COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WDVM) – On 2nd and 3, on Penn State’s 13-yard line, Maryland junior quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa had the chance to close the gap between the teams, as they trailed 24-14 with less than minutes left in the game.
With the snap, Taulia’s pass intended for Tayon Fleet-Davis, was intercepted by Ji’Ayir Brown, who returned it for an 87 yard pick six, effectively ending Maryland’s chances for a late comeback win.
That mistake cost them a win that would have granted the Terrapins (5-4) bowl eligibilty. On top of their mistakes, Maryland were unable to cover Penn State’s top receiver, Jahan Dotson, who exploded for a 242 yard performance, along with three touchdowns.
Despite holding Penn State to just seven points in the first half, defensively the Terps struggled, allowing the Nittany Lions to convert on 10 of 18 third down opportunities, including a 45-yard play from Dotson in the fourth quarter on 3rd and 8 with a little over 7 minutes left in the fourth.
“All these are fundamental, and technical things.” said Head Coach Mike Locksley, as he explained what mistakes can be corrected. “They weren’t schematic, created a matchup issue or something we weren’t prepared for. A lot of this was fundamental, and technical, and that’s what the coaches jobs are to do, are to get these fundamental and technical things fixed. And that’s what we need to get done.”
“I would say it first starts with coming in practice, and just going into the game with the mindset that we’re all going to do our job, cause once we do our job those mistakes won’t happen.” said senior tight end, Chigoziem Okonkwo.
The Terrapins will go back on the search for their coveted sixth win, as they prepare to travel on the road to Michigan State next Saturday.