Locksley is 2-0 in just his first season as the coach brought in to clean up a troubled program. He uncorked an extended road metaphor for reporters Tuesday, likening the young season to a cross-country drive from California to the District, with stops along the way for football.
Most travelers on this hypothetical journey, the coach said, would be happy after arriving in, say, Phoenix, without a flat tire, accident or other mishap.
So too is Locksley pleased, arriving at this crossroads of the season with a 2-0 record.
“We are on a journey right now. We have a lot of the trip left,” he said. “The next step this week is against a very good Temple program.”
Ranked nationally for the first time since 2013, the Terrapins play the Owls on Saturday at noon in Philadelphia in a nonconference contest.
Locksley said to expect the Owls to play like the city they call home — tough.
The American Athletic Conference team actually humbled the Terrapins last season in College Park, 35-14.
“They beat us pretty good last year. We are definitely not taking them lightly,” Maryland quarterback Josh Jackson said. “I know their front seven are very good. They put their best players on the front seven.”
Jackson completed 21 of 38 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns in a stunning 63-20 win at home Saturday over Syracuse, which entered the game ranked No. 22. Four Maryland receivers had at least three catches: Tyler Mabry, Darryl Jones, Chigoziem Okonkwo and Dontay Demus.
Jackson is the first Maryland quarterback since at least 1977 to throw seven touchdowns in the first two games of the season. The Terrapins racked up 354 yards rushing against Syracuse, with 107 from Javon Leake, 94 from Damascus High product Jake Funk, and 75 from DeMatha High product Anthony McFarland.
Temple comes off a bye week. The Owls won 56-12 over Bucknell at home on Aug. 31. Temple’s Anthony Russo became the first Owls quarterback to record two games of at least 400 yards passing with 409 against Bucknell.
Maryland had a crowd of 33,493 fans on hand for the win over Syracuse.
“It was a great win for our program,” Locksley said. “It was a great opportunity for us to play a ranked team here at home. I am very thankful for the student section that came out.”
Locksley asked his team Monday if anyone was surprised about a 2-0 start.
“Nobody raised their hands,” Locksley said. “We are happy with where we are on Day 2 of the journey.”
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