COLLEGE PARK, Md. — It was a win that proved a lot for head coach Mike Locksley’s Maryland Terrapins.
"This was one of the first games where I thought we had a chance to possibly fold under adversity and was really pleased with the way the team responded," he said.
Locksley is talking about that walk-off 20-17 victory at Illinois last Friday. Kicker Joseph Petrino hit the game-winning field goal as time expired to move Maryland to 3-0 on the season.
"We played for four quarters and it was a tough game like we expected," said Locksley.
"I think it could do great things for us. We played together as a team," said quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa. "As an offense we felt like we didn’t play our best game but I think the one thing that helped us through is our brotherhood and playing for each other."
Tagovailoa is spreading the ball around through the first three weeks of the season. Dontay Demus Jr. leads the Big Ten Conference with 338 yards receiving. He ranks 14th in the country. Demus and Rakim Jarrett have combined for the second-most receiving yards (597) of any duo among all Power Five teams. Jeshaun Jones has ten catches for 123 yards so far.
"I actually enjoy having the depth that we have. You can’t really stop all of us," said Jones. "Pick your poison. Whoever you think you want to stop you can try."
Next up for the Terps is Kent State at home on Saturday. The Golden Flashes may come to College Park with a 1-2 record but they are tested. Both losses were to top ten teams: Texas A&M and Iowa. They played each close into the third quarter.
"They didn’t blink and so I can tell you that they won’t come into the Shell (Maryland Stadium) intimidated," said Locksley.
"They played tough against Iowa and Texas A&M," added Tagovailoa. "We got to take every team the same way."
Kickoff Saturday is set for 3:30 p.m. at Maryland Stadium.