After surrendering 406 yards and five touchdowns through the air in a 66-17 loss to Ohio State on Saturday afternoon, Maryland head coach Mike Locksley seemed baffled by his team’s defensive effort.
“Our coverage technique was obviously poor. We had guys looking like they fell out of airplanes, they were so wide open,” Locksley said in his postgame press conference. “We know as a coaching staff that we’re down to our fourth corners and we’ve got to do a better job of calling things that we can get executed with the players we have.”
As Locksley noted, the Terrapins were without senior cornerbacks Jakorian Bennett and Kenny Bennett because of hamstring injuries. Junior Lavonte Gater and freshman Corey Coley started in their place and had a tough time defending the Buckeyes’ wide receiver trio of senior Chris Olave, junior Garrett Wilson and sophomore Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
Olave finished the game with seven catches for 120 yards and two scores, while Smith-Njigba (103 yards) and Wilson (84 yards and two touchdowns) caught five passes apiece.
“I felt our effort was there today. The execution was piss-poor,” Locksley. “We’re playing through some injuries, which are part of the game. We’re not going to sit here and make excuses. As coaches, we need to do a great job of making sure of calling things that the players we have available can execute. We could do a better job of that as a coaching staff.”
After starting the season 4-0 with wins over West Virginia, Howard, Illinois and Kent State, the Terrapins look like a completely different team the last two weeks, as they’ve been outscored 117-31 in losses to Iowa and Ohio State.
"We have a lot of work to do as a program through recruiting, through our roster development and all those aspects to be able to complete against those types of teams and play at that level,” Locksley said. “I really like were we are, but the past two weeks have shown where we need to improve.”
Like Ohio State, Maryland has next week off before it hits the road. The Terrapins travel to Minnesota, while the Buckeyes take on Indiana.
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