COLLEGE PARK — University of Maryland Interim Head Coach Mike Locksley knew the challenges that were ahead of him after being thrust into a role that he hasn’t experienced since his last tenure as the Head Coach for New Mexico from (2009-2011). Despite boasting 10 years of coaching experience, he only managed to lead the Lobos to two regular season wins, and he was whisk fully replaced four games into 2011 campaign.
With a fresh and new start as Maryland’s temporary leader, he is still searching for his first win of the season after losing a heartbreaker against Penn State (31-30), and most recently falling to #10 Iowa on the road (31-15).
Unfortunately for Maryland, defensive back and return specialist Will Likely has been one of the only bright spots for his team as a consistent offensive threat this season. Likely was recently named the B1G Special Teams Player of the Week after he racked up 220 return yards which included an outstanding 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Iowa in the fourth quarter.
University of Maryland running back Brandon Ross could not find any success against Iowa. As Maryland’s leading statistical rusher this season, Ross was only able to manage 35 yards on the ground. Without a strong rushing attack, Maryland’s offense will surely sputter in the long run without a legitimate passing game to speak of unless changes are made.
“If you look at our execution, we’re 1-of-10 on third down, we’re not executing in the passing game,” said Locksley.
Maryland’s quarterback carousel keeps spinning out of control. Perry Hills has been more effective as a rusher than at his true position. Hills only completed 11-of-22 passing attempts for 74 yards and a touchdown against the Hawkeyes. Between quarterbacks Perry Hills, Daxx Garman, and Caleb Rowe, they have all collectively combined for a touchdown to turnover ratio of (12-23).
“We’re in obvious passing situations and our quarterback’s got to be able to execute the game plan,” said Locksley. “Right now, we’re not doing very well in the drop-back passing game where people know we have to throw the ball.”
Maryland looks forward to putting their two-game losing streak in the rear view as they gear up to take on perennial powerhouse Wisconsin (7-2) on November 7th. Wisconsin is coming off of a (48-10) shellacking to Rutgers and is in second place in the Big Ten Conference. If Maryland wants to retain their current Head Coach for another season, they will need to have other players step up in order to pull out a victory against the third-best ranked defense in the NCAA.
Note: William Likely was recently named the B1G Special Teams Player of the Week after he racked up 220 return yards which included an outstanding 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Iowa in the fourth quarter.