As reported earlier today, Maryland quarterback Perry Hills will have an MRI exam on his injured left knee tomorrow. Until then, Coach Randy Edsall isn’t offering any speculation on the matter.
If the results indeed determine that Hills will have to miss a significant period of time, a strong possibility at least based on how gruesome Hills’ knee bent after the illegal block in the back from Ricky Dowdy in the second quarter Saturday, even if he asked to put a brace on it and return for the second half, Edsall won’t be deciding on his starting quarterback any time soon. With a trip to Boston College looming next weekend, he may very well choose between Devin Burns and Caleb Rowe on game day.
“We’ll see how the week goes,” Edsall said during his Sunday conference call. :I’m not worried until we get to game time. We’ll have a plan in place, and we’ll practice it, we’ll take a look at what gives us the best opportunity. As you saw last week, on Saturday, we have to have different plans going just because of the situation we’re in. Once we find out more information and study BC and see what we want to do, then we’ll just go from there.”
With Hills sidelined at least for the time being, the Terps are left with two quarterbacks on the depth chart. Rowe burned his redshirt, nearly directing a last-minute comeback before Brad Craddock hit the post on a 33-yard field goal attempt with two seconds left. Burns starred in the second half, opening up lanes with the read option that helped the Terps rush for over 200 yards.
“I was very happy about the fact that each of those guys were ready to come in and do the job that was asked of them,” Edsall said. “They prepared well. Caleb knew he could have a chance to get in the game, he was ready to go when his time came, he was prepared for that because we had practiced it, and Devin went in and did a good job.”
Edsall said Maryland is considering moving other players behind center, similar to what Burns did in the offseason, but declined to give specifics. Ricardo Young and Dustin Dailey are both sitting out the season per NCAA transfer rules.
“I’ve got some guys in mind, but hopefully we won’t have to go there,” Edsall said. “If we do, we’ve got a list upon lists of contingencies just in case things happen. We can’t go and pick anybody up off the waiver wire, that’s for sure.”
Craddock will remain Maryland’s kicker
Edsall expressed total confidence in Craddock, even after the true freshman missed an extra point and the potential game-winner at Byrd Stadium.
“We stay the course,” Edsall said. “I’ve got complete confidence in Brad, and we’ll go back out there today, work with him, we’ll show him the ones that he makes and the ones that he missed from the other day.”
Craddock’s inconsistency has surfaced before this season, but never in such a crucial scenario. He’s 15 of 17 on point-after attempts and 8 for 13 on field goals. Of those misses, three have come from less than 40 yards. He’s actually has as many makes (four) from 40-plus yards than he has from inside.
And as Edsall pointed out, Craddock’s 36-yarder in the first quarter came from the right hash, and he drilled a 48-yarder early in the fourth quarter from the left hash. Yet the two lined up down the middle, he missed.
“It’s a technique thing,” Edsall said. “We just have got to get him to be consistently good, and use the same technique and follow through. You do that by repetition, and we’ll continue to give him the reps we give him.”