Hours after his first collegiate start, the three interceptions during Maryland’s 7-6 win over William & Mary still stuck on rewind in his head, quarterback Perry Hills sat down with his family at Applebee’s. He ordered the first thing he saw on the menu, because he was so exhausted he could barely stay awake in the booth.
Once he returned home, Hills called offensive coordinator Mike Locksley. They went over those turnovers, the product of fundamental mistakes more than anything else. Hills dissected the errors, watched film the next day, then began thinking about Temple, Maryland’s next opponent.
Hills enters Saturday’s game in Philadelphia officially undefeated as a college starter, but there’s still much room for improvement. The key to Hills’s growth leading the Terps, however, will come from moving on.
“I know that if you keep thinking about it, it’ll ruin you for the rest of the game,” Hills said. “I have to put it behind me. That’s something, as a quarterback, you have to learn to do and get good at. Something bad’s going to happen, and you have to learn how to deal with it, move on and play each play.”
After C.J. Brown tore his ACL and was pronounced out for the season, Hills needed to get up to speed quickly, both in football and in college. He arrived for his Tuesday media session just minutes before practice and after a full morning of classes, from a building across campus.
“It’s not tough,” Hills said of the adjustments he’s had to make since coming to campus. “I’ve been dreaming about this my whole life. I’ve always wanted to do it, so I just look at it as an opportunity and I have to get better each week.”
Said Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley: “You know Perry is a guy that’s pretty unflappable. Now the bullets are live, and he doesn’t have that whistle or yellow jersey to protect him. I think it gives us a better idea now as to how he handles things. I haven’t seen any change in his demeanor.
“I do think he was, early on, a little rattled early on. You have to give William & Mary credit. They had the game plan that they were going to bring pressure and they were going to show pressure and back out. They played the game with him, but I thought Perry took the halftime adjustments well.”