Everything Mike Locksley said after Maryland’s 37-17 loss vs Ohio State

Miscuses and lack of execution loomed large in Maryland’s 37-17 loss at Ohio State as Maryland falls to 5-1 (2-1) on the season.

Head coach Mike Locksley reviews how his team fared, including what he saw from Taulia Tagovailoa, miscues and the Ohio State defense.

Opening statement

“They did a really good job of limiting the explosive plays and creating turnovers, which as we talked about with our squad, our winning formula is being able to generate explosives, take care of the football. Defense, limit the explosives and get turnovers. And we didn’t do either very well today. I liked the way we started fast, had an opportunity there in the first half. But, you know, as I told our teams just now for us to take that next step, we’ve got to be able to make the plays that are there to be made. We had a couple of situations in the first half we didn’t come away with a touchdown down inside the five. We didn’t get a 4th-and-one. And those are the types of plays where our best players got to show up, make plays and we’ve got to do a better job as a coaching staff of putting them in those positions to make plays. We talked all week about getting a game into the fourth quarter and then seeing where we fit. We were able to do that, and I just didn’t like the way we finished, which again, we can get those things corrected when you go back and look at it. I’m sure we’ll see that there were some opportunities that we had that maybe affected us, us affecting us more than it was Ohio State. it’s my job to make sure we get those things corrected.”

On Taulia’s two interceptions

“Obviously when you turn it over, not good. You give up a pick six there. When you watch the tape, the receiver [is] supposed to turn inside. He turns outside. That’s a communication issue. The ball should have been thrown inside. We should have a receiver inside. But you know, Lia is a veteran player. He’s played a lot of football for us. We’ll win and lose with him, and I’ll take my chances for him because he’s a competitor. I’d like to have saw him play a little better today. We’ll look at the tape, get them corrected and get back home at The Shell and got Illinois for homecoming.”

On Maryland’s success on the ground

“Their front seven is the strength of their defense. They play heavy handed, especially in the interior parts of their defensive structure. But as I said, and even I’ll continue to say it, it’s more about what we do a lot than what they do. There wasn’t a scheme issue. Our inability to run the ball wasn’t numerical because of the numbers they have, or they schemed us. It was a matter of our players making plays up front. We were able to generate a couple of explosives, but not enough today.”

On Taulia’s growth coming out of Ohio St. game

“His growth is beyond just one game. We’re not going to let one game define kind of how he’s grown up with us. I think the best part about him is the self-correction. He threw the pick six and as soon as he came off, he said, I thought Reese was turning inside. Those are the things that where I see the growth because he can self-correct. They did some really good things in terms of dropping eight to where we gotta find the open guy and check things down. But we’ll win and lose with Taulia Tagovailoa. I can tell you he’s a competitor. I know he’s not happy in the locker room with the way he played today. None of us are. It’s not one guy. It’s all of us, including me. So, we’ll definitely take this opportunity. Our first loss of the year. There’s a lot of football left to be played, but our team understands how to prepare for games like this. And now we just gotta go find a way to win.”

On Ohio St WR Marvin Harrison Jr

“When they’re that wide open, obviously there’s some breakdowns. And the breakdowns usually start with poor eye discipline. A lot of the big plays they generated there in the second half came off of as I call wheels, double moves, long developing plays where we have to keep the ball in front of us. We know how talented he was and for a guy like him to still find a way to make plays, that’s the piece for me as I evaluate how we played it, that’s the part that shows up and that we’ve got to get corrected because anybody could tell you that Marvin Harrison is a really good player. And the way you structure things is to take away the good players. And today he made a bunch of plays that I would’ve hoped that we would have been better at.”

On the fast start to begin second half

“We’re a rhythm team. The disappointing part for me, we defer when we won the toss because you’d like to try to steal a score at the end of the half and knowing you’re gonna get the ball in the second half. And you know what, we had a chance to, it’s almost deja vu a week ago, we’re down in field goal range, scoring range in the first half and we don’t execute our end of the half plays the way they should be executed. To check the ball down, we wanted to take a shot in the end zone. We had 12 seconds on the clock. You take a shot. If it’s not there, you kick the field goal. What you don’t want to do is check it down in that situation, which we did. And we prevented ourselves from again, taking points before the half. And then we were able, Josh and offensive staff put a good series together that first drive of the second half to go down and score which we needed. But to take care of that, we call it the middle eight to score before the half and get the ball back in the first drive of the second half, we didn’t execute that the right way.”

On how secondary fared without CB Tarheeb Still

“We don’t deal a lot with talking about the injury piece. I mean, he was out, the next man up has to perform. We develop our team, and this is why, as I tell you guys all the time, we play a bunch of players because stuff like this happens in the game of football. Obviously, we wanted to keep the ball in front of us. We tried to double, we had brackets, we had the cover two. We mixed the coverages up, but when you look at giving up 300 yards passing and most of them came off of and again, I used the term junk offense, meaning wheel routes, the late highs, the tight end slipping down. Those are eye discipline issues. Those are things that we’ve just got to be better at playing with the eye discipline necessary. Give credit to Ohio State. They took advantage of some opportunities, things they must have saw on tape because a couple of the plays they hit were plays that had hurt us before and we’ve got to get those things fixed.”

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