Will Terps have a new quarterback?

Burns, Rowe excelled after Hills went down with knee injury

October 20, 2012|By Jeff Barker | The Baltimore Sun

Will Maryland have a new quarterback?  We don’t know yet for sure. But I can tell you by looking at his face that starter Perry Hills was in severe pain as he was lifted onto a cart near the end of the first half of Saturday’s 20-18 loss to N.C. State.  His eyes were closed and he was clearly wincing. And he’s a really tough kid -- a former state champion high-school wrestler.

Maryland coach Randy Edsall said after the game:

““Perry has a knee injury. We will wait to see what the MRI tells about it, but it doesn’t look good. We will take a look at the film and look at how we will move forward. I think we have two guys (Devin Burns and Caleb Rowe) who will help us move forward and it’s a credit to how they have prepared and to our offensive coaches for having those kids ready. You always do what guys can do offensively. You try to match the plan to their skill level and we know what Devin’s skill level is and what Caleb’s skill level is. We have a base of what we know we want to do, but we will fit it to meet our personnel.”

Burns and Rowe were impressive Saturday for different reasons. We’ve barely seen them, but Rowe is a promising passer. And Burns made things happen when he entered the game and led the Terps to their first two touchdowns in the third quarter.

Burns is a former receiver, and we had an inkling how well he might run the option read. He got in for one play against West Virginia several weeks ago and immediately ran for 17 yards.

If you’re a Maryland fan, you hope Burns can sustain what he did against the Wolfpack. Opponents will now have some video on him. Remember how C.J. Brown ran all over the field early on last season? Then, defenses began to catch on to his running and athleticism.

I'll have more on this in my final game story.

Here are some other observations from Saturday’s game:

* Wes Brown seemed to show again that he’s the team's most effective runner. He became the first Terp running back this season to top 100 yards.

* Maryland was running some option plays with Stefon Diggs in the backfield, essentially using him as a decoy. That tactic worked last week at Virginia when the defense focused on Diggs and Hills ran in for a touchdown.

* Diggs threw a pass today – a pretty good spiral, but to a well-covered Kevin Dorsey in the first quarter. It fell incomplete.

* You get the feeling that Maryland’s coaches must cringe now when Brad Craddock attempts extra points or chip-shot field goals. He’s now missed two extra points this season and yesterday’s 33-yard field goal. He can hit the deep ones – a 48-yarder yesterday – but needs more consistency.

Give Craddock credit, by the way, for meeting with the media after his big miss.

And he didn't make any excuses.

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