COLLEGE PARK - The Maryland football team did a victory lap last night and there was an extensive Fire-works display after the game.
But there really wasn't much to celebrate at Byrd Stadium after the Terps stumbled past Temple, 17-10, in the season opener before a crowd of 46,950 that was disappointed by LaMont Jordan's slow start and a sluggish Maryland offense.
Jordan sat out the first series, and slowly worked his way into the flow of the game by the third quarter, when he ran 7 yards for a touchdown and broke away for a 19-yard run, his longest of the evening.
The early Heisman Trophy candidate wound up with 62 yards on 22 carries, though he did score both touchdowns in a lackluster opener for the Terps. The Forestville, Md., senior virtually walked into the end zone from two yards out late in the first quarter, giving Maryland a 7-3 lead.
Jordan did not start because he missed all of spring practice and 14 preseason workouts as he worked to bring up his grades, and the layoff seemed to affect him. He seemed to lack the quickness in his step and the ability to cut back and forth across the field that he possessed in the final game of last season against Virginia.
But the 5-foot-11, 220-pound Jordan is a traditionally slow starter, and he virtually predicted two weeks ago that he would be critiqued closely in his debut.
"I know people are going to look at me and say 'He's a step slow and he's not hitting the hole as fast as he should,' "Jordan said. "You always expect people to see the mistakes more."
On a night when Jordan was not on his game, sophomore punter Brooks Barnard definitely was as he boomed punts of 85 and 66 yards and came away with a 53.8 average that established a school record. Barnard, one of the hardest workers ersers on the team, heard the cheers of the crowd all night.
Another highlight for Maryland was a 51-yard catch by Scooter Monroe that, set up Maryland's second touchdown of the night.
Jordan was not the only rusty player on the field, as quarterbacks Shaun Hill and Calvin McCall seemed to struggle to get into the flow of the game. . Hill, who started, was 7 of 13 for 62 yards, though he picked up 38 yards on six carries on the option.
McCall finished 4 of 10 for 92 yards but was a minus 13 in yards rushing, a phase of the game in which he excelled in last season.
Maryland coach Ron Vanderlinden said he had planned to start McCall, the returning starter, last night but McCall "violated a team rule."
Hill's gameended when he ran off the field with 12 seconds left in the first half and headed straight for the locker room with a shoulder injury. He said he "had a slight twinge" in his shoulder.
That put the second half in the hands of McCall, who had played briefly in the first half but couldn't get the offense going. But the red-shirt sophomore regained his composure in the second half as the Terps hung on against the pesky Owls.
Maryland was never out of danger, but finally gained a 17-10 lead on Brian Kopka's 41-yard field goal with 2:21 left in the game.
NOTES: The injury jinx continued for Maryland junior strong safety Tony Jackson (Wilde Lake) last night when he injured his left shoulder while making a tackle on Temple wide receiver Charles Cobb with a little more than four minutes left in the first half. Cobb had gathered in a 34-yard pass at the Maryland 44-yard line and was hit immediately by Jackson. Jackson left the field with a left shoulder injury, making it the second straight season he has been hurt in the opener against Temple and the third year he has been injured. Jackson broke his foot last year in the opener and missed the entire season, receiving a medical hardship. In 1998, Jackson sprained his knee against Clemson and was out for four games.
Maryland junior inside linebacker Marion Moore announced that he wants use his full given name from now on. So it is officially Marlon Moye-Moore for talented youngster who led the Terps in tackes with 130 last season.
Moore used only his mother's (Marie Moore) name for 10 years and did not officially add his father's (Basil Moye) name when his mom and dad were married 10 years after his birth.
Temple sophomore placekicker Cap Poklemba was primarily a baseball and soccer standout at McDonogh but did kick for the football team his senior year. Poklemba gave the Owls a 3-0 lead in the first quarter last night with a 41-yard attempt early in the third quarter when Temple was down 7-3.