COLLEGE PARK — Following Maryland's lopsided loss at home against Bowling Green last week, head coach Randy Edsall made a point to speak with cornerback Sean Davis one-on-one about where the senior went wrong.
Bowling Green quarterback Matt Johnson torched the Terps secondary for 491 yards and six touchdowns. Davis was matched up against Roger Lewis, who finished with 15 catches for 200 yards and two scores. Davis was also called for pass interference on one of Johnson's three unsuccessful attempts in Lewis' direction.
Edsall and Davis discussed how things could have gone better over dinner — a meeting that could have been uncomfortable for the senior, though he knew it was imperative to his success going forward.
"[It was] a little intimidating, but he's a good dude," Davis said. "He just told me he trusts me, he has confidence in me, or he wouldn't put me out there. I know that, too. I have confidence and trust myself and believe in my skills and abilities. And it just didn't show up last week."
Davis made the move from safety to corner over the offseason, and acknowledged that he's the "new kid on the block" in that role. What he didn't want, however, was to be a weak link in Maryland's defensive chain.
So as Maryland bounced back for a 35-17 victory over visiting South Florida on Saturday, so too did Davis. As part of a secondary that held the Bulls to just 60 passing yards, Davis nabbed two interceptions and forced a fumble.
"Sean is a guy just like any athlete. You don't play your best, you want to make sure you go out and you redeem yourself and you work hard," said Edsall, who commended the corner's aggressive play. "We challenged them all. I got after them all. They responded. That's the way Sean Davis can play."
Davis finished with nine tackles Saturday afternoon, which tied him for second most in the game.
After recording his first interception in the second quarter, Davis' second pick came in the fourth.
Facing third-and-9 on his own 33-yard line with 10:45 to go in the contest, Bulls backup quarterback Steven Bench's pass sailed over his intended target. Davis caught it at the 50 and returned it 33 yards to set the Terps up in the red zone. The ensuing drive ended with a Brad Craddock field goal.
As he set his sights on improving after last week, Davis said he hit the books, watched film and tried to not focus on one specific aspect of his game. Instead, he wanted to get better all-around.
Saying he wants to be "flawless," becoming a more complete player will serve him well as he tries to back up Saturday's performance throughout the rest of the season.
"So, overall, I need to just continue to do everything," he said. "But I had a good game today, and I need to show it again next week. It wasn't luck today."
Maryland's defensive dominance wasn't strictly in the secondary. Roman Braglio had two sacks, while Yannick Ngakoue finished with 1.5. Jermaine Carter Jr. had a game-high 11 tackles. The Terps didn't allow any plays from scrimmage longer than 28 yards.
The last time the team held its opponent to fewer than 65 yards through the air was Sept. 21, 2013, against West Virginia — a feat Davis would like his group to replicate next week when the Terps travel to Morgantown.
"We're not worried. We took it on the chin last week, so we'll definitely be prepared going into this week," he said. "We're just going to look at the drawing boards. We had a great game plan today. I believe we're going to have a great game plan next week."
Latest College Sports