Nov 19, 2022; College Park, Maryland, USA; Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) run by Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau (44) during the second half  at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers at Maryland: No matchup vs. ‘big three’ this time

Since they began playing in the Big Ten in 2014, Maryland and Rutgers have had the misfortune of playing in the same division as Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State.

While Rutgers is 1-26 against the big three since it entered the league, Maryland has gone 3-22 against the perennial powers.

On Saturday, when Rutgers (4-7, 1-7) travels to Maryland (6-5, 3-5) for the Big Ten matchup in College Park, the teams will cap regular seasons in which they each went winless against the big three, though in much different fashion.

While Rutgers was hammered in all three of its meetings with the elites, including Saturday’s 55-10 loss to No. 11 Penn State, Maryland played competitive games against two of the powerhouses, including No. 2 Ohio State on Saturday in a 43-30 loss.

The Terps outgained the Buckeyes 402-401, with quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa — 26 of 36 passing, 293 yards, two touchdowns — comparing favorably to Buckeyes’ Heisman Trophy candidate C.J. Stroud (18 of 30, 241 yards, one TD).

“You saw us go blow for blow with the team I consider one of the best in the country,” Maryland coach Mike Locksley said.

While Maryland can show it has gained ground in its pursuit of the Big Ten’s top dogs, it’s tough for Rutgers to make the same claim. The combined score of the Scarlet Knights’ losses to the big three was 156-37.

“As I said when I took the job, we are chasing a moving target and really we’re chasing moving targets,” Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. “We will get there.”

Rutgers opened the season with three straight wins, but the Scarlet Knights’ uncertain quarterback situation was presaged in their opening game as three different players took snaps from center on their first three plays from scrimmage.

Schiano recently has turned to the quarterback of the future, Gavin Wimsatt, who has received the majority of the snaps in the past four games. For the season, though, Wimsatt has completed 45.5 percent of his passes and has more interceptions (seven) than touchdown passes (five).

Maryland beat Rutgers 40-16 in last year’s regular-season finale as Tagovailoa threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns.

– Field Level Media

Nov 12, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; The Ohio State Buckeyes take the field led by head coach Ryan Day before a game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brooke LaValley-The Columbus Dispatch via USA TODAY NETWORK

No. 2 Ohio State fixed on Maryland with Michigan up next

No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan are on a collision course in the Big Ten East and the trajectory of their championship itineraries is unlikely to be decided this week.

The Buckeyes are focusing on making fixes on Saturday at Maryland, and coach Ryan Day is fixed on making sure Ohio State keeps its focus on the task at hand.

Based on the 340 yards gained on the ground against Indiana, it would appear the running game for the Buckeyes would be the least of its concerns.

The assumption would be wrong because the health of running backs TreVeyon Henderson, Miyan Williams and Chip Trayanum lingers as a question mark for the Buckeyes (10-0, 7-0 Big Ten) with the game at Maryland (6-4, 3-4) on Saturday the last before the showdown with the rival Wolverines in Columbus on Nov. 26.

Day said Tuesday he was optimistic his backs were close to returning.

“We feel like we have a really good chance to get all three of those guys back for next week,” Day said. “Maybe one of them won’t, but I’d be shocked if all three would not be available. Hopefully we’ll get at least two of them back and go from there.”

Williams rushed for 147 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown, before exiting with a lower leg injury late in the second quarter vs. the Hoosiers. He started a second straight game with Henderson out with a nagging foot injury.

Henderson also missed games against Rutgers and Northwestern and exited early vs. Toledo and Michigan State. Meanwhile, Williams sat out the Michigan State game and had two carries against Penn State before an injury ended his day.

Freshman Dallan Hayden has been picking up the slack and against the Hoosiers he ran for 102 yards, but the depth behind him is precarious.

Trayanum played for Arizona State until transferring in January. He was converted to a linebacker for the Buckeyes but after running back Evan Pryor sustained a season-ending knee injury before the season, he began practicing with the offense. Another back, TC Caffey, is out for the season as well.

Unfortunately for Trayanum, he was injured and unable to play in the Indiana game. He has one carry for nine yards this season.

The Buckeyes had to get creative. Wide receiver Xavier Johnson lined up in the backfield and ran for a 71-yard touchdown vs. the Hoosiers.

“There’s a lot of variables that come into play, and the only way to do that is to build a tremendous amount of depth,” Day said.

The Terrapins lost to Wisconsin 23-10 and Penn State 30-0 in their past two games but Maryland coach Mike Locksley is hoping to catch the Buckeyes looking ahead to Michigan.

“As I told our team, there’s nothing more dangerous than a desperate man that has nothing to lose. That’s kind of where we are,” he said. “They’ve got everything to lose. They’ve got a big game after ours.”

In order for Maryland to pull the upset, quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa needs to get back on track. He has completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 2,152 yards with 14 touchdowns and six interceptions this season but in the past two games he has thrown for 77 and 74 yards, respectively, with a 46.6 completion rate.

Tagovailoa was also sacked seven times by the Nittany Lions.

“The thing that jumped out for this game,” Locksley said, “is that I felt we got out-toughed, and that’s personal for me.”

–Field Level Media

IPenn State's Kaytron Allen (13) avoids Indiana's Tiawan Mullen (3) during the first half of the Indiana versus Penn State football game at Memorial Stadium on Satruday, Nov. 5, 2022.

Iu Psu Fb Allen 1

No. 14 Penn State hopes to continue ascent vs. Maryland

Penn State has beaten the teams it was expected to beat and lost to the usual powerhouses of the Big Ten, Michigan and Ohio State.

The Nittany Lions rose one spot to No. 14 in the second edition of the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday, and there’s room for them to keep climbing if they win out, starting with their Saturday game against Maryland in State College, Pa.

James Franklin’s Nittany Lions teams won 11 games in 2016, 2017 and 2019 before a rocky span of 4-5 in 2020 and 7-6 last year. After Penn State (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten) got back on track last week by thrashing Indiana 45-14, the team is on pace to exceed last year’s win total, and a 10-2 finish with an at-large bid to a New Year’s Six bowl are not out of reach.

The Nittany Lions have a fine overall body of work but lack a so-called signature win. Penn State drilled Auburn 41-12 in a road game in September, but it looks less impressive now that the Tigers have fallen to 3-6 and fired their coach.

“You’ve got some teams and some programs that have not been consistent but have big-time wins, and then you have others that have been consistent but not the signature win, and obviously what you want is you want both, right?” Franklin said. “You want the consistency week in and week out, which we’ve all seen is hard to do, and the signature wins are hard to do. …

“We’ve gotta do what we’ve gotta do this week to be 1-0, continue to stack wins and stack days and be positive … and then hopefully at the end of the season we’re where we need to be and put ourselves in the best position possible for the bowl season as well as momentum going into next season.”

Freshman running back Kaytron Allen racked up 86 rushing yards and three touchdowns along with receptions of 45 and 27 yards as Penn State downed Indiana to bounce back from a 44-31 loss to Ohio State. The Nittany Lions’ defense tied a program record with 16 tackles for loss.

Penn State will try to notch its fifth conference win Saturday against Maryland (6-3, 3-3) in a battle between third and fourth place in the Big Ten East.

Coming out of their bye week, the Terrapins fell flat at Wisconsin last Saturday in a 23-10 loss. Taulia Tagovailoa was sacked a season-high five times while being held to season lows in completions (10) and yards (77). He threw one touchdown pass and one interception.

Wide receiver Rakim Jarrett (34 receptions, 376 yards on the season) will be a game-time decision Saturday due to a lower leg injury sustained against Wisconsin. Whether or not he plays, the Terrapins will look for more from fellow receivers Jeshaun Jones, Jacob Copeland and Dontay Demus Jr.

“We’ve talked about all year how our (receiver) room was really deep from top to bottom,” Jones said. “I think that gives credit to the whole room and to (Tagovailoa) spreading the ball around.

“I believe I heard something last week that we have like eight guys who have 10 or more catches … I feel like that’s a pretty nice stat to have as an offense and shows that we’re spreading the ball around.”

Already bowl-eligible, Maryland can ensure its best record yet under fourth-year coach Mike Locksley if it wins two of its final three games. Maryland finished 7-6 last year after winning the Pinstripe Bowl.

Though Penn State leads the all-time series 41-3-1, two of the Terrapins’ wins have come at State College in 2014 and 2020.

–Field Level Media

Oct 22, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA;  Wisconsin Badgers head coach Jim Leonhard reacts to a call during the fourth quarter against the Purdue Boilermakers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland aims to beat Wisconsin for first time

Already bowl eligible, visiting Maryland might be in its best position to record a first victory over Wisconsin on Saturday at Madison, Wisc.

In their most recent outings, Maryland (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) defeated Northwestern 31-24 while Wisconsin (4-4, 2-3) upended Purdue 35-24. Each team enters off a bye week.

“We’re 6-2 but still aren’t playing our best football,” Maryland coach Mike Locksley said. “And to me, that’s kind of the encouraging thing for us, to be 6-2 at kind of the midway point for us.”

The Badgers are 3-0 all-time against Maryland, including a 38-13 win in Madison in 2017 in the most recent meeting.

This season, Wisconsin has yet to win two consecutive games. The Badgers are 2-1 under interim coach Jim Leonhard, who was promoted from defensive coordinator to interim head coach after Paul Chryst was fired the day after a 34-10 home loss to Illinois on Oct. 1.

Leonhard said this week that he believes he’s ready for the permanent coaching position.

“I know I’m capable of it,” he said. “I would be excited for the opportunity. It’s fun to get the chance to really affect some change this season and see what we can get done, knowing that a lot of the big changes that would have to happen are really coming after the season if I were to get this position.”

Wisconsin and Maryland are similar statistically. Each has outscored its opponent by about 10 points per game, with Wisconsin averaging 31.8 points and allowing 21.9, while the Terps average 34.1 and give up 24.1.

Maryland averages 455.0 yards per game, 28th best in the nation, and allows 380.2. The Badgers average 389.9 on offense and give up 342.9.

Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, who missed the Northwestern game, has thrown for 2,001 yards this season, completing 72.5 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions. Rakim Jarrett has 33 receptions for 371 yards and three TDs.

Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz has nine touchdown passes and only one interception in his past three games. Overall, he has completed 119 of 188 passes for 1,630 yards and 17 TDs, with six interceptions.

Braelon Allen needs 130 yards to reach 1,000 rushing yards this season. He averages 5.8 yards a carry.

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2022; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) is carted off of the filed with a knee injury during the second half against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland might have ailing QB Taulia Tagovailoa vs. Northwestern

As Maryland’s Taulia Tagovailoa held his knee, writhing in pain before being carted off the field, the logical conclusion was the Terrapins had seen the last of their standout quarterback.

But good news came Tuesday as the team revealed that Tagovailoa has a strained MCL and will be a game-time decision Saturday when Maryland hosts Big Ten foe Northwestern in College Park, Md.

If Tagovailoa can’t go, Billy Edwards Jr. will get the nod. The prospect of starting the redshirt freshman might have been frightening for the Terps (5-2, 2-2 Big Ten) early this year. But the work Edwards did Saturday in relief of Tagovailoa indicates he might be ready for a starting assignment.

When Edwards, a transfer from Wake Forest, entered in the fourth quarter last week at Indiana, Maryland was down by three points. But he directed back-to-back touchdown drives to rally Maryland to a 38-33 win.

“Tremendous confidence in Billy,” Maryland coach Mike Locksley said. “We recruited him here once he went into the portal just for this purpose.”

While Maryland enters the game hoping to clinch bowl eligibility for the second straight year, Northwestern (1-5, 1-2 Big Ten) is just looking for a win. The Wildcats have lost five straight after an encouraging opening-game victory over Nebraska.

Northwestern is coming off a well-timed bye, which followed its worst performance of the year, a 42-7 thumping at home from Wisconsin. The Wildcats’ defense surrendered 515 yards and didn’t create a turnover.

At minus-0.6, Northwestern has the worst turnover margin in the Big Ten.

“Taking care of the ball, that’s been our biggest issue by far,” Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “It’s something we work on every day. It’s something that we preach. We just got to get it done on Saturday.”

Running back Evan Hull leads Northwestern in rushing with 428 yards and receiving with 405.

–Field Level Media

Maryland's Taulia Tagovailoa (3) is looked at by medical personnel during the Indiana versus Maryland football game at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022.

Iu Md Fb 2h Tagovailoa Hurt

Maryland QB Taulia Tagovailoa (knee) game-time decision

Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa is dealing with a sprained MCL in his right knee and coach Mike Locksley said Tuesday the rising star is a “game-time decision” for Saturday’s home game against Northwestern.

Tagovailoa was carted off the field during the fourth quarter of last Saturday’s 38-33 road win over Indiana. He underwent an MRI exam that confirmed the injury.

He was hurt when an Indiana defender fell on his leg after he threw a pass.

“A huge sense of relief, obviously,” Locksley said of a second opinion that confirmed the sprain and ruled out a more serious injury.

It is the second time this season that Tagovailoa has sprained the MCL in the knee. The first time was during a 34-27 road loss against then-No. 4 Michigan on Sept. 24.

Tagovailoa has been wearing a brace since the initial injury and Locksley said that may have prevented a more serious injury.

Tagovailoa is the younger brother of Miami Dolphins standout Tua Tagovailoa.

Tagovailoa is enjoying a solid season, with 2,001 passing yards and 13 touchdowns while being intercepted five times.

Last season, Tagovailoa set a single-season program record with 3,860 passing yards and tied the school mark of 26 touchdown passes. Scott Milanovich also tossed 26 in 1993.

Billy Edwards Jr. will start against Northwestern if Tagovailoa can’t play. Edwards has completed 9 of 16 passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 93 yards and one score this season.

Edwards, a redshirt freshman, is a transfer from Wake Forest.

–Field Level Media

Oct 8, 2022; College Park, Maryland, USA;  Purdue Boilermakers quarterback Aidan O'Connell (16) rolls out to pass during the first half against the Purdue Boilermakers at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Aidan O’Connell, late rally allow Purdue to eke past Maryland

Fueled by the passing of Aidan O’Connell, Purdue scored two touchdowns in the final 3:19 to rally to a 31-29 Big Ten victory over Maryland Saturday afternoon in College Park, Md.

The Boilermakers (4-2, 2-1) gave up a late touchdown, but stopped the Terps on a 2-point conversion pass attempt. Maryland (4-2, 1-2) completed an apparent conversion pass to tie it, but the Terps were penalized five yards for having an ineligible player downfield.

O’Connell threw a go-ahead 4-yard touchdown pass to Payne Durham with 3:19 left. Then after Purdue forced a punt by Maryland, Devin Mockobee scored on a 1-yard carry with 1:20 to go to put the Boilermakers up 31-23.

Taulia Tagovailoa responded for Maryland (4-2, 1-2) with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Corey Dyches with 35 seconds left. But two plays later, his conversion throw sailed high to Rakim Jarrett, who was well covered in the back of the end zone.

O’Connell completed 30 of 41 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns. Durham caught seven passes for 109 yards as the Boilermakers remained in a tie for first place in the Big Ten West.

Tagovailoa completed 26 of 38 passes for 315 yards and three touchdowns. Dyches had four catches for 106 yards and two scores.

After the teams failed to score in the first 22 minutes of the second half, they combined for four touchdowns in the final 7:47.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Tagovailoa directed a go-ahead, 69-yard drive, which included four third-down conversions. The fourth was a screen pass from Tagovailoa that Roman Hemby turned into an 11-yard touchdown play and gave Maryland a 23-17 lead.

Early in the game, Maryland became the first team to score on its opening possession against Purdue this season, as Tagovailoa jump-started a 69-yard drive with three straight completions and then finished it with a 9-yard touchdown carry off a read-option fake.

But the Boilermakers responded with scores on their next three possessions to take a 17-10 lead. After Mitchell Fineran made a 39-yard field goal, O’Connell completed all nine of his passes in directing touchdown drives of 65 and 75 yards.

On the first march, O’Connell threw an incomplete pass on third-and-goal, but Maryland was flagged for having 12 players on the field. On the next play, Dylan Downing pounded into the end zone on a 1-yard touchdown carry to give Purdue a 10-7 lead.

Another mistake by the Terps helped the Boilermakers complete their next touchdown drive as Ahmad McCullough drew a penalty with a late hit on O’Connell, turning a third-and-12 situation into a first down.

Three plays later, Mershawn Rice made an over-the-shoulder catch of an O’Connell pass to give the Boilermakers their 17-10 lead.

Very late in the half, Tagovailoa scrambled up in the pocket and threw a 68-yard touchdown pass on the run to Dyches, who dragged a defender the final 12 yards to tie it with 14 seconds left.

–Field Level Media

Oct 1, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Purdue Boilermakers running back Devin Mockobee (45) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter at Huntington Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Opportunity looms for Purdue in matchup at Maryland

The pillow fight is on in the Big Ten West, where every team has at least one conference loss, no team is ranked and identifying a frontrunner is risky business.

Amid this morass of mediocrity, why not Purdue? The Boilermakers visit Maryland at College Park on Saturday, where they will try to distinguish themselves in a division that’s up for grabs.

While Maryland (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) is a member of the Big Ten East, beating the Terappins would be a quality win. Maryland threw a scare into Michigan two weeks ago in a 34-27 loss and then handled Michigan State 27-13 last weekend.

Meanwhile Purdue (3-2, 1-1) helped throw the Big Ten West race into a tizzy with a 20-10 upset of then-No. 21 Minnesota. The result left six of the division’s seven teams tied for first place.

“It’s not like we’ve done anything special,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said. “There’s a long way to go. We’re not going to look down the road ever. That’s a no-no for us.”

Purdue last won a Big Ten title in 2000, doing it as a co-champion under Joe Tiller. The Boilermakers’ last outright title came in 1929. But this year in a balanced division, Purdue can think big, if only it dared to.

With quarterback Aidan O’Connell missing one game with an injury and nursing the ailment last week at Minnesota, Purdue has discovered a running attack.

In the last two weeks, former walk-on backs Devin Mockobee (112 vs. Minnesota) and Dylan Dunning (113 against Florida Atlantic) each have impressed. It was a welcome departure from a 35-31 loss to Penn State in the season opener when Purdue showed little rushing prowess and O’Connell threw 59 times.

While O’Connell ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten in passing yards per game with 299.8, his Maryland counterpart Taulia Tagovailoa ranks No. 3 with 283.2 per outing.

The Terps enter in fine form. In snapping their four-game skid against the Spartans on Saturday, they outgained the visitors 489-321 as Tagovailoa completed 32 of 41 passes for 314 yards and a touchdown and emerging force Antwain Littleton II carried 19 times for 120 yards and a score.

“It’s the best we’ve played in all three phases,” Maryland coach Mike Locksley said. “But what excites me most is that we still have so much room to grow as a team.”

This is the first meeting between the teams since Locksley’s debut season when Purdue rolled to a 40-14 victory in 2019.

Purdue hopes for the return of its best defensive player, hybrid safety/linebacker Jalen Graham, who went down with a tibia impact fracture against Penn State on Sept. 1.

–Field Level Media

Sep 17, 2022; College Park, Maryland, USA;  Southern Methodist Mustangs quarterback Tanner Mordecai (8) throws during the first quarter against the Maryland Terrapins at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Fourth-quarter surge leads Maryland to win over SMU

Taulia Tagovailoa threw for 214 yards and two touchdowns as Maryland staged a fourth-quarter rally to edge SMU 34-27 on Saturday night in College Park, Md.

Roman Hemby carried 16 times for 151 yards and a touchdown and caught four passes for 62 yards as the Terps (3-0) overcame two lost fumbles and 15 penalties which covered 141 yards.

Tanner Mordecai led SMU (2-1) with 369 yards passing and three touchdowns, but his two interceptions were costly. Rashee Rice was Mordecai’s favorite target with 11 receptions for 193 yards.

Maryland entered the fourth quarter down 27-20. After Hemby scored on a 1-yard touchdown carry on the second play of the period, Dante Trader Jr. regained possession for the Terps with an interception.

Ten plays later, Tagovailoa scrambled away from pressure and threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Corey Dyches with 7:30 left to give Maryland a 34-27 lead.

In the final three minutes, the Maryland defense stopped SMU twice on downs, including one drive that reached the Terps 9.

Maryland got off to a good start, turning SMU over on downs in the red zone. Hemby then ran for 50 yards on the Terps first snap to set up a 36-yard field goal by Chad Ryland.

It was the first of two field goals on the night for Ryland, who extended his string of successful 3-point tries to 20. He opened the night with the nation’s longest streak.

SMU answered with the next 13 points. Two field goals by Collin Rogers were sandwiched around a Maryland fumble on a kickoff return. JaQwondis Burns knocked the ball loose and Chace Cromartie recovered for the Mustangs.

On the opening play of the second quarter, Mordecai threw a deep strike across the middle to RJ Maryland for 51 yards and the first touchdown of the freshman’s college career.

But Maryland regained the lead, scoring two touchdowns in a span of 1:13. After Antwain Littleton II capped a 65-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown carry, Beau Brade picked off a Mordecai pass to give possession right back to the Terps.

On the next snap, Tagovailoa found Rakim Jarrett on a 48-yard touchdown play that put Maryland up 17-13.

SMU answered right back with a 75-yard drive culminated by a 13-yard misdirection shuffle pass from Mordecai to Austin Upshaw which put the Mustangs up 20-17.

–Field Level Media

Sep 10, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA;  Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) makes a throw during pregame activity against the Charlotte 49ers  at Jerry Richardson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Efficient QBs headline high-powered battle between Maryland, SMU

Stepping down from elite programs has paved the way to success for two of the more prolific quarterbacks in the Football Bowl Subdivision this year — SMU’s Tanner Mordecai and Maryland’s Taulia Tagovailoa.

Saturday night in College Park, Md., when former Oklahoma backup Mordecai takes on former Alabama reserve Tagovailoa, it will be a matchup of quarterbacks guiding 2-0 teams that have yet to be tested.

In the third-ever meeting of the teams, expect more offense than in the first two games — a pair of Maryland wins in the 1960s in which the teams scored a combined 27 points.

Mordecai has thrown for 644 yards and seven touchdowns — ranking No. 11 in pass efficiency in the FBS — while Tagovailoa has thrown for 681 yards and four touchdowns to rank 13th in efficiency.

Both lead well-rounded offenses that average more than 500 yards and 40 points per game, though the competition has been suspect.

SMU is off to a quick start under new coach Rhett Lashlee with wins over North Texas, 48-10, and Football Championship Subdivision side Lamar, 45-16. Lashlee took over after former coach Sonny Dykes left for TCU.

“You all have seen our schedule,” Lashlee said. “The preseason’s over. It’s about to get real, both out of conference and in conference.”

Mordecai will look to receiver Rashee Rice, who has 17 catches for 298 yards and three touchdowns, and running backs TJ McDaniel and Velton Gardner, who have combined for 237 rushing yards and two touchdowns this season. Gardner missed the season opener against North Texas after ripping one of his contact lenses.

Maryland’s offense features a trio of veteran outside threats. Dontay Demus led the Terps in receptions and yards in 2019 and 2020. Rakim Jarrett led those categories last year. This year, that distinction belongs to another wideout, Jeshaun Jones.

The Terps’ top three running backs — two redshirt freshmen and a sophomore — each average at least 8.9 yards per carry.

“That backfield reminds me of the young group that our receivers were that now have become those veteran players,” Locksley said. “And I think they’ll continue to get better.”

For the second straight week, Maryland will be without starting cornerback and punt returner Tarheeb Still (finger), Locksley said on Tuesday. A platoon of Jones, Deonte Banks and Shadrick Byrd filled in for Still in the return game in the 56-21 win at Charlotte.

–Field Level Media