Maryland was expected to be an improved team this year, but their dominant 4-0 start has been impressive, highlighted by a 31-9 road win at Michigan State last weekend.
Head coach Mike Locksley has Maryland receiving top-25 votes, and the Terps have an opportunity to improve to 5-0 for the first time since 2001, and 2-0 in the Big Ten for the first time ever.
Here’s what Locksley had to say about facing Indiana this week:
Thoughts on the IU defense:
“When you turn the page to Indiana, they’re led by a really strong defense. I think their linebacking core is probably one of the better linebacker cores that we’ve faced thus far. Forty-four (Aaron Casey) is one of those guys that, he makes a lot of plays for those guys. They’ve got some transfers over there. Their D-coordinator Chad Wilt we know a lot about, he was a D-line coach here in one of my earlier stints here, and they’re top five in the Big Ten in pass defense, interceptions and then third-down stops, and so really do a good job on that side of the ball.”
Thoughts on the IU offense:
“On the offensive side, obviously, (former Maryland offensive coordinator) Walt Bell. They’ve got a tremendous playmaker in No. 12 (Jaylin Lucas), who they try to find ways to get him touches. The quarterback (Tayven Jackson), the transfer from Tennessee, throws the deep ball as well as we’ll see a deep ball, so we’ve got to do a great job this week of preparing our team for the ball being thrown vertically.”
Objectives against Indiana:
“If I were to say what our objectives were for our defense this week, it’s to find a way to minimize No. 12’s impact on the game, number one. Number two, obviously, is to be able to stop the run, and they offer, they’re very diverse in their offensive systems. They have the ability to spread you out, play with tempo, they even have elements of triple option that they use where No. 12 becomes the extra run guy. So playing really disciplined fundamentally, in terms of when they do get you into option football, is going to be really important. And then also really important for us to be really sound in those option responsibilities when they do offer that.”
History against Indiana:
“We played one-score games against them each of the last few years. This has always been a tough game for us. You think about last year’s matchup where Taulia left the game injured, we were down, and Billy Edwards was able to come in and lead us to victory. Ever since I’ve been in this league in 2014, I was here when we joined this league, this has always been one of those games that’s been a tough, tough game for the Terps, and I expect it to be the same here this week as Tom Allen is one of the better coaches, in my opinion, in this league. It’s the Big Ten home opener, so we need to be ready to take their best shot.”
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