“Patience” is the buzzword around the Gossett Football Team House these days.
That’s what is required of the Terps, their fans and coaches this season with quarterback Perry Hills. Hills once again will encounter a defensive front on Saturday that he has never faced before.
But you can’t blame him for being a freshman, right?
When fourth-year quarterback C.J. Brown was lost for the season in August, the Terps lost a player who brought needed experience to the team’s most important position. There’s a huge difference between preparing for a defense against the scout team in practice and actually seeing it on Saturday. Try as it might, Maryland couldn’t completely replicate the Don Brown-designed defense that Hills faced last week against Connecticut.
Same goes for the five-man front that West Virginia will use Saturday. “We’ve faced four-down fronts for the most part,” Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley said today. “We’ll get some three-down fronts like we did last week in nickel situations. But this team (the eighth-ranked Mountaineers) is a true 50 defense, which for him it’s just another week of adding to his box of experience. “
I’ve asked coaches why senior receiver Kevin Dorsey and tight end Matt Furstenburg have only three catches apiece through three games. Nobody wants to blame the quarterback because it’s more complicated than that. But it’s true that the more Hills can learn, the more variety you’ll see in Maryland’s offense.
Hills has completed 53.6 of his passes with three touchdowns and four interceptions.
“There’s an effort to get the passing game going,” Locksley said. “With a young quarterback, obviously coverages and things they do on defense dictate where the ball goes. We go in every game with a plan to try to get certain touches to certain people and then we’ve got to make adjustments. We’ll only be able to do and go as far as our quarterback is able to take us. With each week we’ll be able to build on the things that he’s capable of getting executed.”
* Maryland defensive coordinator Brian Stewart does have some experience coaching against West Virginia's brand of hurry-up offense. As the University of Houston's defensive coordinator, Stewart coached against the offense that Holgorsen -- formerly Houston's offensive coordinator -- had left behind.
* We'll find out when the injury report comes out Thursday if linebacker Kenny Tate (knee) has a chance of returning against the Mountaineers. Tailback Brandon Ross (hamstring) has been back on the practice field.