Everything Mike Locksley said following Maryland’s win vs. Charlotte

After an early 14-0 deficit, Maryland scored 38 unanswered points to put Charlotte to bed as the Terps moved to 2-0 for the eighth time in nine seasons.

Maryland head coach Mike Locksley admitted his team “didn’t meet the standard today” after breaking down the win.

“Our standard is to start fast and finish strong and we didn’t do either one of those two things and we’re still able to come away with a pretty good win. And so for us, nobody in locker room is excited about how we played but we overcame some adversity, early adversity, which kind of showed me that we’re the type of team that I thought we could be.

Everything Locksley said on the comeback, the rushing attack, how the offensive line fared and more.

Opening Statement

“Our standard is to start fast and finish strong and we didn’t do either one of those two things and we’re still able to come away with a pretty good win. And so for us, nobody in locker room is excited about how we played but we overcame some adversity, early adversity, which kind of showed me that we’re the type of team that I thought we could be. We battled back after a slow start, didn’t see anybody panic, saw us kind of keep plugging away. Our defense really held them in check, minus the first drive and that last drive, and then we got a quick turnaround on us with Virginia coming into The Shell Friday night, which forces everything up a day early for us. And so we’ve got to, instead of the 24 hour turnaround, we’ve got to kind of enjoy it now, get recovered. As a coaching staff, we got to put this on the bed pretty quickly and start our preparation for UVA who comes in here again on Friday. And I know again, our team isn’t excited about how we played. I was really glad to see us come in and fight through the adversity together and it kind of showed me like I said that we are that type of team and what we got to do now is clean up some of the stuff that hurt us early in the game. Some poor decisions there, the couple interceptions, the turnovers, those are all things that we can get corrected, and we’ll need to get corrected pretty quickly.”

Locksley on rushing attack, including Roman Hemby’s second half

“Yeah, I mean, we play with pretty good tempo. They didn’t have a lot of depth. We knew that going in. Our plan was to try to play with tempo and I think what happened is we continued to just stick with the run game. We laid on them. In the first half I thought we missed a couple of reads there about our running backs and a couple of times they weren’t on the right people. Josh [Gattis] did a good job continuing to come back to it even though it wasn’t pretty early and I think at the end of the day, we kind of wore them down. And like I said, it’s usually about us more than it is about the other team.”

Locksley on the defense’s turnaround after early 14-0 deficit

“We throw the pick six there. They had dropped eight coverage the d-end was walked outside of the flat guy. It was a poor decision or a quarterback’s part to throw it there. The ball should’ve went inside. Like I said, they didn’t do anything that we didn’t expect. I just thought that they came out and played a little harder, played a little smarter. Biff [Poggi] had his team ready to play. Obviously they came in with a little chip on his shoulder. When you have guys that used to be here. This was a big game for those guys coming back home and I gotta give credit to Biff and his staff for starting fast the way they did.”

Locksley on QB Billy Edward’s impact

“In the short yardage situation with Lia we’re trying to minimize the extra hits that he took or he takes. Billy’s a bigger body. Obviously it’s something that we’ve practiced and put in, the push play where we get a bigger body try to create an apex. The first time the ball kind of scored it today. We’re very fortunate to come up but it was that type of night, man. The best thing about it was that as bad as things played out for us that we still found a way to win, we still found a way to kind of not lose it and I’ve seen this team kind of lose it in the past where we start off slow and it just is a snowball, but these guys stuck together and fought through. Billy adds a different element because of his size and also to take some of the hits off of Lia.”

Locksley on offense’s performance

“Very weird to be now 14-0 with three minutes in the game. The game’s only three minutes old. So definitely not how we envisioned starting. Again, you know the drop coverage there for the big play, the quarterback broke contain and we dropped coverage on defense there and then the very next play to throw the pick. You know, both those plays are things that we have to do better. I mean, it wasn’t a scheme thing. They got a guy open because they schemed us. It comes down to us being able to get the calls from the sideline and then also execute the way we designed things to be executed.”

Locksley on the mood in the locker room at halftime

“All those veteran guys. The Jeshaun Joneses of the world, the DJ Glazes. You know, I saw freshmen and looked up and Dylan Wade who didn’t maybe play as much as he played a week ago but I saw him as a young guy, all up and down the sidelines and let’s get it going. And so, we need tough games like that. I’d rather us not do it here at home. I’d rather us kind of play to our standard and not be up and down the way we were today. What we’ve got to do now is like I said, get this behind us quickly and figure out what went wrong and then make the necessary adjustments with Virginia coming in here Friday night.”

Locksley on message to the team after standard vs. win

“Yeah, again, you know, these guys understand nobody in our locker room. It wasn’t necessarily a celebration, I think it was more or less we did what we needed to do to win the game. But I think we’re all we all know that we didn’t play up to our standard and this is their team. I saw a bunch of guys when things were going downhill early, I saw leadership on the sideline. I didn’t see panic. You know, we oftentimes talk about not playing to a scoreboard. I don’t think I saw anybody looking at the scoreboard with oh, here we go again, look that I’ve seen around here, the last three to four years and to me it’s a testament to the locker room and the type of culture we have. With that being said, we still got to go do the work and then I prefer us to start fast and then finish strong the way we set out to do and we’ve got to get that part fixed.”

Locksley on the OL’s growth vs. Charlotte

“I thought again, we wore them down. You know, I thought we finally got hat on hats. Roman [Hemby] did a really good job of reading it the second half a couple of times. I thought he left some yardage on the field early in the first half where he kind of pumped it up in there and the ball should have maybe sunk a little bit in there. But I thought we did a good job of continuing to press on them with the run game today in the run game open up some things for us down the field.”

Locksley on whether today’s win met the preseason expectations

“I’ve been in a couple of games here like this where we didn’t do the necessary things to get it right before the end of the game and today, I saw us take steps forward, you know playing from behind against a good team. Like I said I didn’t see anybody panic, I didn’t see anybody looking at the scoreboard with big eyes. We knew kind of what we did wrong. We knew what we needed to get corrected. I thought we did a good job in the second half, especially on the offensive side of the ball with saying hey, here’s the things that we can do well, these are the things we need to get accomplished and we went out and did just that. You know, the first drive of the second half was key to it and we continue to lay on them and run the ball.”

Locksley on snap distribution between RBs Colby McDonald and Antwain Littleton

“All I know is that we have a standard and I’m tired of dumb penalties. I’m tired of us doing stuff after the whistle. A week ago, I dealt with you know, we had an offsetting penalty on special teams that that he was involved with. We’re down at the four-yard line and we get a personal foul because of the being emotional and said the only way you fix stuff like that is by what happened today. You put him on the bench. Colby gets the opportunity, he takes advantage of the opportunity. To me that’s how we’re gonna play this thing and if guys don’t play to our standard, if we’re gonna have the dumb penalties, you’re gonna you’re gonna be on the bench.”

Locksley on whether there was one play to spark the turnaround

“No, very few times is it one play. I think it was a combination of you know, us continuing to run the football. I thought that one thing that did give us energy was just a basic inside zone play where Roman got hit about four yards after gaining four yards, and we ended up with second-and-one because we got pushed and I saw the style of play by our offensive line kind of pushing the pile and to me that just let me know that I told Josh after that play, let’s keep having that thing off. I think the O-line is starting to get it and so you know to be able to run the ball in the second half the way we did I thought was the catalyst and then obviously the way our defense continued to play and getting off the field on third down.”

Locksley on whether the new LED lights impacted the game

“I mean, I would hope that we don’t have to have external things to pump us up. You know, being down 14 points, being down at home is enough to pump us up. I know it had me pumped up in terms of making sure that our players understood that you know we ain’t gonna watch the scoreboard. We gotta get back to our standard which is to be able to execute at a high level in all three phases. And I think to me, that more than anything played a role is just our execution got cleaned up, and I saw a lot of guys giving great effort.”

Locksley on dealing with adversity early in the season

“I think any time when you play from behind, it develops a character. It also reveals character and I hope what it revealed for us is that, you know, we’re one of those teams that when we talk about not looking up and not flinching and not worrying about the score until the end of the game. You know, all those things I did see. Those are the bright spots of what this team was able to do today. But to me I’d rather like I said execute better, start faster. Making sure that when we come out, we come out with the right type of energy and enthusiasm. And then for me, the fourth quarter finishes the key there and I just I really don’t like how we finished in the fourth quarter. Had opportunities there to get off the field. We missed some tackles. We blow coverage at the end. Those are the things that we got to get corrected pretty quickly here with Virginia coming in town on Friday.”

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