Maryland prepares for tough Minnesota team coming off bye week


COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WDVM) – After a much needed bye week, the Maryland Terrapins are back to preparing for the second half of their scheduling, starting with a weekend contest against the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

The Terps are coming off back-to-back losses against Iowa, and Ohio State, but were able to focus on resting, and recovering from the first half of the season, as Head Coach Mike Locksley said in his weekly press conference.

He announced the Terps would be without wide receiver Jeshaun Jones, who will miss the rest of the season, after requiring surgery for a lower leg injury. This news comes, after Maryland lost their top target, senior wideout Dontay Demus Jr. who suffered a season-ending knee injury against Iowa.

The Terps will prepare their young core for a 4-2 Minnesota Gophers team, who are coming off a close 30-23 win over Nebraska last weekend.

“They’ve won four of their last five games.” said Head Coach Mike Locksley, “When you look at their depth chart, they’re very senior laden, grad [student] laden program, which… when you have that type of experience, and especially with the type of program they have it’ll be a great challenge for us.”

Despite “limping” into the bye week, as Mike Locksley put it, confidence is still high in the team’s ability to learn, and bounce back from those losses. A large part of their gameplan against Minnesota will involve creating big plays, and limiting big plays.

Against both Iowa, and Ohio State; Maryland allowed nearly 358 passing yards, and almost 150 rushing yards. Coach Locksley pointed out how those were challenging matchups for the young defensive core they have, but he’s maintained confidence in his guys, and their development so far; while adding the work him, and his staff need to do to maintain their growth.

“It’s our job as coaches to make sure that we’re doing things that they can execute, that allows them to be their best.” said Locksley, “Do what our personnel allows us to do, and that is what [ Defensive Coordinator] Brian Stewart, and the defensive staff have really did a good job as we looked at who we are now, based on the injuries, and performance – to say ‘hey let’s put the best schemes and plays, which give us the best chance to win.'”

Last year, Maryland would make history with the program’s fourth largest comeback win over Minnesota at home, winning 45-44 in overtime.

“That was a very special night for us as a team, coming back from first game we had, and just bouncing back.” said Taulia Tagovailoa, “The biggest thing is the win, hopefully going to their spot we can feel like that again.”

“I think this is our sixth time playing Minnesota now, I think the last game, the crossover rival game that we have, I just remembered the ebb, and flow of it.” said Locksley, “It’ll be that type of game this year. Road wins, and conference wins are tough, tough, tough to go get, and it’s going to take our best.”

The Terps will kickoff against the Gophers this Saturday, at 3:30pm at Minneapolis.

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