To-Do List for Maryland Football During the Bye Week

Maryland moved to 6-2 after a much-needed win against Northwestern on Saturday. Now the Terps move onto the bye week as they get a chance to collect their thoughts ahead of a trip to Madison, Wisconsin. We look ahead to three things the Terps need to do this week.

Get Healthy

This one comes as now surprise after Maryland was without six contributors combined on offense and defense against Northwestern. Though Maryland got the win it didn’t come easy. The Terps missed Taulia Tagovailoa and despite the win, Saturday was the first time all season that the offense didn’t score on the opening drive of a game. Though Billy Edwards settled in heading into the second half, it didn’t come without a slither of nervousness among fans. Maryland also missed their freshman All-American LB, Jaishawn Barham. Barham practiced all week but it isn’t a surprise since he has been playing banged up the past couple of weeks. Northwestern also attacked CB Corey Coley a ton with the secondary without freshman cornerback Gavin Gibson once more. Safety Glen Miller was able to return ahead of the bye week, a welcomed surprise, as he logged over 20 snaps. Head coach Mike Locksley did provide a more encouraging update with quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa expected to return against Indiana. “The expectation is he should be available to play in the Wisconsin game,” he added. “We expect him to participate in practice as much as he can do. I mean, it’s a day to day deal because it’s about how his body feels, it’s about strengthening. He’s done a ton of rehab work last week. He’ll get a ton of it this week as well as next week.” The potential added linebacker depth will be much needed with the battles in the trenches magnified with looming matchups against Wisconsin, Penn State and Ohio State.

Improve on efficiency

Maryland enters the bye still leading the conference in total number of penalties, total penalty yards and yards per game and sit 123rd nationally in penalties per game. We’ve mentioned that this has not only been an issue this season, but arguably the most persistent issue of the Locksley era. While the bye week doesn’t necessarily translate to a revamped performance moving forward, it does give the staff and players time to drill into the ‘why’ in order to correct the miscues. The fundamentals were something that Locksley hit on as he previewed the plan for this week.

“This week is really go back to the fundamentals of the game,” Locksley added. “When you get better fundamentally, individually, you get better as a team. And so we’ll really take that approach, kind of how we did going into the bowl game a year ago, that let’s work on doing the fundamental things better and then we’ll get into the scheme stuff.”

While the Terps remain focused on execution, the bye week will also give the staff and players a jumpstart on Wisconsin prep. “I think, you know, for us it’s just the next game. For us it’s, we don’t have one this week, but we put all of our attention into Wisconsin and just focus on that and everything else usually takes care of itself when you just win Monday through Friday.”

Hit The Trail

According to On3, Maryland has the 56th-ranked class in the nation in the 2023 class with several targets still out there with targets like Neeo Avery, Sam Greene, Dashawn Womack and Dylan Gooden still on the table. This includes their number one target in five-star athlete Nyckoles Harbor. Dylan Gooden is still a possibility with him going on record to say a commit isn’t too far out. While the staff has been active on the trail through the fall checking on DMV targets along with trekking to states like Georgia, Michigan and North Carolina to check on others, head coach Mike Locksley will make the rounds this week.

“The recruiting piece, we’ve seen it continue to get better with each week,” Locksley added “I’m well aware that in this area, when we generate the momentum that shows the trajectory of where our program is headed, that’s really what a lot of the guys in this area want to see. They want to see is Maryland football real? “As we’ve painted the vision of where we want to go, I think they’re seeing us on track with the vision that we’ve been able to go out and show recruits this opportunity does give us a chance. It’ll be my first time going on the road this season. I’ll get a chance to go out and hit a couple places on Friday and get back here and get back to work. So, winning, bowl eligibility definitely are huge factors in recruiting, but we know it’s not the end all, be all for us, but it’s definitely, it’s got us in the minds of some of the top guys in this area, at least.”

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