Taulia Tagovailoa will not play in Maryland football’s bowl game against Auburn on Dec. 30, coach Michael Locksley said Tuesday.
Tagovailoa had previously said he’d likely play in the game. He ends his collegiate career as the Terps’ leader in most passing statistics and the Big Ten’s leader in passing yards.
“We certainly thank him and his family for all he’s given this program over the last four years,” Locksley said.
Since transferring from Alabama, Tagovailoa has solidified a position that had long been unstable for the Terps. He started his Terps career in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season against Northwestern and threw three picks. But he responded the next week, scoring five total touchdowns in Maryland’s 45-44 overtime win over Minnesota.
Tagovailoa drove much of the Terps’ recent resurgence. Maryland made bowl games in each of his three full seasons as starter. The quarterback has ranked among the Big Ten’s top three in passing yards since 2021 and led the conference this season in yards and touchdowns.
Now the Terps must find a way to replace him. Backup quarterbacks Billy Edwards Jr. and Cameron Edge will both play against the Tigers, Locksley said. They will compete in a three-way competition with incoming transfer MJ Morris, he added.
Edwards, who’ll be a redshirt junior next year, is a transfer from Wake Forest. His best performance with Maryland came in a 1 1/2 game stretch in 2022. With Tagovailoa injured against Indiana, Edwards entered and helped the Terps come back. The next week, trying to clinch bowl eligibility against Northwestern, Edwards threw for 166 yards and a touchdown and added 66 yards on the ground to beat the Wildcats, 31-24.
He played sparingly this year but was effective on quarterback sneaks, scoring six rushing touchdowns.
Edge, a former three-star recruit, will be a redshirt sophomore next year. He has thrown three collegiate passes, all coming in the season opener this year against Towson.
“You look at this game almost like a preseason game. ... It gives us an opportunity to evaluate our quarterback situation going into the next year,” Locksley said. “We’ve got a lot of faith in Billy, we’ve got a lot of faith in Cam.”