There was one clear difference in Maryland quarterback Perry Hills‘ second start: No interceptions.
That was a welcome sign for everyone involved in the Terrapins’ offense. But the true freshman also settled in better this week, completing 11 of 21 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns.
Hills, who was picked off three times in Maryland’s season opener against William & Mary, also rushed for a touchdown.
“I thought he made some pretty good decisions today, not only in the passing game but also in the running game,” coach Randy Edsall said. “That last touchdown, that was kind of like a triple option. He made a great read and gave the ball to Justus and they came with a blitz off the edge on both sides … he just read it beautifully.”
Hills’ adjustment to date can be broken into three parts. There was the first half in the opener, when Hills struggled mightily. There was the second half of the same game, when he made one obvious miscue but still led Maryland on a go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter.
Then there was Saturday, when Hills seemed at ease with a set of plays better tailored to his talents. And that is probably directly related with how Hills has grown over the last two weeks.
“Coach ran plays I was very comfortable with,” Hills said. “He talked me through everything. … I felt more comfortable this week.”
Hills’ ease manifested itself on his scoring plays. He bobbled a snap, then picked it up and scampered right for an 11-yard touchdown run.
He also showed solid touch on deep touchdown passes to Matt Furstenburg and Marcus Leak.
“We knew he had it in him,” tailback Justus Pickett said. “Last game was his first game so he made a couple mistakes. Now he’s getting comfortable and you’re seeing the real Perry run this offense.”
—- Patrick Stevens