After a devastating Week 1 loss to Northwestern, Maryland football has bounced back with consecutive wins-surpassing many expectations in the Big Ten Conference and nationally.
In the last two weeks, the Terps have combined for 80 points and over 1,000 yards of total offense. They’ve also averaged 27.7 points per game in their wins against Minnesota (1-2 B1G) and Penn State (0-3).
Maryland Head Coach, Mike Locksley, believes his team is just beginning to scratch the surface and their best football is yet to come.
“The measuring stick for our games isn’t on how we play but based on what we do and how we perform,” Locksley said. “It’s all about if we are playing to the standards and expectations we set for ourselves and how we go about our habits and behaviors. As we form our habits it starts to form who we are becoming as a team,” Locksley said. “But, I am very guarded against us feeling as though we are a program that has arrived because we haven’t and we’re not that program just yet.”
A large part of the Terps’ success can be attributed to sophomore quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa. This season, Tagovailoa has thrown for 770 yards and has 6 passing touchdowns with a 67.4 completion percentage. The young signal caller also has two rushing touchdowns averaging 18.7 yards per carry.
“Whatever I can do to make the game easier for me, I’m willing to do,” Tagovailoa said. “Whether it’s staying up late or waking up early at the end of the day I’m just trying to win games. It starts at the top with Coach Locksley. He’s our leader and he always preaches to us about hard work and that starts in practice. If we continue to improve in practice, then what we do in practice will show up in the games.”
Meanwhile, the Terps weakness so far this season has been on the defensive side of the ball. They have given up over 740 passing yards, 680 rushing yards and have allowed more than 1,400 total yards against Northwestern, Minnesota and Penn State.
Leading tackler, junior Chance Campbell, feels the defense is trending in an upward direction headed into the heart of the season.
“I think we’ve made a lot of improvements,” Campbell said. “The last five quarters of ball that we’ve played have been really good. Guys on the front and back end are killing it and I think as a defense we’re growing together.”
Although the terps seem to be gelling together, earlier this week Maryland athletics announced Maryland Football will pause all team-related activities due to eight positive COVID-19 tests in the past week.
This Saturday’s game against Ohio State (3-0 B1G) was cancelled and the game won’t be rescheduled. The next game for the terps will take place on Nov. 21 at Capital One Field against Michigan State (1-2 B1G).