Mike Loxley was proud of his players for their performance on Saturday. After all, they took the No. 2 team in the country to the wire at College Park.
Maryland’s head coach addressed the media after his team lost 43-30 to Ohio State at home. He was encouraged by his team’s efforts in the quarterfinal game but thought the Buckeyes’ talent ultimately prevailed when he ran out 60 minutes.
“We’re going to give Ohio State credit. They are a team that deserves to be ranked,” Loxley said. “But also, I’ll let you know I’m really proud of this team. I’m proud of that locker room. Not proud that we were close – that’s just not how we go about this thing. I’m proud that we’ve never been more satisfied with losing.”
Maryland went back and forth with Ohio State deep in the contest’s final frame. The Terrapins had a chance to orchestrate a game-winning six-point drive with 42 seconds remaining. However, the Buckeyes defense had other plans for the Terps, sacking Taulia Tagovailoa twice on their possession, including a strip sack from Zach Harrison that led to a scoop and score for the Buckeyes and allowing them to win by 13.
However, Locksley believes his team should let go of a lot of the positives from their efforts. He reminded them after the game that they were underdogs but never looked the same on Saturday.
“You’ve seen us throw a punch with what I consider to be one of the best teams in the country,” he said. “When I started this week, the question I asked our team was, ‘Where have we been? “I’ve seen our team take responsibility for the way we’ve played in the last two weeks. I’ve seen a team that’s disappointed. And for me, those are the kinds of signals we need. That’s the kind of mentality we need as we work to take the next step (as a programme).”
Loxley says taking the next step as a program will come when his players generate momentum that they can feed constantly during matches. Against Ohio State, Locksley said the Buckeyes always had an answer for when the Terrapins started heading in the right direction.
“You’ve seen us explode with a team that I consider to be one of the best in the country.”Maryland coach Mike Loxley
Since Ohio State always has an answer for Maryland’s variable-temporal plays, Loxley said his team can learn more about flexibility and durability from Ryan Day’s team.
“When you’re playing against the best, you can’t expect them to help you. Good teams don’t need help,” said Loxley. “Today, any time we create momentum, they answer. We give up a big return for a start. We create momentum, block a kick—things like that. But the resilience that this team has shown all year, except for maybe a couple of games, was on full display. And that’s where I feel proud of the way with which we fought.”
Maryland will finish its season at home against Rutgers next week. The Scarlet Knights lose 55-10 to No. 11 Penn State on Saturday and hold a 4-7 record through 11 games played. The Terrapins would enter the game at 6-5 after losing to Ohio State.
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