“All of us have the accountability of personally being accountable for what we placed on tape and the way we coach — gamers and coaches included,” Coach Michael Locksley stated. “There is no doubt in my thoughts that Lia took private accountability for a way he performed on Saturday.”
Locksley, beforehand a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, meets along with his quarterbacks the Sunday after video games. Any loss brings urgency and a few reassurance that one other alternative will come quickly. For Tagovailoa, the following likelihood arrives a day earlier with Minnesota visiting Friday night.
Tagovailoa’s efficiency at Northwestern — 14-for-25 passing for 94 yards with three interceptions — could possibly be remembered as one dangerous exhibiting and nothing extra. If Tagovailoa, a sophomore, turns into the Terps’ long-awaited secure quarterback, that sport may turn into one in every of greater than 30. The journey to Evanston served as Tagovailoa’s first profession begin, which Locksley emphasised after the 43-Three loss and reiterated Monday. Locksley stated he’s “100 %” dedicated to Tagovailoa as Maryland’s beginning quarterback.
“We’re going to look at movie and watch the errors,” Tagovailoa stated after the season opener. “I’ve full religion in Coach Locks and our complete workforce that we’re going to come back again higher from this.”
Maryland’s struggles in Evanston prolonged far past Tagovailoa. The Terrapins’ protection performed poorly in opposition to Northwestern, which surged to 537 yards of offense with a brand new coordinator, Mike Bajakian, and graduate switch quarterback Peyton Ramsey from Indiana.
The Terps, and all different Large Ten groups, needed to bounce into convention play with out the same old movie from nonconference video games. The pandemic stored applications from practising this spring, however Large Ten groups nonetheless had their typical weeks of fall camp. For Maryland, the much-anticipated begin to a delayed season ended with this system’s worst defeat in an opener since 1892, the workforce’s inaugural season.
Because the offense struggled and after Tagovailoa threw two interceptions within the first quarter, Locksley remained dedicated to his starter. Locksley has stated his beginning quarterback is not going to have a brief leash and “doesn’t should look over his shoulder.” Changing a struggling quarterback midgame could have a short-term profit, however may harm the participant’s confidence and talent to play with out concern of creating errors shifting ahead. Locksley had the identical philosophy final season with Josh Jackson, who performed effectively early within the season however had bother in Large Ten play. Jackson solely accomplished 47.Three % of passes and completed the yr with 12 passing touchdowns and 6 interceptions, however Locksley by no means switched his beginning quarterback due to his efficiency.
Redshirt freshman Lance LeGendre, the backup quarterback, led the offense throughout Maryland’s remaining drive at Northwestern. He accomplished all 4 move makes an attempt, and the Terps’ 76-yard march down the sphere grew to become their longest drive of the evening. However there’s little worth in evaluating quarterbacks with a drive in these circumstances — 4 minutes to go and the opponent forward by 40 factors with backup defenders on the sphere.
Tagovailoa performed effectively throughout his first drive as a Terrapin and guided Maryland contained in the 20-yard line with brief passes. He accomplished 6 of seven makes an attempt, with an 11-yard move to Dontay Demus Jr. the longest reception in that drive. Tagovailoa performed with confidence, and the offense moved down the sphere with ease. These early performs are scripted forward of the sport, they usually’re those the employees and Tagovailoa are most snug with executing. After the sport’s opening sequence, Tagovailoa’s offense by no means sustained a drive longer than 31 yards.
When requested why the offense struggled to discover a rhythm after the opening sequence, redshirt sophomore receiver Jeshaun Jones stated, “Simply not taking what the protection gave us.”
Locksley stated he thought “the operating sport was environment friendly early however simply not constant sufficient.” Senior Jake Funk added a 24-yard carry to the pass-heavy first drive. However throughout Tagovailoa’s different eight drives, the Terps solely generated 42 dashing yards, which doesn’t embody the 24 yards misplaced from two sacks. With Tagovailoa at quarterback, Maryland tried 27 passing performs (together with sacks) and 14 rushes.
Maryland relied on Funk (six carries for 35 yards) and freshman Isaiah Jacobs (six carries for 15 yards) with senior Tayon Fleet-Davis out for causes stemming from final season when he was charged with driving a car whereas impaired. Locksley stated he hopes Fleet-Davis shall be accessible in opposition to Minnesota.
Regardless of the problems within the passing sport, Maryland’s offensive line, which had depth considerations getting into the season, supplied strong safety. The Terps have sturdy receivers, led by Demus and Jones, who have been each focused six occasions by Tagovailoa.
“I’ve simply acquired to get my timing down with the receivers,” Tagovailoa stated. “They have been there. I simply missed them. I feel it’s one thing that we will proceed to work on and we’re for positive going to get higher.”
The best way Tagovailoa responded to the loss, and his fast willingness to maneuver ahead and enhance, “is the expectation I’ve for quarterbacks,” Locksley stated. Inside this system, Locksley differentiates between jobs and professions. A job is what you do from 9 a.m. to five p.m. A occupation is who you might be across the clock.
“And Lia is a type of guys that treats enjoying quarterback as a occupation,” Locksley stated. “He’s a type of guys, he takes copious notes. He’s a studier.”
That’s what Locksley is accustomed to from his quarterbacks — an inventory of gamers that features two Heisman Trophy finalists, Jalen Hurts, and Tagovailoa’s older brother, Tua, who Locksley coached because the offensive coordinator at Alabama. The best way Tagovailoa approaches the sport, Locksley stated, suits in with these “nice ones.”
“We count on him to bounce again,” Locksley stated. “What I count on to see is one, take private accountability. Two, make the corrections primarily based off of what we placed on tape and what we train as a training employees. And people issues, he’s already began.”