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Terps preparing to face two Wisconsin quarterbacks and other notes

Wisconsin quarterback Tanner McEvoy passes the ball in a game against South Florida.
Wisconsin quarterback Tanner McEvoy passes the ball in a game against South Florida. (Tom Lynn / Getty Images)

COLLEGE PARK — Joel Stave and Tanner McEvoy have both seen time at quarterback for Wisconsin the last two weeks, and Maryland is preparing as if it will see both quarterbacks when the Terps play the Badgers on Saturday.

"Absolutely," Maryland defensive coordinator Brian Stewart said. "Stave is more of a drop-back passer and seems to get the ball out of his hands quicker. He understands and reads defenses pretty well. I think McEvoy does a good job of running the ball. He's tall. He's a bigger target. He has a strong, live arm. But his best athletic quality would be running the ball. Put the ball in his hands and he will run it."

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Both quarterbacks have struggled.

Stave, who threw 22 touchdowns last year, is just 15 of 33 for 187 with one touchdown and three interceptions the last two games.

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While the 6-foot-6, 225-pound McEvoy has run for 258 yards and is averaging 8.7 yards per carry, he is completing just 49 percent of his passes against teams not named Western Illinois and has thrown only two touchdowns with five interceptions in those five games.

Unquestionably, the top challenge for Maryland Saturday will be slowing down a running game that is rushing for an average of 343 yards per game.

Locksley complimentary of his quarterbacks

Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley had positive things to say about how both quarterback C.J. Brown and backup quarterback Perry Hills played against Iowa last week.

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While Brown was just 12 of 23 for only 120 yards with two interceptions, he would have had better numbers if wide receiver Marcus Leak had not dropped what would have been a 47-yard touchdown.

Brown also ran for 99 yards on 21 carries and would have surely run for more had he not sat out for a quarter after suffering an upper trapezius injury.

"I think the big part for us is taking what they give us," Locksley said. "When things break down in the drop-back passing game, as opposed to holding onto the football, if the opportunity presents itself to take off and make plays with his feet, I thought he definitely did a better job with that Saturday.

"I thought he ran with a little more conviction. There's been times where he's taken off on a run and slid or awkwardly fallen on the ground. I saw him make guys miss on the field in the second level, and those are things he is capable of doing. It is what we needed to get from him to be successful last week."

Hills played for a quarter after Brown was injured and finished 5 of 10 for 89 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions in his first game action in two years.

Hills also ran three times for 15 yards.

"He got thrown into a rough situation being backed up, and I knew that once he was in the game we were going to face some pressure, and we kind of threw him out there right away, and he came out slinging," Locksley said. "We missed a slant his first play out. And one thing Perry has shown is to be an accurate passer, so I had no reservations putting him out there and running our offense. I would have obviously liked to have had him maybe not backed up into the end zone like we were.

"He started out a little rough, but it's to be expected, but not what we want. What we talk about around here is that the backups are one play away from playing and they've got to prepare. It was good to see him settle down on that third drive. And once he made a couple of throws and he took off and ran on one of the zone-reads we had and made a play there in the run game, he settled down and hit [Stefon Diggs] on a bench route on the sideline.

"Perry is very capable. He was 4-2 as a starter for us as a freshman before going out [with an injury], and he stepped in and did the things we asked him to do, so it was good to see a backup come in and do that."

Hayward progressing

Redshirt freshman Derrick Hayward saw his biggest workload of the season against Iowa and continues to progress, Locksley said. Sophomore P.J. Gallo and Hayward have been sharing playing time while trying to help Maryland replace Andrew Isaacs, who suffered a season-ending knee injury against Syracuse Sept. 20.

"Part of [Hayward's] development is getting him into some situations where he's not just going out when we're throwing the ball," Locksley said. "I think P.J. does the things we ask him to do, and both those guys have picked up the slack per se. As opposed to one guy doing it to replace Andrew, it's taken both of them. We're continuing to bring Derrick along, and we know what P.J. is capable of doing, and he's been able to go out and execute the things we have asked him to execute."

End zone

Maryland's scout team players of the week were fullback Andrew Stefanelli (offense), defensive back Michael Washington (defense) and defensive back Rashid Conteh (special teams). … The Terps will wear white jerseys with black helmets and black pants against Wisconsin. … Quarterback Caleb Rowe (knee) and safety Denzel Conyers (ankle) will undergo surgery Friday. Cornerback Daniel Ezeagwu (knee) had surgery Thursday. Isaacs is scheduled to undergo surgery next week. … Coach Randy Edsall was complimentary Thursday of the work redshirt sophomore running back Joe Riddle (Linganore), freshman defensive lineman Brett Kulka and redshirt freshman defensive end Kingsley Opara are putting in on the scout team. … Edsall said freshman right tackle Derwin Gray is doing a good job while working with the second-team offense and has improved. "He's working hard. Don't plan to play him at all, but he's done a good job." … Edsall also singled out redshirt freshman kicker Adam Greene. "He's really kicking the ball very, very well from a PAT and field goal standpoint. He's so much better this year than a year ago. His hard work has really paid off."

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