If this Maryland football season ends up as one of the more successful of recent memory, remember this point in time — Week 6, ahead of a Saturday matchup with Purdue in College Park — as the moment when the Terrapins started to get people’s attention.
Maryland (3-1, 1-1 Big Ten) received votes in this week’s AP Top 25 poll for the first time in 2022 after a 27-13 win over Michigan State.
The Terrapins are also getting their flowers from multiple corners of social media, including a surprise video shoutout from recording artist DJ Khaled.
“My college roommate works for the Jordan Brand, DJ Khaled’s a Jordan Brand [artist], and my college roommate happened to be here for the game,” Terrapins coach Mike Locksley explained Tuesday. “This weekend, [he] flew back to Miami. And I guess he had a meeting with Khaled and basically said he was up at the Maryland game.”
Locksley doesn’t need hip-hop stars to know his team is special. The Terrapins are pumping out points like Khaled drops albums, scoring at least 27 in all five games so far this season. Dating back to last year, the streak is seven straight, the longest such run by a Maryland offense since 1984.
“What excites me most is that we still have so much more room to grow as a as a team,” Locksley said. “And anytime you can come in and make corrections and show where we left a lot of meat on the bone, per se … it’s definitely great to be able to grow from those things with a win.”
Another opportunity for growth comes against the Boilermakers (3-2, 1-1), who boast one of the best quarterbacks in the Big Ten in Aidan O’Connell.
“Aiden is a big-time quarterback, a guy that I think has a chance to play on Sundays,” Locksley said. “Really talented, makes you defend the whole field. He’s able to make every throw. He’s got two talented receivers”
One of those is Charlie Jones, who’s on pace for one of the best receiving years in Purdue history. The sixth-year player is the conference leader in touchdowns (7), receiving yards (588), and catches per game (9.4).
“Those are some good players. I must admit they’re good players,” defensive back Isaiah Hazel said. “But at the end of the day, we’re not playing against them. We’re playing against ourselves.”
“As long we stay poised and disciplined, we’re going to be fine.”
Offensive lineman Spencer Anderson echoed the sentiment, saying the Terrapins aren’t surprised by their early-season success and that they have the right mentality to sustain it across the balance of the season.
“We’re not really shocked by the success,” he said. “We kind of don’t want to, sort of, ride the wave. We’ve been taking all the success in, but when we celebrate it’s not for too long.”
• George Gerbo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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