'I'm blown away': Kirk Herbstreit really impressed by Maryland, Mike Locksley through 3 games
One of the pleasant surprises of the B1G season thus far has been the recent play of Maryland. After a 3-9 campaign a year ago, head coach Mike Locksley has his team playing really well three weeks into the season.
So well, in fact, that ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit is impressed with how the Terrapins have looked after three games.
Yes, Maryland’s first game was an ugly one. The Terps dropped a 43-3 decision to Northwestern and appeared to be in store for an ugly year. Things turned around pretty quickly, however, with Maryland defeating Minnesota 45-44 in overtime the following weekend.
Last week, Maryland pulled off a 35-19 win over Penn State in Happy Valley to improve to 2-1. The Terps dominated the game from start to finish.
“I’m blown away,” Herbstreit said on The CFB podcast with David Pollack. “Maryland and Rutgers have been a punchline since they entered the Big Ten. Nobody gives them any respect. And now they open up the season, first game of the year, after all these teams and players have been through, they don’t just lose to Northwestern. They get blown out. Tagovailoa has three interceptions. They can’t run the ball that well. Northwestern was running it and throwing it, blew them out 43-3. You’re thinking ‘poor Locks, gonna be a long year for my guy.’ That was an improbable win but they found a way to win on a Friday night against Minnesota. Then Maryland goes to Happy Valley and wins 35-19.”
Maryland’s success has come in large part because of QB Taulia Tagovailoa. After a rocky start against Northwestern to open the year, the younger Tagovailoa has thrown 6 touchdown passes with just 1 interception and has proven to be a dual-threat weapon for the Terrapins offense.
“Mike Locksley is drawing up really good plays,” Herbstreit said. “Tagovailoa is in sync with him, feeling good the last couple weeks throwing the football and not turning it over. They’ve got some backs that are running to give them some balance. This Rakeem Jarrett had five receptions for 144 yards and a couple of scores. Another one of those teams, it’s fun to see them get it going and see this confidence and these smiles on teams that are typically frustrated and angry after playing teams like Penn State and Michigan.”
Locksley and his team will encounter a much stiffer test this weekend, taking on a 3-0 Ohio State team with national championship aspirations. We’ll see how the Terrapins measure up against the best team in the B1G.