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With different packages, Maryland has options at quarterback

Maryland quarterback Caleb Rowe throws to a receiver in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Michigan, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in College Park.
Maryland quarterback Caleb Rowe throws to a receiver in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Michigan, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in College Park. (Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

COLLEGE PARK — During his now month-long tenure, Maryland interim coach Mike Locksley has worked to get more players involved on game days by preparing them for specific situations that they might not have been involved in earlier in the season. He's done it at most positions, including at wide receiver, on the offensive line and in the secondary.

But he's also done it at quarterback, a position regarded as needing continuity more than most.

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Junior Perry Hills has started every game since Oct. 10 in an offense tailored to his strengths of running the football. And moving forward, he's Maryland's starting quarterback. But trailing by two scores in the fourth quarter against Wisconsin, Locksley inserted junior Caleb Rowe into the game because it was an obvious passing situation, and the Terps needed to score quickly.

And earlier in the game, sophomore Shane Cockerille took snaps in a special package that usually features him handing off to dynamic cornerback Will Likely.

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Locksley has implemented his philosophy of using any and every player available to him to help him win, no matter the position, even if it's the one regarded as the most important on the field.

"We definitely have different quarterbacks that can do different things and have different packages," Hills said. "But it is one of those positions that a guy may have to step in and do some things for us."

To define each quarterback's role narrowly: Hills is Maryland's most well-rounded quarterback, one that can run successfully run and pass if needed to, albeit with mixed results this season; Rowe is the Terps' top passing option; Cockerille is a run-first option with only one pass attempt this season.

The packages with Cockerille and the ability to turn to Rowe if needed late in games provide the Maryland offense with some flexibility. Cockerille allows the Terps to lighten the load on Hills, who has carried the ball 81 times in the past four games. Rowe has a live arm and threw for 297 yards with four touchdowns against South Florida in Maryland's last win on Sept. 19.

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"It does make my job easier, but I always want to be the best that I can be every day," Hills said. "There's definitely things I have to work on, obviously. It does make it easier in that sense, but as a competitor, I always want to be out there and be the best that I can be."

Other notes from Mike Locksley's Thursday conference call:

>> The Terps will wear white jerseys, black pants and their hand-painted Maryland Pride 2.0 helmets. It's the same look they've worn in road losses at West Virginia and at Iowa.

>> This week's captains are running back Wes Brown (offense), middle linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. (defense) and cornerback Will Likely (special teams).

>> The scout team players of the week were running back Tehuti Miles (offense), defensive lineman Ruben Franco (defense) and wide receiver Josh Bekoe (special teams).

>> The flag bearers are Tehuti Miles (Maryland) and Ruben Franco (American). Both served in the military.

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twitter.com/danieljtgallen

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