COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Randy Edsall had used nearly every card in his deck at the quarterback position through five games this season, but against the nation’s No. 1 team -- and while declining to speak publicly about his plans all week -- he found one of the most effective ways to play his hand by the same Perry Hills card he had used before.
Hills, executing an offensive plan that looked similar to what had been employed in the past with now-graduated quarterback C.J. Brown under center, carried the ball 25 times for 170 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday against the Buckeyes.
Paired with his 10-of-27 passing for 133 yards, it was not enough to pull off the monumental upset, but it gave life and fight to a Maryland team that mustered just six points over the previous two games.
“Perry Hills, I mean, he was a warrior today,” Edsall said. “He just competed and took some shots and kept going and he was the guy that made the big plays for us all day long.
“We knew that we had to run the ball against them and the quarterback was going to be a big part of what we were going to do to be successful.”
Hills’ mobility was part of the reason that he won the starting job out of training camp for Maryland, but the playbook really opened up against Ohio State.
His grittiness became an identity in Columbus, peppering in big plays like his 52-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Moore that stunned the crowd of more than 100,000 at Ohio Stadium and his 75-yard run up the gut near halftime that was key in allowing Maryland to keep this game competitive.
“Guys just saw a great opportunity and they wanted to take advantage of it,” Hills said. “You don’t get a bigger stage than this.”