COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WDVM) – Maryland football has looked liked two different teams in its first two games. The Terps lost at Northwestern 43-3 in week one and edged out Minnesota 45-44 at home in week two. This week, they’ll face an 0-2 Penn State team that could be better than its record shows.
Ahead of the matchup in Happy Valley, Maryland head coach Mike Locksley is preaching consistency.
“I hate it being Christmas every Saturday for us where we don’t know what we’re going to get,” Locksley said. “So we’re striving as a coaching staff to make sure our guys show up and do their jobs with the consistency that’s needed to get the outcomes that we want.”
On offense, coming off of his breakout game in which he scored five total touchdowns, quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa will lead the Terps against a defense anchored by NFL prospect edge rusher Shaka Toney.
“When you put the tape on, you’ve gotta gameplan against him and minimize his ability to wreck your game plan,” Locksley said. “So we’ll have to do some unique things in our game plan to ensure that he doesn’t wreck our plan as we try to attack and the things we want to do to try to be productive on offensive.”
Maryland’s defense has been shaky, giving up more than 40 points in each of the first two games. The Terps’ defense will be tasked with stopping quarterback Sean Clifford and the human highlight reel wide receiver Jahan Dotson. Locksley is hoping true freshman cornerback Tarheeb Still can step up to the task, citing strong play.
“Going against the top players in the country, not just in our league, but Bateman and the Dotson kid who really had a good game last week,” Locksley said. “For us it’s really the whole secondary. Everybody has to do their part.”
The Nittany Lions have won the last five meetings between these teams, but the Terps did win a close on in 2014 at Penn State when Locksley was the team’s offensive coordinator. This week’s contest kicks off on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.