With freshman Perry Hills out for the season with a torn ACL, it again prompts the question of whether there is some sort of hex on Maryland’s quarterback position.
Granted, this is only a half-serious suggestion. But Maryland’s history over the last decade-plus is starting to border on the level of lousy luck Iowa’s running backs have suffered.
In case you’re unaware, here’s an introduction to AIRBHG —- the Angry Iowa Running Back Hating God.
Maryland’s list stretches back slightly further (1998) but also has fewer names. That isn’t a surprise, since programs have more running backs on scholarship than quarterbacks (or, at least they normally do).
There almost certainly is not an vengeful higher power at work, but if you choose to believe in an MMQB-HD —- Malevolent Maryland Quarterback Hating Deity —- here’s the timeline over the last 15 seasons:
* Trey Evans, Maryland’s second-string quarterback coming into fall camp, suffers a torn ACL and misses the entire season. He would return in a reserve role in 1999, completing 11 of 21 passes for 137 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions.
* Calvin McCall starts the first nine games, but suffers a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee and misses the final two contests of the season. Maryland loses both to finish 5-6 and miss out on its first bowl bid since 1990.
* True freshman Latrez Harrison makes his first career start Nov. 13 at eventual national champion Florida State. He leaves in the second quarter with a sprained ankle. He would return the next week and go 2-for-7 for no yards in what would become his final start at QB.
* Junior college transfer Shaun Hill earns the surprising opening-week nod over McCall. He promptly suffers what was described as a shoulder sprain in the opener and misses the next five games. McCall returns as a starter.
* Harrison redshirts, perhaps taking himself off the MMQB-HD radar.
* Randall Jones, who started four games at quarterback in 1998 and was the top backup for the opener and finale in 1999, settles in at safety full time. He plays in every game his final two seasons and starts all 12 contests in Maryland’s Orange Bowl season.
* Touted recruit Chris Kelley redshirts after tearing his left ACL in a high school all-star game during the summer.
* Kelley continues to rehabilitate from knee surgery, but reinjures it during preseason camp. Kelley is listed as missing the first three games because of injury. He appears briefly at the end of two games.
* Hill starts wire-to-wire and leads Maryland to its first ACC title since 1985.
* Kelley is listed as the No. 1 quarterback during spring practice. He tears his right ACL during the spring game and after a rushed recovery serves as a backup to Scott McBrien. He completes 17 of 38 passes for 171 yards and three interceptions.
* Harrison moves to wide receiver during the spring. He would play in all 27 games of his final two seasons, starting 22.
* Backup quarterback Orlando Evans, a junior college transfer, suffers a torn left ACL in his first game and misses the rest of the season.
* McBrien starts wire-to-wire and Maryland goes 11-3 and wins the Peach Bowl.
* McBrien starts every game of Maryland’s 10-3 season, but does leave a Thursday night game at Georgia Tech with a concussion. The Yellow Jackets (with Reggie Ball at quarterback) outduel the Terps and backup Joel Statham to earn a 7-3 victory.
* Kelley moves to defense, a move that pays significant dividends in 2004 when he rolls up 85 tackles (13.5 for loss) in 11 starts at safety.
* Evans appears in five games, but suffers a right knee injury a few days before the Gator Bowl and does not play during the ample garbage time of a 41-7 rout of West Virginia.
* Freshman Jordan Steffy is concussed in Maryland’s penultimate game of the season, a 55-6 loss on a Thursday night at Virginia Tech. He would miss the Terps’ finale.
* Statham starts the first 10 games, but after throwing 15 interceptions —- including seven in his last four games —- the Terps turn to Sam Hollenbach to start the finale. It is the first time since 2000 that Maryland doesn’t have a wire-to-wire starter.
* Redshirt freshman Ryan Mitch departs after the season. He played in one game and, unlike most Maryland quarterbacks, did not suffer an injury that forced him to miss time.
* Hollenbach suffers a sprained shoulder in a loss to Virginia Tech. He makes a brief appearance against Florida State nine days later, but Statham draws that start and plays almost the entire game.
* Statham departs the program at season’s end after playing in only three games as a redshirt junior. He is the only Maryland starting quarterback since 1999 to not miss at least half a game because of injury.
* Maryland remains injury-free at quarterback and, coincidentally, stitches together a 9-4 record. Hollenbach plays all but 13 offensive snaps, with Steffy making an appearance late in the season opener against William & Mary.
* Another injury-free quarterback leaves College Park. This time it’s Jeremy Ricker, a well-regarded central Pennsylvania product who exits the program during spring practice.
* Steffy, now nearly three years removed from sporadic playing time as a true freshman, finally gets the chance to start in the ‘07 season opener against Villanova. He suffers a leg cramp but later returns.
* Steffy suffers another concussion when he takes a helmet-to-helmet hit from Rutgers safety Joe Lefeged. Steffy would miss two games because injury but only play in two more contests. Chris Turner starts the final eight games.
* In an unexpected twist, Steffy earns the starting job over Turner, with Josh Portis taking a change-of-pace role in new coordinator James Franklin‘s offense. However, the hard-luck Steffy fractures a thumb in a season-opening victory against Delaware. He would miss the next eight games because of injury and not appear for the Terps again.
* Turner starts the final 12 games and leads Maryland to an 8-5 record, victories over four ranked teams and a triumph in the Humanitarian Bowl against Nevada.
* Portis, a much-balleyhooed transfer from Florida after the 2005 season, logs roughly 50 snaps and departs College Park after the season. He completes his career at Division II California (Pa.).
* Playing behind an absurdly inexperienced offensive line, Turner survives more than eight games before injuring his left MCL. He misses two games but returns to make his 30th career start in the finale of a 2-10 season.
* Jamarr Robinson starts the two games that Turner missed, but is himself hampered heading into the season finale but still threw for 115 yards and a touchdown on the last day of an ill-fated season.
* In his first career series, C.J. Brown fractures his right shoulder against Morgan State and misses the rest of the season.
* Danny O’Brien suffers an ankle injury against Morgan State and then re-aggravates it during a cameo at West Virginia a week later. O’Brien would recover, though, and start the final 10 games of a 9-4 season.
* With no viable backups in the second half of the West Virginia game, opening week starter Robinson guts his way through a sore throwing shoulder. He misses the next two games because of injury and throws only six more passes on the season. Maryland uses him as a change-of-pace option after his return, much as it did with Portis two years earlier.
* Maryland appears to have more quarterback depth than at any time in recent memory after the 2010 season. However, Robinson does not return after a coaching change, Tyler Smith transfers to Elon after redshirting in 2010 and Devin Burns moves to wide receiver.
* Down to two quarterback options, O’Brien and Brown shuttle in and out of the starting lineup. The weekly guessing game ended when O’Brien suffers a broken left arm in a November contest against Notre Dame and missed the final two games. He opts to transfer to Wisconsin the following spring.
* Brown, the presumptive starting quarterback from the second O’Brien departed in February, tears his right ACL during preseason practice and is lost for the year.
* Freshman Perry Hills takes over after Brown’s injury and starts the first seven games before his own ACL tear after his left knee buckles when he was hit from behind by N.C. State linebacker Rickey Dowdy. Hills leads Maryland to four victories as a starter but will miss the rest of the season.
* Maryland’s remaining quarterback options are Burns, who volunteered to move back to the position after Brown’s ACL tear, and true freshman Caleb Rowe.
UPDATED (Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m.)
* Burns suffers a Lisfranc injury during the N.C. State and will miss the remainder of the season. Rowe is the only remaining scholarship quarterback for the final five games. Linebacker Shawn Petty and walk-on tight end Brian McMahon —- both freshmen —- are listed as the No. 2 and No. 3 options on the roster.
UPDATED (Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m.)
* Rowe rallies Maryland from a 13-0 deficit in his first start, only for Boston College to come back and secure a 20-17 victory. One day later, Rowe is diagnosed with a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season. Maryland is forced to navigate the final four games on its schedule without a scholarship quarterback.
—- Patrick Stevens