Locksley: “It’s time that we…take a deep look at everything”

Following a disappointing blowout 30-0 road loss against Penn State on Saturday, head coach Mike Locksley says the Terps need to dive deep to fix its problems on both sides of the ball.

“As I told our team now [isn’t] the time to panic but it is time that we, starting with myself, take a deep look at everything we’re doing on offense, on defense, on special teams and find a way to get us back on the right track,” Locksley said after the loss. “I have no problem with the way we prepared. I have a big problem with the way we’ve executed, and again, we gotta take a hard look and it starts with me inside. Now it’s not the time for us to panic. We still got two games left. We’re still in a great situation, but it is time to really take a hard look inside to make sure that we’re playing the right guys, we’re doing the right things in all three phases, and get it fixed to get us back on the right track.”

Locksley expanded on what the deep evaluation looks like heading into next week. “Personnel scheme, players who’s on the field, who’s not on the field. Every aspect of it. What we’re calling, how we’re calling it.”

Quarterback Tauila Tagovailoa failed to throw for 100 yards for the second consecutive game after coming back from a reaggravated MCL strain. Locksley noted it isn’t a simple answer as to what the problem is, indicating Taulia isn’t the problem for the offense’s struggles. “It’s always easy to say the quarterback ‘cause he has the ball in his hand,” Locksley added regarding Taulia’s struggles. After Saturday’s offensive showing, Locksley is right: Maryland’s rushing attack failed to average even two yards per carry, while the offensive line allowed a season-high seven sacks in the loss. With Ohio State up next, Locksley noted the struggles in all phases of the offense. “It takes not just our quarterback to play great. It takes the players around him. It takes calling things that we can get executed, so for me to sit here and say where he is, I think he’s just like the rest of us on the offensive side of the. We haven’t played very well. We haven’t executed, nor gone out and did the things that I’ve seen us doing in practice. It’s not showing up in games.”

Locksley said the offense’s struggles all stem from a lack of execution. “When you say that as a coach, automatically you think players, but no, it’s not just players. It’s everybody that’s involved with our offense and I’m involved on a daily basis with it. But we do need to look at schematically, are we doing the things that we’re able to do with the personnel we have? Do we have the right guys on the field? Do we have all the things? Are we dotting I’s and crossing the t’s on the offensive side of all because there were times and opportunities out there early on and we didn’t get the ball out. We didn’t get the ball where it should have and we didn’t make enough plays.”

It didn’t help that Maryland’s defense allowed over 200 yards on the ground for the third consecutive week and fourth time this season, leading Locksley to note that he “saw a lot of missed tackles.”

“The thing on defense is recognizing formations getting lined up. I thought we had opportunities on a couple of the big runs they had where we didn’t make the play and that’s where, again, when I talk about taking a deep dive, it’s all the things that entail going about playing good football and winning football.”

Maryland now falls to 1-3 against Penn State under Locksley with two of the three losses ending in a shutout, but he avoided comparing the two programs to each other. “I mean today, Penn State won. The inherent difference is that they played better than the Maryland Terrapins did today. My job is to get the Maryland Terrapins to play better.”

Maryland returns to SECU Stadium next weekend and will host Ohio State, who is coming off a 56-14 win against Indiana.

Photo by Abby Drey, Centre Daily Times

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