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Mike Locksley thinks Big Ten East will come down to Michigan-Ohio State

Interesting comments from Maryland’s head coach.

NCAA Football: Maryland at Illinois Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Off the cuff, honest answer? Trap game tactic? You be the judge.

Michigan has a road game against the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday afternoon. If the 9-1 Wolverines win, they’ll be playing for the Big Ten East title (if the Buckeyes beat Michigan State on Saturday) on November 27.

Michigan is facing a Maryland team who’s been reeling of late — after starting the season 4-0, the Terrapins have lost five of their last six and stand at 5-5 this year. Still, each threat should be taken seriously or a team with high aspirations can be humbled very quickly, Michigan can’t overlook Maryland.

However, Maryland coach Mike Locksley is already looking ahead for the Wolverines, mentioning their tilt with the Buckeyes.

“They have done a great job of not beating themselves and putting themselves in a position where they’re competing for a Big Ten title,” Locksley said. “It will come down to the game behind our game, I think they play Ohio State the week after us — not to put that in their head, but they have a big game coming up.”

Locksley may not have tried to put anything in Michigan’s head, but he certainly threw something out there that has nothing to do with Michigan playing his Maryland team.

Locksley’s comments may be more true than false, everyone expects No. 6 Michigan to win this weekend, most folks think No. 4 Ohio State will take care of business against Michigan State to pave the way for a winner-take-all Wolverines-Buckeyes battle.

Of course, Locksley and Maryland would like to beat Michigan on Saturday, but they’ll have their hands full with a Michigan team that doesn’t make many mistakes on offense, and an improving defense that has one heck of a pass-rush. These facts aren’t lost on Locksley, either.

  • Locksley on Michigan’s offense: “Probably one of the better offenses that we will face in terms of balance. Those guys are very good up front, their offensive line, their center (Andrew Vastardis) is phenomenal and does a good job leading the way for them up front. They got some capable guys on the outside. No. 6 (Cornelius Johnson) has made some plays for them. I know they are a little banged up at the running back position, losing Blake Corum who started out having a great year. But they’re still Michigan, they still have players that are very capable as we’ve seen the last couple of weeks, to step in and continue to do what they do.”
  • Locksley on Michigan’s defense: “Defensively, Aidan Hutchinson is as advertised, will probably be one of the biggest defensive playmakers that we’ve faced this year – a mixture of size, speed, tenacity, and really plays hard with a motor. “The other side of him, No. 55 (David Ojabo), I think both of those guys have 10.5 sacks a piece. And we will have our hands full with them because they are a well-balanced team and well-coached.”

Michigan takes on Maryland this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network.