Maryland head coach Mike Locksley embraces bowl talk

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On Monday, Rutgers football head coach Greg Schiano didn’t want to talk about possible bowl eligibility, saying he wanted to keep his team’s focus solely on Saturday’s opponent. That opponent’s head coach, however, is embracing the bowl talk.

The formula is simple for Rutgers and Maryland on Saturday: the winner goes to a bowl game. Both teams are 5-6 (2-6 Big Ten) heading into the final week of the regular season. The winner gets a bowl game and the loser is likely left out.

When Schiano was asked about the possibility of claiming bowl eligibility, he deferred to answer, saying that if his team isn’t focused on beating Maryland then anything else won’t matter. Locksley was asked about his team’s recent rough stretch and how Saturday presents an opportunity to play for something meaningful:

“Yeah, I mean, I think you hit it right on its head – when you have a chance to compete for bowl eligibility and you’re at the last part of your season,” Locksley told reporters on Tuesday.

“That’s something we haven’t had around here for some time, where it is win go home. So, as I told them yesterday, if I have to motivate you to – if I got to say some things to motivate you to go out and put the work in this week, that’s necessary to prepare you to go up to Rutgers and play to our ability – then this is not the team I thought we have. But I can tell you that is that team and this team continues to work.”

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Maryland has lost their last three games and five of their last six games. They did have a very strong start to the season including a solid 30-24 win over West Virginia in their opener.

On Saturday, they lost 59-18 at home to Michigan.

Rutgers had a tough weekend as well, with their offense struggling in a 28-0 loss at Penn State.