COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The University of Maryland football team is Big Apple bound for its first postseason appearance in five years. It’s Maryland and Virginia Tech in the Pinstripe Bowl on December 29th.
The site: Yankee Stadium in New York City.
"This is an example that we took some significant steps as a program to elevate it to the level that it is now," Terps head coach Mike Locksley told WMAR-2 Sports reporter Shawn Stepner in a one-on-one interview on Tuesday.
The third-year head coach said by no means is this the finished product, but it is progress.
"It’s a win-win situation because we reward our seniors that have been through an awful lot, that have never experienced [a bowl game]. But then we also get to give a taste to these younger players in our program of what it’s like when you win and you do things the right way," he said.
So what does Locksley think of playing in the Pinstripe Bowl in New York City on December 29?
"To be in New York City during the holiday season - for a guy whose birthday is on Christmas day - Rockefeller Center, lights, the little ice skating rink. All those things and having talked to some of the coaches that have been in this bowl, they say it’s a first class bowl experience. To me this is great for our players," he said.
It's great for Taulia Tagovailoa. The redshirt sophomore set Maryland's single-season passing record in 2021, tossing for 3,595 yards.
"All of it is a team thing. The offensive linemen giving me time, receivers running routes, coaches calling the right plays, putting us in the best position," Tagovailoa told Stepner regarding the record.
With two touchdown passes in the bowl game he will tie the single-season program record with 26. He’ll try to do that against a 6-6 Hokies team that is a former ACC rival of the 6-6 Terps. You know both teams will leave everything on the field.
"I think it’s going to be a little different," said Tagovailoa. "Emotions are going to be high. It’s our last game of the season. We got to make it worth it."