No. 14 Michigan State (8-1, 4-1) vs Maryland (2-7, 0-5)
Kickoff: 12 p.m. EDT - Spartan Stadium
Head Coach: Mike Locksley (Interim)
Locksley Record: 0-3
Locksley Record Overall: 2-29
Record vs MSU: 0-0
All-Time Series: MSU leads 5-1
Last Meeting: MSU 37 - UMD 15 (Nov. 15, 2014)
2015 UMD FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
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Maryland will travel to Michigan State for the first time since 1950 to face the 14-th ranked Spartans. Interim head coach Mike Locksley took over the program following the teams loss to Ohio State and since that time has seen his squad go 0-3 with losses to Penn State, Iowa and Wisconsin. With the program sure to get a new head coach in the next few weeks, Locksley knows any success he may have could help him return as he's a proven recruiter in the college game.
With Michigan State coming off their first loss of the season, Locksley knows the Spartans will be bitting at the bit to get back to winning.
"Michigan State is one of the elite teams in this conference and has been for the past few years," said Locksley. "When you look at them, the thing that stands out is their toughness and the way they go about playing the game. They are a "no-frills" kind of a team in terms of the way they line up, execute and play hard with good discipline."
One area Locksley is hopeful of his team taking advantage of is the depleted secondary his team will face on Saturday. Wide receiver DeAndre Lane feels the Terrapins will have an advantage.
"I feel like we have to take advantage of every opportunty," said Lane. "When we see a weakness we have to take advantage of it. I feel like we can throw the ball a lot more. They give up a lot of passing yards. We also have a strong running game. So both will be equal."
But while the Spartans defense has shown issues in the passing game, Locksley knows the Spartans have their own weapon on offense he must worry about.
"They have probably one of the most talented quarterbacks in the country in Connor Cook," Locksley stressed. "He's a guy that has great accuracy down the field with his throwing and great mobility. We're going to have to do a really good job in containing him in the pocket."
Terrapins standout defensive back William Likely knows stopping Cook is a major key.
"We have to put pressure around him," said Likely. "He is very composed. He is one of those people that can really beat you. They have a good run game. They have pretty good receivers that can go out and make things happen. They can score points."
Whlie Locksley's team may feel they have an advantage against the Spartans secondary. He knows there is a lot of talent the Spartans will put on the field Saturday.
"Their front seven is as good as any of the top-15 defenses we've faced in the last five weeks," he said. "They've had about five different rotations on the back end in the secondary, and I think that's where they've had to adjust whether it's due to injury or graduation. What I see from the way they're playing at the end of the year is they're playing as one of those top-15 defenses."