Senior Caleb Rowe has replaced junior Perry Hills as the starter on Maryland's new two-deep depth chart, which was released Monday afternoon in advance of the Terrapins' Week 3 game against South Florida on Saturday.
Hills is not listed at all on the two-deep, presumably making him the third-stringer behind new backup Daxx Garman, the team's graduate transfer from Oklahoma State.
But what of Rowe, the new starter? Why make this change now, aside from the obvious fact that Maryland's offense stalled in its 48-27 blowout loss to Bowling Green? Let's take a look at the finer points:
1) Maryland's offense has failed to stretch the field
Whether it is a physical limitation or a mental hurdle Hills was unable to clear through two weeks, the deep passing game was not a productive part of Maryland's offense against Richmond or Bowling Green. To a certain extent, even the intermediate passing game lacked consistency.
Rowe, on paper, helps to fix that issue.
At 6-3, 220 pounds, Rowe has shown in the past that he can throw the ball downfield. Interception risk or not, accurate consistently or not, it is about the ability as a quarterback to physically get the ball that far down the field through the air.
"We've got to be able to throw the ball ... with consistency and be able to throw the ball horizontally, be able to throw the ball vertically," Edsall said during a conference call with the media Sunday before a starting quarterback decision had been finalized.
"And be able to do the things we want to do offensively."
2) Maryland has talent at the skill positions -- but they haven't gotten the football
Yes, there was massive rollover in the wide receiving corps from last season to this season. Stefon Diggs is making his mark in Minnesota. Deon Long played in the preseason with the Tennessee Titans. Marcus Leak left the program. Juwann Winfree left the program. Running-back-turned-wide-receiver Jacquille Veii transferred.
But talent still remains in Levern Jacobs, his brother Taivon Jacobs, and true freshman D.J. Moore.
The problem through two games has been an inability to get those players the football. The Jacobs brothers have combined for just six catches in two games. Moore seems to just be scratching the surface of his talent, with a breakout game against Bowling Green in the face of an otherwise stagnant offense.
Rowe is now a threat to put the ball in their hands and what happens after that, Maryland hopes, is the spark that ignites this attack.
3) The passing game opens up the running game
When teams are able to stack the box defensively and dare a quarterback to beat them through the air, then the quarterback is unable to take advantage, offenses will stagnate.
Again, there is a turnover risk -- as Rowe's two interceptions in three pass attempts against Bowling Green reinforced -- but the senior can keep a defense honest and force them to at least think about dropping more players into deep coverage because he can get the ball down the field to Jacobs or Jacobs or Moore.
That threat alone makes the job easier for running backs Brandon Ross and Wes Brown, who now should have more space to operate out of the backfield.
4) And one more note...
Do not evaluate Rowe solely off of Saturday's game against Bowling Green. Were those interceptions a result of rushed passes? Yes. Is a 2-to-1 interception-to-completion rate alarming? Yes.
But Maryland was down and desperate, trying to claw its way back late. Rowe was trying to make plays happen without the running game really even being an option.
It is only fair to begin anew on Saturday against South Florida. But if he struggles, don't be surprised if Edsall eventually turns to Garman in hopes of finding an answer.