Mike Locksley was proud of his players for their performance on Saturday. After all, they took the No. 2 team in the country down to the wire in College Park.
The Maryland head coach addressed the media following his team's 43-30 loss to Ohio State at home. He was encouraged by his team's efforts in a four-quarter game but thought the Buckeyes' talent ultimately prevailed when the 60 minutes ran out.
"We'll give credit to Ohio State. They are a team very deserving of their ranking," Locksley said. "But also, I will let you know that I am really proud of this team. I'm proud of this locker room. Proud not because we were close – that's not how we approach this thing. I'm proud that we were never satisfied with the loss,"
Maryland went back and forth with Ohio State deep into the final frame of the contest. The Terrapins had a chance to orchestrate a game-winning drive down six points with 42 seconds remaining. However, the Buckeyes' defense had other plans for the Terps, sacking Taulia Tagovailoa twice in the possession, including a strip-sack from Zach Harrison that resulted in a scoop-and-score for the Buckeyes and allowing them to win by 13.
Still, Locksley thinks his team should walk away with plenty of positives from their efforts. He reminded them after the game that they were significant underdogs but never looked like it on Saturday.
"You saw us go blow for blow with the team I consider one of the best in the country," he said. "When I started this week, the question I asked our team was, 'Where were we?' I saw our team take accountability for how we played the last couple of weeks. I saw a team that was disappointed. And to me, those are the types of signs that we needed to have. That's the type of mentality that we needed to have as we work to take the next step (as a program)."
Taking that next step as a program, Locksley says, will come when his players generate momentum that they can consistently feed off of during games. Against Ohio State, Locksley said the Buckeyes always had an answer for when the Terrapins started trending in the right direction.
"You saw us go blow for blow with the team I consider one of the best in the country."– Maryland head coach Mike Locksley
With Ohio State always having an answer for Maryland's momentum-changing plays, Locksley said his team could learn about resiliency and toughness from Ryan Day's squad.
"When you play against the best, you can't expect them to help you. Good teams don't need help," Locksley said. "Today, anytime we created momentum, they answered. We give up a big kickoff return. We create momentum, and they block a punt – things like that. But the resiliency this team has shown all year, except for maybe a couple of games, was totally on display. That's where I'm proud of the way that we fought."
Maryland will finish its season at home against Rutgers next week. The Scarlet Knights are coming off a 55-10 loss to No. 11 Penn State on Saturday and hold a 4-7 record through 11 games. The Terrapins will enter the matchup at 6-5 after losing to Ohio State.