COLLEGE PARK -- Junior pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue, within a season of turmoil and change for Maryland, has been a bright spot. His 10 sacks put him among the top players in the nation and just three sacks away from tying the school’s single-season mark with four games to go.
Maryland defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski, speaking to the media at a press conference Wednesday, scraped away some of the typical niceties that come with the presumed humbleness of a player approaching a record and was more frank when asked whether he believes that record has a place in Ngakoue’s mind.
“He says it doesn’t, but I’m sure he thinks about it,” he said. “I think in all competition, you’ve got a chance to beat a record you’re going to do everything you can to do that.”
Then he added one qualifier.
“In Yannick’s favor, I think he would trade it all in for wins.”
And wins have been in short supply, with Maryland standing at 2-6 with Wisconsin set to visit College Park on Saturday for the program’s homecoming game.
Flickers of light in a difficult season like Ngakoue approaching the sack record are a point of pride, but even in light of that the junior said just what Dudzinski predicted he would.
“It’s not in my head,” he said. “I’m the type of person like when I go in the game, I just keep working hard, keep working hard to get to the quarterback and I wasn’t aware that I had this many sacks.
“When you put in the work, man, and you look up, the results show for themselves.”