COLLEGE PARK -- It was clear from the start on Saturday against Bowling Green that the approach for quarterback Perry Hills would be different than it was in Week 1 against Richmond. Here are four takeaways at the quarterback position after one half of football in College Park.
1) Not as much stretching the field
Maryland’s game plan was about working short early on against Bowling Green. Perhaps it was a product of the rain and the wet field, or taking things learned from last week, but Hills did not look downfield in the same way that he did against Richmond.
Instead, there was a focus on the read option (more below) and short passes to players that included Amba Etta-Tawo and Malcolm Culmer.
2) Much more of the read option
C.J. Brown was routinely in read option looks last season because he was, first and foremost, a mobile quarterback. That wasn’t the case with Hills is Week 1, but became increasingly so against Bowling Green.
Whether it was Brandon Ross or Wes Brown in the backfield, Hills worked out of that set and actually had the most success taking the ball himself. On one play in the second quarter, he scrambled for 36 yards after the pocket collapsed.
3) More stalling in the red zone
Maryland came away with almost all field goals during its red zone trips against Richmond. The same happened in the first half against Bowling Green.
That kept it a one-score game for much of the first half despite the fact that Maryland’s defense had been doing a good job of holding Bowling Green to field goals.
4) Less passing until a late-half push
Again, perhaps it was the rain and the slippery conditions, but Maryland ran the ball nearly twice as much as it passed it prior to the final drive of the half. Hills was by far the most successful, averaging more than 15 yards per carry.
There was a late push as Maryland tried to score before halftime after getting a stop on fourth down, which included more passing and pulled the ratio closer. It did not end in points and Maryland went into the half with a 13-6 lead.
Hills finished the first half 7-of-13 for 66 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.