COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WDVM) – The Maryland Terrapins prepare for their first game in over two weeks, as they travel this Saturday, to take on Indiana.
“It’s a really talented offense, and a really talented quarterback in Michael Penix Jr., with the receivers he has – it will continue to challenge us and take the next step.” said Head Coach Mike Locksley about Indiana.
“I mean, they’re a big pressure team, usually do it in multiple ways. Through zone pressure mostly.” said Coach Locksley, “First and second down, eighty percent of the time they are bringing in extra guys, and what we’ve gotta do is manage and execute, and we do some things on the offense that are pretty unique, that prepare for teams that bring this type of pressure. It’s just a matter of us being able to execute our stuff against said pressure.”
Maryland also faces pressure on their roster, because of the coronavirus. The Terps can possibly be without as many as 23 players, when they take the field this Saturday, because of positive COVID-19 test results, following their win against Penn State.
“Not concerned at all, like I’ve said before we had started out with 110 players, we anticipated with the way we developed this team, is that whether you are player No. 1 or No. 110, we’ve tried to develop this team knowing that COVID would be an issue.” said Head Coach Mike Locksley. “And the respect that we have for COVID, and the way it is affecting our program. So now we need these guys that maybe haven’t played major roles to step up, and step into the next man up mentality, that you have to create. It’s no different than any other injury you have, so we’re not a team that is going to make excuses, and we’re not going to go in and ‘Woe, is me’ because of certain guys we don’t have.”
The Terps will have to bring their own energy in Bloomington this Saturday, as they try to build on the momentum of their last two wins, including a 35-19 win against Penn State on the road.
“Being a young team, a lot of things you take for granted, or a lot of things you just expect to happen because when you haven’t been in that routine, then all of a sudden a young team that is inexperienced, pops up and they show you that maybe you don’t need to practice 14 times to be able to go and play at a high level.” said Coach Locksley, “Maybe, like I said, they are young enough to know that they need to play with the energy, and the effort, and that makes up for some of the lack of preparation that we had.”
For junior wide receiver, Brian Cobbs, the team has been consistently building themselves back up; without missing too many steps along the way.
“It’s just like I said, a little rust in certain areas.” said Brian Cobbs, “But all in all, in terms of playbook – and you can tell in those two weeks, everybody was studying their playbooks and staying sharp mentally. And the physical aspect, towards the beginning of practice, sort of getting our lungs back and stuff like that, but as practice went on, the speed of practice increased, and guys were making plays.”