COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WDVM) – Following Maryland’s tough loss to Rutgers; the Terps have another shot at making their final home game a special one, especially for their senior class.
“Another opportunity to play here in The Shell.” said Head Coach Mike Locksley, “It’s almost like a do-over for our seniors, second chance to send them out the right way, against a good Michigan State team. A team that has been playing good football here for the last three to four weeks.”
Michigan State’s final game of the regular season, was a loss at the hands of Penn State; losing 39-24. The Terrapins were previously set to host the Spartans; before a COVID-19 outbreak on their team forced a cancellation of that game.
“None of us in the Big Ten were certain how this Big Ten Champions weekend would play out.” said Coach Locksley, “Obviously, we’re the one team in the Eastern Division that hasn’t played all the teams on our side of the division. So for us having an opportunity to play Michigan State, which we missed out earlier in the year; our players are excited about it.”
In their last game of the 2019 season, the Terps finished their season against Michigan State, in a 19-16 loss in East Lansing.
“That game kind of became a turning point for our program.” said Locksley, “I can remember Keandre Jones, a senior after the game, really emotional. We were beat up, we were down some players, but I really thought that was the best effort we have shown in quite a bit of time, last season finishing up strong, and I think it kind of served as the catalyst as we moved into the offseason program.”S
Speaking of catalyst, the Terrapins got one in walk-on Eric Najarian; a DeMatha Catholic grad, who came into the game in place of Lance Legendre on Saturday against Rutgers, throwing two touchdowns, and 218 yards.
Unfortunately for the Terrapins, there is no official word yet on Taulia Tagovailoa, and whether or not he will be available for Saturday’s game against Michigan State.
“Obviously we make a decision with our quarterbacks based on how they practice, and based on how they perform this week. Eric Najarian did a tremendous job this week in coming in and he’s earned a right to be a part of the competition here for the way he played, but we’re not ready to name a starter. We get through the week, we see again – we got two battles, its COVID and its our opponent. As I’ve said from day one – from number one to 110 – we’re using everybody on this roster to help us as we finish this season up.” said Coach Locksley.
He did confirm that Taulia did not practice on Tuesday, but could not give any other details besides that. However, when it came to a hypothetical situation; if Taulia does not practice for the rest of the week, this is what Coach had to say.
“We have a rule around here that, you have to practice a certain amount of practices to be able to play.” said Locksley, “Everyday I wake up and find out whether someone is able to play or not play due to COVID, due to injury, due to whatever; that’s how I put the practice plan together. So hypothetically speaking, you have to practice a certain amount of practices during the week. I’m not one of those coaches who just believes you can just go out and play a guy that didn’t practice all week and he’d be a gamer.”
The Terrapins are scheduled for a 7:30 PM ET kickoff against Michigan State, at Capital One Field on Saturday.