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Edsall staying mum on starting quarterback

Left to right, Terps quarterbacks Perry Hills, Daxx Garman and Caleb Rowe at University of Maryland football media day at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.
Left to right, Terps quarterbacks Perry Hills, Daxx Garman and Caleb Rowe at University of Maryland football media day at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.(Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun)

Maryland's quarterback decision is going to be a gametime decision at No. 1 Ohio state on Saturday. That much is certain after coach Randy Edsall met with the media Tuesday. The much larger unknown is who the starter will be against the Buckeyes.

And no one is letting on which way Edsall and the coaching staff is leaning between Perry Hills, Daxx Garman and Caleb Rowe.

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"I'm not sure. You have to talk to Coach Edsall about that," fullback Kenneth Goins Jr. said. "We just go out there with whoever's with us. Whichever quarterback they put in at practice, we just roll with them."

"What we want to do is find the guy that we feel that can help us give us the best opportunity to win the ballgame," Edsall said. "That's what we're going to do through practice this week and then we'll make a decision gametime on Saturday."

Hills, Garman and Rowe have all struggled this season. Rowe's 12 interceptions lead the Football Bowl Subdivision, and he's thrown more interceptions than any other team except first-year FBS squad Charlotte, which has had three quarterbacks combine for 13 picks. As a team, Maryland's 5.3 yards per attempt is the fourth-worst mark in FBS, while its 45.3 percent completion percentage is fifth-worst.

Edsall suggest Tuesday that the coaching staff could change its approach in an effort to make the quarterbacks more effective. Goins said that the rotation of the quarterbacks so far this season has made things "a little complicated," but that there is chemistry built up with each quarterback from practice.

"Those guys are out there trying," Edsall said. "Perry's trying. Daxx is trying. Caleb's trying. They're all trying. It's not because they're not giving effort."

Defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson said that while he's focused on helping the defense keep the team in a position to win, he wouldn't mind seeing one of the three quarterbacks take control of the competition and assert himself with Maryland's offense.

"I would love to see that, but at the end of the day, I can't control that," Jefferson said. "I can only control what I can control, but I would love to see that."

Edsall has long talked about putting the best players on the field no matter their experience level or projected position on the depth chart. He shuffled the wide receiving corps around in September and has had to alter the defense after injuries hit the linebackers hard last week. And he made a comparison with some of the other offensive positions to quarterback in terms of trying to find the right player for the position.

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It'll just be until noon Saturday that he reveals who it is.

"When somebody can take those positions over and produce and do the things they're supposed to do, then you can stay with one guy," Edsall said. "But if they don't, you maybe have to use multiple guys."

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