COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WDVM) – College football is officially back this weekend, and with it, the Maryland Terrapins will open their season at home on Saturday, against the West Virginia Mountaineers.
When asked about the rivalry between the schools on Tuesday’s press conference, Head Coach Mike Locksley shared a message sent to him, by former Terrapin quarterback Scott McBrien.
“Hey man, it’s West Virginia week. Let’s go get ’em.” said Locksley, recounting the exact words McBrien sent. “I think the people, the former players, and the fans that are traditional terps fans understand, that this is a regional border rivalry.”
In his third year with the Maryland Terrapins, Coach Locksley, and his team will step out in front of the fans for the first time, since the COVID-19 pandemic; with a chance to make headlines and prove the type of culture change he has been preaching, since the start of training camp.
“We got an opportunity here this Saturday at the shell, to go out and create an identity for ourselves, and tell what kind of team we’re going to be this year.”
Both teams had very different endings to their 2020 seasons, West Virginia earned its first bowl victory in the Liberty Bowl, under Head Coach Neal Brown after finishing the regular season 5-4. Maryland played just five games, notching a 2-3 record in Mike Locksley’s second season at the helm.
Maryland returns 85% of its total production from last season, the 10th-highest of any team in the country, and the highest mark in the Big Ten conference. Spearheaded by quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, wide receivers Dontay Demus Jr., and Rakim Jarrett; the Terps hope to improve on their standard of yards per game through the air, 264 ypg, which sat as the 35th best in the country.
The Terps were only one of four teams in FBS football, with a top-35 offense, and defense; sharing that banner with the West Virginia Mountaineers.
“They’ve got a veteran quarterback in [Jarret] Daege coming back. They got a big time running back in Leddie Brown, who really does a great job, and they’ve got some receivers and skill on the perimeter, that I think will test us on that side.” said Locksley, “On the special teams, with the skill they have on both sides of the ball, their special teams will be a challenge for us.”
The last time the Terrapins played West Virginia, was back in 2015, when the Mountaineers beat Maryland 45-6. The Mountaineers lead the series 28-22-2 since 1919.
This will be the first meeting between Mike Locksley, and Neal Brown as collegiate coaches, and it will both be their third season at the helm of each respective program.
The Terrapins will host the Mountaineers this Saturday, at College Park, at 3pm.