Everything Mike Locksley said after Maryland’s 13-10 win vs. Nebraska

Maryland clinched bowl eligibility for the third consecutive season following a 13-10 win at Nebraska. Everything that head coach Mike Locksley said after Maryland picked up its first win since September 30.

Opening statement

“Really proud, proud of this team. Proud of the way they continue to fight through adversity. Throughout the course of the last four to five weeks, we haven’t had a lot of things go our way and not one time have they not shown up and done the necessary work. We’ve just got to continue to teach and play smarter, but today they found a way to get it done and fought through some adversity because it wasn’t pretty today. It’s not easy to win on the road in the Big Ten. Everybody in this league understands that and this is a tough venue. Credit Matt [Rhule] for having this team ready to play. They’re a tough, hard-nosed team that has taken on his personality. Our offense made plays when we needed to make plays. Our quarterback did a tremendous job of that last drive, of putting us in position to go win it. I can’t give enough credit to our defense. They created a bunch of turnovers. They kept playing with their back against the wall and when we needed them to get us the ball back, they got us the ball back. So credit to our defense, coach [Brian] Williams and his staff for having those guys ready to play. And now, because of that, we have an opportunity to shift our attention to a great opportunity back at home next week at The Shell against Michigan. Our specialists showed up today, Jack Howes knocking in the winning field goal, hit an earlier field goal, and then Brenden Segovia coming in for our injured punter, placing two of them inside the ten. It’s exactly what we talk about when we say next man up and gotta give credit to the specialists for executing what we needed to execute.

On watching his team pull out an ugly win

“The penalties, ten to one. Nothing seemed to go our way today. But you know what? That’s how it’s been around here. Nothing has been easy for us. Everything we do, we have to fight through. Everything. That’s why I’m proud of this team because they could’ve easily gotten down on themselves. They could’ve easily, when we turn the ball over down there in their plus territory, it’s easy to just kind of get in your own way. But I saw our defense continue to come over and let the offense know, look, we’re gonna get you the ball back. So [it] wasn’t pretty, but I can tell you right now, not one time did they flinch on our sideline.”

On game-winning possession

“The stuff we practiced, the execution of it. Well, we didn’t get that done in the first half where we had an opportunity to add points there at the end of the half. We got the penalty that pushed us out but as I said, man, this team, to get us to six wins, third year in a row to be able to continue to develop our teams. You can’t put a price on how valuable that extra time is when you become bowl eligible in terms of continuing to develop your team. So I’m excited about that more than anything.”

On the ten penalties in the win 

“I won’t get into the negativity of that. I mean, during the course of the game, competitive penalties happen. I’m not happy about it. No, but you know what? I’m going to focus on the fact that we got six wins regardless of the circumstances of the penalties. We’ll deal with that as we watch the tape. Each week I turn plays into the Big Ten office and some of these penalties that you like to use the term lack of discipline, that isn’t always the case so I’ll reserve judgment. This team fought hard, this team continued to compete, and that’s what I’ll focus the energy on. Because, you know what, to win on the road even though nothing went our way early, our team kept fighting and that’s the type of personality this team has.”

On the mood inside the locker room following the win 

“To be able to be able to continue our season, our players were excited. Like I said, they understand that there were some things that we can correct, but we’re going to enjoy this one because winning on the road is tough and it wasn’t pretty, but they found a way to get the job done and that’s what we’ll continue to focus on.”

On leaning on Taulia, passing attack in the win

“It was no surprise. As I said leading into this game, their front seven is one of the better front sevens. They’re big. They play heavy-handed. The thing we needed to do was continue to pound at it and know that in the fourth quarter, the tempo wears them down a little bit. You’re able to kind of wear them down. The run game got going, Roman made some big plays there, especially in that last drive when we wanted to use some clock while also moving the ball down the field. Our [offensive] line did a really good job of handling the movement. We knew that it would be tough to run the ball so we had a gameplan where we were able to get the ball out of Lia’s hands early, knowing that with the tempo, if we got the game to the fourth quarter, hopefully the tempo will wear them down. And I thought at the end of it, our team got stronger, the run game got going when we most needed it.”

On secondary reeling in four interceptions in the win

“Any time you get five turnovers in the game, I think that’s what we ended up with. The ball was in the air, they made the plays. These are some of the plays over the last four weeks that we weren’t making. We haven’t won the turnover battle I think in four, five weeks. We haven’t won the explosive play battle in the last four to five weeks, and today we did, and we know that that’s kind of our winning formula. Would I like to see us protect the ball better on offense? No doubt about it. We’ll watch the tape, we’ll make the necessary corrections, and we’ll start preparing to play a really good Michigan team that’s coming into The Shell next week.”

On defense bouncing back with takeaways

“It’s what we needed and when you look at when we were having success both on offense and as a team, it usually started with our defense and their ability early in the year where they were getting their hands on a bunch of balls. As I said, we’re one of those offense that thrives off of that opportunity. We’ve got to take care of business on our side and protecting the football better than what we did today. At the end of the day, when we needed our defense to come up big, they did. That’s kind of what the game of football is all about. It’s complimentary and our defense really did a tremendous job today. Our special teams put us in position to win the field position battle there and on offense when we needed to move the ball and score, we were able to do that.”

On WR Tai Felton recapturing momentum after fumble

“It’s again, explosive plays and anybody that plays us knows that we have that ability. The ability to throw the ball down the field or make explosive plays because of the type of speed we have, so it’s not surprising. It was good that it happened when it happened because it was in response to them after they went down and were able to make a couple of plays. We were able to finish a drive finally and it was good to see Tai be able to do that.”

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