NCAA Football: Maryland at Rutgers

Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, the Big Ten's all-time leading passer, has opted out of the Dec. 30 Music City Bowl vs. Auburn, according to head coach Mike Locksley. Tagovailoa, the younger brother of Miami Dolphins star and former Alabama signal-caller Tua Tagovailoa, finishes his career with 11,356 yards passing with 90 touchdowns passing and rushing for his career. 

Tagovailoa topped the 3,000-yard mark through the air in each of the last three seasons. He racked up 3,377 yards, 25 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions in 2023, leading Maryland to a 7-5 record. His best game of the season came against Indiana on September 30 when he completed 70.6% of his passes for 352 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions en route to earning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors. He earned the same honor after throwing for 361 yards and three touchdowns in the 42-24 win over Rutgers to close out the regular season.

He totaled 3,008 yards passing with 18 touchdowns as a junior in 2022, leading the Terrapins to an 8-5 record and win in the Dukes Mayo Bowl over NC State following the regular season.

Though Taulia doesn't have the same NFL Draft profile as his brother -- the Terps signal-caller is expected to be a late Day 2 or Day 3 pick -- the risk of injury in the postseason has altered how many players approach draft preparations, 

Tagovailoa's absence in the Music City Bowl opens the door for either sophomore Billy Edwards Jr. and freshman Cameron Edge to audition for the starting quarterback job in 2024. Edwards was 4 for 10 for 2 yards and a pick in seven games this season. Edge completed two of his three passes for 18 yards in one appearance.

Former NC State quarterback MJ Morris will also vie for the job in 2024 after committing to Locksley's crew earlier this month.