Rutgers, Maryland finishing disappointing seasons
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) With Rutgers and Maryland wrapping up disappointing Big Ten seasons Saturday, Scarlet Knights coach Kyle Flood and Terrapins interim coach Mike Locksley may be looking for work soon.
Flood has had a turbulent season.
Prior to last week's win at Army, Rutgers (5-7, 1-6) was on a four-game losing streak. Problems off the field have been far worse. Flood served a three-game suspension earlier in the season for contacting a faculty member about a player's grade, and six players were arrested and kicked off the team right before the start of the season.
Locksley has failed to post a win since Maryland (2-9, 0-7) fired Randy Edsall after a 2-4 start. A week ago, Flood was asked if he would like a public vote of confidence from the university's administration.
''Those types of public statements have never been something I've asked for or looked for,'' the fourth-year coach said. ''I'm not concerned about it. I'll reiterate what I said a couple of weeks ago: I feel fully supported by the people here at the university that are in the positions that make decisions. They've been great.''
It's unlikely Locksley will keep his job. He did not win and the school seems to have a desire to start anew. However, he could remain a candidate to stay on the staff due to his recruiting ties in the Maryland area.
''As a coach, there's always something to learn from these opportunities,'' Locksley said. ''You learn a lot through failure because it gives you experience, and the next time you're faced with them, you'll be prepared.
''I'm very thankful that our players have had every opportunity to just lay down and quit or not show up and play with the energy and pride that we've tried to instill in them, and they didn't,'' he said.
Here are five things to watch at the game at High Point Solutions Stadium:
HICKS BACK: After a successful week at defensive back, where he had six tackles, a fumble recovery and interception while filling in for a depleted secondary, Josh Hicks has returned to his regular position of running back, where he is the Scarlet Knights second leading rusher.
RAMBLING ROSS: Maryland senior Brandon Ross is coming off the best game of his career, a 250-yard, three-touchdown effort against Indiana. The 250 yards rushing were the fourth-most in school history and moved him into ninth place on the Maryland career list with 2,375. If Ross runs for 113 yards on Saturday, he leaves as the Terrapins' fourth all-time leading rusher.
QUARTERBACK QUANDRY: Injuries and illness have left Maryland's quarterback position in flux. Perry Hills missed last week's game with mononucleosis and backup Caleb Rowe missed the second half with a concussion. Both were cleared to practice on a limited basis this week. Locksley says his decision on a starter will probably be a game-time decision. If both are healthy, Hills will get the call.
EXPLOSIVE RETURNS: Maryland's William Likely and Rutgers' Janarion Grant are two of the best return specialists in the country. Likely has a career high in kick and punt returns, combining for 1,208 yards. Grant has a career-high in punt return yards and a career high of 1,019 combined return yards.
SLIM BOWL CHANCES: At 4-7, Rutgers' only bowl chances come with a win and not enough schools qualifying for the 80 bowl spots. If there are not enough 6-6 teams, the 5-7 team with the highest Academic Progress Report (APR) score gets a bowl bid. Rutgers has been near the top of the list of APR scores in recent years.