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Virginia Tech transfer Josh Jackson wins Maryland's starting QB job

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Virginia Tech transfer Josh Jackson wins Maryland's starting QB job

When the Maryland Terrapins take the field on Saturday in their opener against Howard, it will be a former Hokie who leads them. Virginia Tech transfer quarterback Josh Jackson was named the starter by head coach Mike Locksley on Monday as he fended off stiff competition from redshirt junior Tyrrell Pigrome.

"After an extremely tight camp battle, we felt that Josh earned the starting role," Locksley said in a statement. "Josh and Piggy (Tyrrell Pigrome) pushed each other throughout the summer and into camp. We are excited about the talent in the quarterback room and strongly feel that we can win with both guys. We'll find ways to utilize each of their talents, but are confident with Josh leading the team."

The fact that Pigrome was able to keep things close bodes well for a Maryland team that always seems to need an abundance of quarterbacks every season.

Jackson transferred to Maryland in May and has immediate eligibility as a graduate after earning his degree from Virginia Tech. He was the starter for the Hokies in each of the past two seasons playing in 16 games and completing 59.9-percent of his passes while throwing for 3,566 yards 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His season was limited to just three games in 2018 after he suffered a broken leg in October in a stunning upset against Old Dominion.

Jackson set Virginia Tech freshman records for touchdown passes (20), passing yards (2,991) and 200+ yard passing games (9). Yet, despite his early success he was seemingly never embraced by the fans in Blacksburg and his transfer was ultimately no surprise.

Locksley is now hoping Virginia Tech’s loss will be Maryland’s gain.

Saturday’s kickoff against Howard is scheduled for 12 p.m.

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Maryland moves up to No. 7 in new AP poll

Maryland moves up to No. 7 in new AP poll

Baylor and Kansas just keep winning, setting up a monumental showdown Saturday between the top-ranked Bears and No. 3 Jayhawks that could help decide not only the Big 12 title but the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA Tournament.

The two teams were separated once again by Gonzaga in the latest college basketball poll from The Associated Press on Monday. The Bears (23-1) had 48 first-place votes from the 63-member media panel, while the Bulldogs (26-1) had 14 first-place nods and the Jayhawks (22-3) had the only remaining first-place vote.

"The best we could be right now is being the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament. We're No. 2," said Kansas coach Bill Self, whose team beat West Virginia and Oklahoma last week. "The reason we're not No. 1 is Baylor beat us on our home floor. They deserve it. I'm not looking at it like we haven't done as well as our record because we're in second place. I'm looking at it like we played pretty good that day and got beat by a better team, and now we have a chance to get them back."

The Bears and Jayhawks both have business to handle before they collide on Saturday, though. Kansas got a visit from Iowa State to Allen Fieldhouse on Monday night while Baylor will be visiting Oklahoma on Tuesday night.

If both win, it would set up one of the biggest games in the history of the Ferrell Center.

"I think it's a tribute to the players, their belief," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "We've been operating under joy ... (and) focusing one game at a time and we'll keep doing that."

San Diego State (26-0) remained the nation's last unbeaten team and was No. 4 in the latest poll, while Dayton (23-2) climbed one spot to fifth after wins over Rhode Island and Massachusetts and a rough week for then-No. 5 Louisville.

"I told our team, `Let's get greedy. Let's play for perfection,'" Aztecs coach Brian Dutcher said. "If we're this close, we might as well play for a perfect regular season. ... Let's do something special."

That's exactly what the Flyers are trying to do, too.

"We're trying to win a national championship," Dayton guard Jalen Crutcher said. "We feel like that there's no team in the country we can't beat. We feel like we can go and win a national championship, and we talk about that a lot."

The Cardinals lost to Georgia Tech and Clemson to plummet all the way to No. 11, but they weren't the only ranked team to lose to an unranked foe on Saturday. Auburn fell at Missouri, Seton Hall lost to Providence, Butler lost at Georgetown, Illinois lost at Rutgers, Houston fell at SMU, Texas Tech fell at Oklahoma State and LSU was beaten on the road by Alabama.

Throw in then-No. 14 West Virginia's loss to Baylor and nine ranked teams were beaten. Eight lost to unranked opponents, the most in a single day this season.

"This week wasn't a good week for us," Louisville coach Chris Mack said. "The teams we're playing are too together and we're not right now. It's unfortunate, but it happens sometimes and my job is to keep our team on course and get better."

IN AND OUT

BYU climbed into the poll at No. 23 after wins over Loyola Marymount and San Diego, and now faces Santa Clara on Thursday night before a showdown with the second-ranked Zags. The Cougars were followed by Arizona at No. 24 and Ohio State at No. 25, two teams that were in the poll earlier this season before dropping out.

Illinois plummeted out of the poll after losing to Michigan State and Rutgers. Texas Tech also dropped out along with LSU, which lost at Alabama during a brutal Saturday for the nation's Top 25 teams.

CLIMBING AND FALLING

Creighton made the biggest leap this week, rising from No. 23 to 15th after beating then-No. 10 Seton Hall and DePaul. Penn State moved up four spots to crack the top 10 at No. 9, while Oregon climbed from No. 17 to 14 and Kentucky moved up two spots to round out the top 10.

Louisville's weak week culminated in a drop of six places to No. 11, while Seton Hall also absorbed a pair of losses and fell to No. 16. West Virginia lost to Baylor and Kansas but was only penalized three places and remained No. 17.

MID-MAJOR WATCH

There are some intriguing mid-major programs poised to enter the Top 25 if there's another week of upsets. Stephen F. Austin quietly improved to 22-3 and is one of the first teams out, while Northern Iowa (22-4), Utah State (21-7) and Rhode Island (19-6) are getting plenty of love from voters as March begins to bear down on the college basketball season.

Here is the full AP poll: 

1. Baylor (23-1) 
2. Gonzaga (26-1)   
3. Kansas (22-3)    
4. San Diego State (26-0)   
5. Dayton (23-2)   
6. Duke (22-3)     
7. Maryland (21-4)   
8. Florida State (21-4)
9. Penn State (20-5)    
10. Kentucky (20-5)    
11. Louisville (21-5)   
12. Villanova (19-6)    
13. Auburn (22-3)    
14. Oregon (20-6)        
15. Creighton (20-6)      
16. Seton Hall (18-7)    
17. West Virginia (18-7)     
18. Colorado (20-6)       
19. Marquette (17-7)    
20. Iowa (18-8)    
21. Butler (19-7)    
22. Houston (20-6)        
23. BYU (21-7)        
24. Arizona (18-7)        
25. Ohio State (17-8)       

Others receiving votes:
Texas Tech 92, Michigan State 87, Michigan 83, LSU 55, Rhode Island 39, Virginia 32, Cincinnati 14, Stephen F. Austin 14, Illinois 12, Northern Iowa 9, Utah State 8, Rutgers 6, Florida 6, East Tennessee State 5, Saint Mary's 4, Tulsa 3, Richmond 3, SMU 2, New Mexico State 2, Wright State 1, Arizona State 1

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Darryll Pines named Wallace Loh's replacement as Maryland president

Darryll Pines named Wallace Loh's replacement as Maryland president

Darryll J. Pines, PhD,  was named University of Maryland, College Park's newest president on Wednesday, succeeding Wallace D. Loh, who announced his planned retirement in 2018 following the death of Terps football player Jordan McNair.

Pines is a dean and professor at Maryland, first arriving at the university in 1995 as an assistant professor. He’ll begin his tenure as the 34th president at College Park on July 1.

“I’ve known him as an outstanding teacher, a dedicated mentor, a brilliant researcher, and an extraordinary leader,” University System of Maryland chancellor Jay A. Perman, MD said of Pines in a statement. “It’s fitting -- and gratifying -- that UMD will be led by a member of its own family, by someone who knows so well its people and programs, its considerable strengths and enormous potential.”

Loh had been president since November 2010 but in October 2018 announced his eventual retirement after the football program drew criticism for allegations of abuse and the circumstances surrounding the death of the 19-year-old McNair.

That same day in October, the University System of Maryland Board of Regents decided that football coach DJ Durkin would return from the August leave of absence he had been placed on. Against the board’s wishes, Loh fired Durkin the next day. Maryland hired Mike Locksley as its new coach later that year.

Loh initially was supposed to remain as president only until the end of the 2019 school year, but it was later announced he would stay on through June 2020 while the university searched for a successor. Officials believed his continued leadership in the wake of the football scandal would help with athletic reforms among other things.

“I’m deeply grateful to UMD President Wallace D. Loh, PhD, JD, for his decade of exceptional service to the university, for his committed work in moving UMD into the top tier of the nation’s public research universities, and for positioning the institution for still greater success to come,” Perman said in his statement.

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