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Maryland's Hills rushing successfully at high rate

Maryland quarterback Perry Hills (11) sprints past Penn State Nittany Lions safety Malik Golden (6) for a first down during the third quarter in Baltimore.
Maryland quarterback Perry Hills (11) sprints past Penn State Nittany Lions safety Malik Golden (6) for a first down during the third quarter in Baltimore. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

In Maryland's past two games, quarterback Perry Hills carried the ball 51 times. That's the most any player has plunged into the defense in a two-game stretch during interim coach Mike Locksley's four years calling plays with the Terps.

And Hills has produced. He rushed for 170 and 124 yards against Ohio State and Penn State, respectively, which was the first time a Maryland player rushed for 100 yards in consecutive games since former quarterback C.J. Brown in 2011. And Hills' two-game total of 294 yards is the most since former running back Da'Rel Scott rushed for 320 yards in the first two games of the 2008 season.

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So with all that pounding against the stout Buckeyes and Nittany Lions and with another tough defense waiting for him in No. 10 Iowa on Saturday, how does Hills feel?

"I feel good," Hills said with a laugh Wednesday. "There's the bangs and bruises. Nothing that I can't handle."

Hills' usage as a runner in a two-game stretch surpasses any Maryland player since Locksley arrived as offensive coordinator in 2012. Only one other player has had more than 40 combined carries in consecutive games, and that was running back Wes Brown, who carried the ball 48 times against N.C. State and Boston College as a true freshman.

Running back Brandon Ross carried the ball 38 times over two games twice in 2013, and the most C.J. Brown carried the ball in consecutive games was 35 in 2013.

On his weekly radio show Wednesday night, Locksley said he hopes to keep Hills between 15 and 20 carries against the Hawkeyes.

Hills currently has 413 yards rushing, which puts him well within striking distance of Brown's team record for quarterbacks of 576 set in 2013 with five games to play.

Hills said it's the most he's carried the ball in his career. At Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, Hills ran a pro-style offense and handed the ball off. So to remedy the aches, he's been icing his legs to keep them fresh. He also said the effectiveness on the ground this season is the result of the work he put in over the summer in becoming a better athlete.

"I'm doing the things to get my body back," Hills said. "Just doing the necessary things so I can continue doing those things."

daniel.gallen@carrollcountytimes.com

410-857-7895

twitter.com/danieljtgallen

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