COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WDVM) – Before turning to Taulia Tagovailoa and handing her the reins of the quarterback at College Park, the program had an appalling history of success there. Before Taulia joined the Terps in 2020, Maryland hadn’t had a 300-yard passer in 82 straight games.

Fast forward to the present day, and the Terrapins are just hours away from competing in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium, thanks in large part to the record-breaking season Taulia mustered, despite injury issues within the attacking core of the team.

“Coming into this game, he’s only started four games in his career.” said Locksley, highlighting Taulia’s experience leading up to the 2021 season. “He’s a red shirt sophomore, starting this season. And so in every game he’s been able to play, I think you’ve seen him keep adding to what I call the quarterback’s toolbox.

Locksley would explain that Taulia is “rarely” a player who makes the same mistake twice, but will take over the coaching to correct it as soon as he can.

“I think I’m a little traumatized by the Northwestern game, I mean that’s where it really started.” Taulia said. “My first year since then, you don’t want to feel that way anymore.”

Maryland would lose 43-3 in the opener of the 2020 season and Taulia’s first start as a Terrapin. He threw 14 of 25 passes, for 94 yards, and had just three interceptions to show.

“Bad games, I think you get more hooked. Taulia said, when asked if he weighs his mistakes more than he celebrates his victories. “It helps me motivate myself and push myself for sure. ”

Maryland’s path to bowl eligibility has not been easy, given the injuries the team have had to contend with, especially early in the season for their receiving core. 10 different receivers have caught more than 10 assists this season, with eight different people bringing the ball back for a score. Due to his growth and his teammates, the junior quarterback set the school record in one season for passing yards (3,595) and completed passes (308).

Star player Dontay Demus Jr. has announced he will return for another season with the Terrapins, giving Maryland a boost as they prepare for the season ahead.

“It’s just a testament to our attack and the things they are doing.” Said Taulia, “Sure I’m going to get the credit because I throw the ball and stuff, but my O line gives me time to find my receivers, and they’re always in the right places. And that’s them. who catch the ball, they’re the ones blocking for me, so I think that’s just a testament to the whole group.

The “whole squad” will have the chance to play one more game together, when the Terps kick off against the Virginia Tech Hokies at 2 pm Dec. 29 for the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.

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