COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WDVM) – The Maryland football team was trying to finish the regular season with a winning record for the first time since 2014 today. That did not happen. Rutgers spoiled the Terps senior day, 27-24 in overtime.
“Good teams don’t beat themselves and I’ve got to get that fixed starting with me as the head coach,” head coach Mike Locksley said. “And when we go out and we play [we need to] come out with the discipline necessary. I thought we played hard, but again we didn’t play very smart. We’ll come back next week and look to get back to .500 and just keep getting better as we move through the growth phase as a program.”
Maryland was without several key players due to “medical reasons” according to a team spokesperson. Jeff Ermann of Maryland 247 sports reported that the medical reasons were cases of COVID-19. Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, defensive back Jakorian Bennett and linebackers Ruben Hyppolite II and Chance Campbell did not suit up.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Lance LeGendre started under center but struggled tossing two interceptions. Sophomore quarterback Eric Najarian, a Dematha grad, performed well in relief, completing 12-of-23 passes for 218 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions.
But Najarian was sacked in overtime on third down, forcing the Terps further back down the field. Kicker Joseph Petrino missed a 51-yard field goal attempt wide left to end the game.
“I mean it’s really disappointing,” Najarian said. “You know to lose any game is disappointing, but then to lose in that fashion, it hurts even a little bit more.”
In possibly his final game at Maryland Stadium, senior running back Jake Funk rushed for 180 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, before he was forced to miss the final quarter of the game with an injury. Funk opened the flood gates for the Terps with a 44-yard rushing touchdown to put Maryland up 10-7 in the third quarter.
“After the game you know it’s like a little depressing. The seniors, some seniors might not never put on pads again,” Sophomore linebacker Fa’Najae Gotay said. “You know the game of football, nobody wants to lose. Everybody wants to win. So as a loss, you’re already feeling down.”
Maryland is scheduled to play an opponent next week for Big Ten championship week. That opponent is to be determined.