Mike Locksley had his Maryland program humming right along to start the season. Unfortunately, a losing streak (with some bitter close losses) has the Terrapins bogged down and facing a fight to bowl eligibility.

At his Tuesday press conference, Locksley admitted the program has talked about competing for championships but is clearly not at that level yet:

“Losing back-to-back games by one score is disappointing. We’re a team that we talked about being ready to compete for championships, but obviously we’re just not there yet,” said Locksley. “That won’t stop us from continuing to do the necessary work to get us to that point.”

As for Penn State, Locksley spoke about a “great opportunity” to face a top-10 team at home with talented players from the Terps’ area.

“We’ve got Penn State coming into the Shell this week. A team that has all of our attention. They’re a top-10 team that is among the more talented teams in the country,” Locksley explained. “I look at this week as a great opportunity for us here at home… Obviously their defense is one of those top-tier defenses. They play a lot of man coverage. Their front 7 is one of the best we’ll face this year.”

Locksley expects James Franklin’s team to try and establish the ground game in the matchup. In order to neutralize that, Locksley says his team will need to play aggressively at the line of scrimmage.

“When you look at them on offense, it starts with the run game. A year ago, I think they rushed for over 250 yards, so I would imagine they’ll try to establish the run,” said Locksley. “Our goal will be to take the run away on the defensive side of the ball, and how do you do it? If you look at the way we’ve played Penn State, when we’ve been able to have success is being aggressive in terms of lining guys up, attacking the line of scrimmage and forcing them to throw the ball to beat us.”

Maryland did beat Penn State in the 2020 season but has otherwise been dominated by James Franklin’s Nittany Lions. We’ll see if Maryland can produce a strong performance with its back against the wall in Week 10.