With two games of the 2022 season, Maryland football has proven itself to be effective in defense and attack, but now the Terps are looking to put it all together.
“When you think about the Charlotte match, it was kind of a role-changer for us,” head coach Mike Locksley He said. “The first game where I thought we played well defensively and then offensively we weren’t really happy with the execution. The special teams are still a constant factor for us. You go to the Charlotte game, and then you figure it’s kind of insulting and we get the execution when we’re out of our attack, then defensively There in the locker room [was] A little frustrated with their way of playing, so we’d like to try to do that this week, getting it all together.”
Against Buffalo, the Maryland offensive scored four touchdowns in his first possession in each quarter, then failed to accumulate any consistency. Last Saturday against Charlotte, Maryland’s attack was scattered in the air and on the ground while the defense that kept the Terps strong against the Bulls gave up a fairly easy play and three touchdowns to the lackluster 49er attack.
“We’re finding our identity,” defensive lineman Greg China Rose said of Terps’ defense. “we [want to] be trustworthy. You can trust your partner on the right and left. We want to be dominant, impose our will and make our opponents withdraw.”
SMU enters Saturday night’s competition with a strong attack, scoring 46.5 points per game, and a stifling defense allowing only 13 points per game. The roster consists of high-level transitions across the board, making it a very tough non-conference opponent.
“Excited about the opportunity here at The Shell 7:30 at night,” Locksley said. I really hope our fans and community will show our players and team. To get a chance to play for a team, which I think is the best 25 teams in my mind. SMU, explosive offensive play, really good defense, having them here at home was a great opportunity for us to take the next step as we continue to try to create an identity for our program.”
Maryland football welcomes SMU at Maryland Stadium at 7:30 p.m. for the non-conference final before Big Ten play this fall.
Notes and quotes:
Injury update… Cornback Maryland Steel intimidation Deleted from Terps’ depth chart on Tuesday morning, Locksley later confirmed that the star, who missed Saturday’s game against Charlotte, would stay this weekend as well after having surgery to repair a tendon in his finger. The expectation is his return against Michigan, according to Loxley.
Step up still will be new students Gavin Gibson And the Lionel WhitakerWho witnessed the time in the first two matches of the 2022 youth season. A student in his second year of study Cory Cooley Jr.He, who missed the team’s first two games due to injury, is back in training this week and could bring more depth to the full-back position on Saturday, according to Loxley.
Fear of chance… Locksley spoke multiple times on Tuesday about fan support and how facing a good team in SMU on Saturday night at home provides a key opportunity for the community to support the Maryland program.
“I was asked and told the thing we have to do, or what I need to do, is bridge the gap between the top teams in our league,” Locksley said. “Well, the challenge is that our fans are going to bridge the gap and help me bridge the gap by creating an environment that makes it difficult when people come to The Shell. It also gives us a chance to show that we have a community of people who really love what football is in Maryland and come and support. For me, it’s committed and connected. For us to have the kind of program that can go out and recruit the kind of players [to close the gap]We need to show that we have a community that really appreciates what this program is all about. And we have to keep doing our part, but it takes two of us.”
The second return… wide future JISHON JONES He suffered his second AFC Champions League rupture in 2021, but once again struggled to be ready for his fourth season at College Park this fall. Jones is a bit back on top on Saturday against Charlotte, picking up six passes for 71 yards and two touchdowns.
“I definitely had that thought [about not getting back to full-strength] Originally just for how severe the injuries were,” Jones said. “My feelings were all over the place at first but then calmed down and accepted it for what it was. I did it once so I thought I’d be able to do it again.”
Tagovailoa Weekend… This weekend will be a big occasion for the Tagovailoa family as Taulia leads the terps on Saturday night and will lead his older brother Toa, the Dolphins against the Baltimore Ravens north in Charm City on Sunday.
“I think I’m going on Sunday,” Tolia said. “I think my whole family, sisters and grandparents will be there as well. So I haven’t seen them in a long time. Yes, it will be exciting. I hope he can take part in our game as well.”