going into this game, because of the style of play they had on offense, we would have limited opportunities.”
The Gophers controlled possession for nearly 43 minutes, running 76 plays to just 46 for the Terps, outgaining Locksley’s team 498 yards to 210, including 321 yards rushing on 54 carries compared to just 79. Minnesota was 7 of 11 converting on third down, to just 2 of 11 for Maryland.
“They controlled the tempo, so it was up to us to get off the field on defense, which we didn’t do,” Locksley said. “We gave up [more than] 300 yards rushing, that tells the story for us. We haven’t given up more than 200 yards rushing in a game. I thought we got outphysicaled today up front. Anytime there’s a difference of 42 minutes possession to 17, it doesn’t bode well for you.”
Said redshirt sophomore running back Anthony McFarland Jr., who returned from missing last week’s game with a sprained ankle to rush for 38 yards on 10 carries: “Shouts out to Minnesota. They played harder than us today. They were the better team. They were more disciplined. A lot of times when we get down and take these tough losses, it’s because we beat ourselves. We’ve got to give ourselves a chance to be in the ballgame.”
The loss was the fifth in the past six games for Maryland (3-5, 1-4) and all but wiped out any chance of reaching a bowl game in Locksley’s first year. Winning its 10th straight game dating back to last season, Minnesota (8-0, 5-0) will have a week off before hosting No. 6 Penn State. The Terps will host No. 19 Michigan (5-2, 3-2 Big Ten) Saturday.
“This team is not going to give up, obviously it’s disappointing to see us play the way we did today,” Locksley said. “Where I thought we took some steps forward last week to not playing to the circumstances of the game. The tipped ball on the first drive results in an interception and the flood gates kind of opened up. Last week I thought we battled a little better and didn’t play to the situation. Today I didn’t see that.”
Said fifth-year senior offensive lineman Ellis McKennie (McDonogh): “That’s something the leadership on this team has to take, you can put that on us. We have to make sure that the team can stay focused no matter what the score of the game is. Whether that’s preparation throughout the week, knowing that we’re trusting of the game plan or just in the game making those type of adjustments and not focus on the score of the game and just keep playing. “
Minnesota wide receiver Seth Green, left, celebrates with Brevyn Spann-Ford after scoring a touchdown against Maryland on Saturday.