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Why Maryland's OC is still 'proud' of Hills after debut

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Why Maryland's OC is still 'proud' of Hills after debut

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley maintained Wednesday in speaking with the media that, had one or two things turned out another way for quarterback Perry Hills on Saturday against Richmond “we’d be talking a little differently about him.”

Plagued by missed throws and unable to find a groove early, Hills was forced to readjust and finished the game 12-of-21 for 138 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

“It’s a lot like shooting free throws,” Locksley said. “Most of the underthrown balls Perry had were guys that were wide open. You have a tendency to be very careful and aim the ball instead of just throwing it with confidence and it’s like anything else.

“If he hits the first one, then things are flowing.”

Flow did seem to be at least part of the issue. Hills started 0-of-4 with an interception and his three other incompletions were comprised of a pair of underthrows and an overthrow in the red zone.

MORE TERPS: LIKELY HAS JOKED ABOUT LINING UP ON OFFENSE, TOO

“He missed the first one to Kenny [Goins] in the end zone,” Locksley said. “I think he started pressing a little bit and trying to aim the ball instead of throwing it.”

Finding that eventual groove was also aided by Maryland’s running game. The trio of Brandon Ross, Wes Brown, and Ty Johnson gained 341 yards on the ground -- the program’s highest single-game output in 13 years.

But against Bowling Green on Saturday, a team that surrendered 399 yards on the ground to Tennessee last week, the question will be if the defense begins to stack the box and force Hills to beat them.

If that happens, things shift for Hills.

“I’ve been playing this game since I was five years old,” Hills said on Wednesday. “So it’s just going to come down to reading and reacting, not overthinking things.

“Whenever they give you [a run-stopping defensive look] you obviously have to take advantage of it and then hit your passes -- just make the right read and hit open receivers.”

For the things he lacked against Richmond, Hills still did a number of good things, Locksley reiterated, and there's something to be said for that.

“His first meaningful start in three years for the kid, put 43 points on the board, 7-of-12 for third down situations for us and executed the two-minute [drill],” he said. “I’m proud of the way he played.”

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Not the homecoming former Terp D.J. Moore was hoping for against the Redskins

Not the homecoming former Terp D.J. Moore was hoping for against the Redskins

Former Maryland Terrapin D.J. Moore made his first trip to FedEx field as an NFL star. His Carolina Panthers traveled up to Landover, Md. for a Week 6 matchup with the Washington Redskins.

However, it was not the homecoming he and the Panthers were hoping for. 

The first-round draft pick had two fumbles in the first half against the Redskins. Both were punch-outs due to Moore not holding the ball tight enough.

The wide receiver's first came as he fielded the Redskins' first punt of the afternoon.

The second being a fumble coming off of his first reception, punched out by Josh Norman, who had his best game as a Redskin.

Both plays had enough effort, probably too much. Moore was clearly trying to make something out of nothing and both times it cost him and the Panthers two key possessions on the road. 

First two touches, two fumbles. Not a good look. 

But in other Maryland Terps news, Vernon Davis did haul down the first touchdown of the game and Torrey Smith scored a late touchdown and converted the two-point conversion. 

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As one of the most penalized teams in college football, Maryland's penalty woes showed vs. Michigan

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As one of the most penalized teams in college football, Maryland's penalty woes showed vs. Michigan

On the field, it has been a season of ups and downs for the Maryland Terrapins. On Saturday, it became evident that the team's penalty issues are at epic proportions based on their loss to Michigan.

This season, Maryland is one of the most penalized teams in all of Division I football. 

No matter if the penalties are coming in wins or in losses, yellow flags have forced Maryland to dig themselves out of holes this season. Quickly these holes become insurmountable with the inconsistent offense the Terps have this season. 

Below is where they stand on the NCAA FBS Division I leaderboard:

  • Penalties per game (4th worst) - 9.8 penalties
  • Penalty yards per game (3rd worst) - 93.8 yards
  • 7 penalties per 100 plays (t-worst) 


This past Saturday against Michigan, their penalties were a significant factor in a loss for the first time this season. Twelve times the Terps were flagged, costing them 107 yards. 

The first major penalty was just after the Terps got a big kickoff return for a touchdown by Ty Johnson to give them an early 7-3 lead. Two scrimmage plays later, Darnell Savage got his second interception of the season on Michigan's side of the field with the upset in full swing. A holding penalty on the return pushed the Terps back to midfield where they would go three-and-out. 

That mistake, although minuscule at the time, cannot happen on the road against a top-25 opponent. A momentum-swinging play was diminished by the penalty and kept them from adding to their lead.  

The offense though was responsible for most of the dirty laundry on the field. Of their 12 penalties, half of them were on the offense. Five of those six were detrimental to their success. 

A holding penalty in the second quarter prevented the Terps from having the chance to answer Michigan's first touchdown of the game.

On the first drive of the second half for the Terps, three penalties in the first four plays pushed them back to a 4th-and-36. 

Although they converted a fourth-and-6 in the red zone, they got pushed back to that mark because of a false start the play prior. This was their first drive of the fourth where they were behind by three scores and desperately trying to come back.

In their Week 1 shocking upset over the ranked Texas Longhorns the team had eight penalties for 70 yards. This was the only game that their opponent committed more penalties.

The next week at Bowling Green (14 for 139 yards) was worse, at home vs. Temple (five penalties, 35 yards) and at Minnesota (10 penalties, 118 yards).

Currently, the team is sitting at 3-2 with a win over the No. 9 team in the country, Texas. Considering everything that has happened, and they are under interim head coach Matt Canada, they are rising above expectations. 

But by no means are there many confident in how the Terps have played this season. Mostly that is due to these penalties. 

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