NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Despite not having star quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, the Maryland Terrapins dominated the Auburn Tigers Saturday during the 2023 TransPerfect Music City Bowl. With backup Maryland quarterback Billy Edwards Jr. snapping the ball, Maryland rolled over Auburn 31-13 handing the Tigers their third straight losing season.
Edwards Jr., the redshirt sophomore from Springfield, Virginia, earned the TransPerfect Music City Bowl’s Most Valuable Player award after passing 126 yards, rushing for 50, and accounting for two of the game’s three touchdowns.
Saturday’s victory for Maryland secured their third straight bowl victory, only the second time in program history. The last time Maryland earned three straight bowl victories came in 2002, 2004, and 2006. The victory is also the third straight for Maryland head coach Mike Locksley.
“I’ll start by saying this, man,” said Maryland head coach Mike Locksley. “I’m really proud of this team and proud of the way our seniors led this program. Three straight bowl wins, back-to-back eight-win seasons. It’s not easy to do here.”
The seniors and some of the guys up here on this stage have played such a vital role in putting this thing together. There was a lot of blood, sweat, and tears from our players, coaches, and staff throughout the finish of this season, navigating a crazy two-week period of transfer portal, NIL, and all that stuff.”
The loss by Auburn marks the fourth straight Music City Bowl loss for the SEC. Mentioning the SEC, many players and Maryland staff following the Music City Bowl while celebrating the victory asked questions like “Is that the SEC that everyone talks so highly of?” or “Where’s Auburn?” “Has anyone seen the team that nearly beat Alabama?”.
Adding to that, the loss Saturday marked the fourth loss of 10 or more points in 2023 by Auburn. The 18-point loss is the third-worst loss by Auburn this season.
“I don’t need anyone to tell me when we don’t measure up,” said Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze. “That starts with me. I feel so awful for our incredible fans. It was incredible to see them, their support for us, and not perform any better in games this year like this. I promise you that — I don’t need someone to tell me I didn’t get it done.”