COLLEGE PARK -- Like any quarterback, there are things Caleb Rowe does well and things that he struggles with. His arm strength has unlocked a new dimension of Maryland’s offense, but his propensity for interceptions has halted promising drives.
But he often finds ways to fight back, which results in those four-touchdown, three-interception lines like the one seen against South Florida. How does he bounce back?
“Not to be funny,” he said, prefacing his response on Wednesday, “but it’s because I’ve thrown interceptions, unfortunately.”
Now it’s time for the Rowe’s next step, after it was established against South Florida that the Terrapin offense moves most effectively when he is under center.
Limiting turnovers is the most obvious answers, but offensive coordinator Mike Locksley went more in-depth Wednesday.
“It sounds like coachspeak when you say it, but to me [consistency] is the thing,” he said. “For a quarterback, decision making and the consistency of making the right decisions with the football as well as the right kind of throws.”
There were shining moments. He hit wide receiver Taivon Jacobs with an absolute laser down the far sideline for a 70-yard touchdown against USF and snuck a ball just over a defender’s helmet in a spot only tight end Avery Edwards could get it later in that same game.
But Locksley knows there are two sides to that coin.
“There’s no doubt those were two big-time throws and those are the kind of things we know he’s capable of doing,” he said. “But then you also have some of the things that happen with the interceptions where you’re like, ‘Hey, bro, what are you doing?’”
Against West Virginia, turnovers can bury Maryland quickly. Just as the snowball rolled quickly downhill against Bowling Green in the second half, short fields given to the Mountaineers because of turnovers quickly turn into points and the issues grow from there.
But, as before, Rowe’s arm gives Maryland the best chance to win a shootout against West Virginia’s patented up-tempo spread offense. And that may be their best approach in Morgantown.