Beset by injuries coming off a heartbreaking homecoming loss to North Carolina State, the Maryland football team slogged through its first half Saturday against Boston College, and entered the break down 10-0 to the ACC’s worst team.
True freshman Caleb Rowe, effectively the Terps’ fourth-string quarterback after both Perry Hills and Devin Burns suffered season-ending injuries against the Wolfpack, finished the half 13 of 27 for 81 yards and two interceptions. Rowe displayed solid zip on the ball but made a couple of ill-advised passes into traffic, including in an interception midway through the second quarter that Boston College turned into a 36-yard field goal.
Maryland had a chance to get on the board, twice converting on third and five with passes from Rowe to classmate and summer school roommate Stefon Diggs, but Brad Craddock, who struck a 33-yarder into the left upright with two seconds left against N.C. State, missed a 35-yard attempt wide left.
After the Terps’ first drive, a three-and-out featuring three Rowe passing attempts, the Eagles needed just 40 seconds to score. Quarterback Chase Rettig hit Alex Amidon for 19 yards on first down on a hook route by the far sideline. Then, on a bootleg from the Maryland 20, he hit running back David Dudeck across the field, who had beaten linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield.
A 72-yard punt return by Spiffy Evans and a 16-yard rush by Andre Williams nearly set up another Boston College score, but Maryland linebacker Cole Farrand forced a Williams fumble at the goal line that defensive lineman Darius Kilgo recovered.
Later, on third and eight, Rowe got flushed out of the pocket and scrambled for five yards near the first-down marker, but Diggs was flagged for a personal foul on a vicious block that forced the Terps into a third-and-18 situation. Rowe dived headfirst into the turf after an eight-yard gain on the next play and appeared to get hit in the head late by a BC defender, but there was no flag, which had Maryland Coach Randy Edsall steaming on the sidelines.
The Terps got the ball back after a Boston College punt with 1:40 left on their 46-yard line, and marched into Eagles territory thanks to an unnecessary roughness penalty. Rowe, however, made his second ill-advised decision of his first college start, rifling an interception at the 5-yard line, straight into the hands of free safety Justin Simmons.