in prayer.
The school also had a moment of silence in the press box for 1983 Maryland graduate John McNamara, a longtime Terps beat writer who was one of five people killed at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis in June.
McFarland’s first 100-yard game
Redshirt freshman running back Anthony McFarland, who sat out last season while recovering from the broken leg he suffered before his senior year at DeMatha, had one of the only positive offensive performances for the Terps.
McFarland, who started the season third on the depth chart, moved up to be senior Ty Johnson’s main backup Saturday after junior Lorenzo Harrison III sat out with an undisclosed injury. With Johnson struggling for the second time in three weeks, McFarland got his chance.
A player once rated the No. 3 high school all-purpose running back in the country as a junior, McFarland finished with 107 yards on 11 carries. That followed a strong performance in last week’s win at Bowling Green, when McFarland rushed eight times for 69 yards and caught two passes for 53 yards, including a 46-yarder.
“Everything we see all the time in practice,” Canada said. “We have really good running backs and he’s got a great spark to him. I know he was disappointed because he wanted to win and he had a couple of runs that almost popped.”