Maryland cornerback Will Likely has been named the Big Ten's defensive player of the week, the conference announced Monday morning.
Likely's 88-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first half keyed the Terrapins' win over Syracuse. Two plays earlier, the Orange had moved into Maryland territory on a 51-yard pass play, and Likely's interception probably resulted in a 10- or 14-point swing in Maryland's favor.
Of Likely's nine tackles, several were particularly important, either as third-down stops or as the last man back on defense against a Syracuse ball-carrier who otherwise would have had nothing but turf ahead of him. He was a constant headache for the Orange offense.
Likely will only become more important going forward. Maryland's other starting cornerback, Alvin Hill, suffered an injury against Syracuse.
He is the first Maryland football player to receive the weekly honor in the Big Ten.