Con­fi­dence in one an­other fu­eled Terps’ win, Durkin says

Baltimore Sun - - SPORTS - By Don Markus

dence. So we can def­i­nitely build on that. To go through that mo­ment to­gether, hope­fully what it does is reaf­firm what they’re do­ing is right and they’re re­ally buy­ing in and work­ing hard for it ev­ery day.”

Durkin said that as much as a sec­ond straight road win in Florida and the first true test of the sea­son gave his team, “there’s plenty to clean up from that tape and plenty of things we need to do to get a lot bet­ter.”

Mary­land (3-0) has a week off be­fore start­ing its Big Ten Con­fer­ence sched­ule at home against Pur­due (1-1) on Oct. 1.

Durkin said he and the train­ing staff will mon­i­tor red­shirt se­nior quar­ter­back Perry Big Ten opener

Mary­land coach DJ Durkin said Mon­day that the con­fi­dence his play­ers had in one an­other con­trib­uted to the team’s re­silience in Satur­day’s 30-24 dou­ble-over­time win at Cen­tral Florida.

“I told them in the locker room af­ter­ward: Teams that don’t have be­lief in one an­other and what’s go­ing on find a way to lose those games,” Durkin said on a tele­con­fer­ence with re­porters. “Teams that do find a way to win ’em. That’s a real mea­sur­ing stick for us right now as a pro­gram.

“We have a bunch of guys that be­lieve in one an­other and are play­ing with confi- Oct. 1, 3:30 p.m. TV: Big Ten Net­work Ra­dio: 105.7 FM, 980 AM

Hills on a day-to-day ba­sis re­gard­ing the right shoul­der he in­jured on the first play of the sec­ond over­time.

If it’s de­ter­mined that Hills isn’t at full strength for the Boil­er­mak­ers, Durkin said, he has full con­fi­dence in true fresh­man Tyrrell Pi­grome.

With­out hav­ing taken a pre­vi­ous snap in the game in Or­lando, Pi­grome rushed 24 yards for the game-win­ning touch­down af­ter the Mary­land de­fense had forced a fum­ble by McKen­zie Mil­ton, UCF’s true fresh­man quar­ter­back.

“For Piggy to come in the game and do that, if you know him, you’re not shocked,” Durkin said. “He didn’t know if that was a spring prac­tice or a dou­ble-over­time game in front of a sell­out crowd.

“For him, it was no dif­fer­ent. He was cool as can be. He threw a cou­ple of [warmup] passes, maybe checked his leg up and stretched a minute or some­thing. The de­meanor he has I re­ally be­lieve makes him a great player.”

Asked if what he did raises Durkin’s con­fi­dence in Pi­grome and makes the first-year coach think about us­ing the for­mer Alabama Ga­torade Player of the Year more by de­sign than out of ne­ces­sity, Durkin made it clear that Hills will get all the snaps as long as he’s healthy.

“We know [Pi­grome] had that in him, but when you’re the quar­ter­back of a team, you get ev­ery sin­gle play,” Durkin said. “The ball is in your hands, the team is in your hands.

“Perry has been oper­at­ing at a re­ally high level, our of­fense has been do­ing a great job, pro­tect­ing the foot­ball, mak­ing good de­ci­sions. At this point to be 3-0, we’ve had zero turnovers.”

Be­fore get­ting hurt, Hills was get­ting into a rhythm that had seemed to elude him for most of the game. In the first over­time, he ran three straight times, in­clud­ing a 20-yarder on sec­ond down to set up a short touch­down run.

Durkin said he had con­sid­ered go­ing on of­fense first in the sec­ond over­time be­cause his de­fense had been on the field for so much of the night, but he said he looked over at his de­fen­sive hud­dle “and they were ready to go.”

It didn’t ap­pear that way, as Mil­ton was able to drive the Knights down to the Mary­land 2-yard line be­fore he fum­bled as he threw a back­ward pass that the Terps re­cov­ered. It was Mil­ton’s fourth turnover of the game.

“We got the big stop in the over­time, which I thought was huge for our guys to re­spond to that on about the 90th play for them,” Durkin said. “They were still play­ing hard and still play­ing well.”

NOTES: Durkin said his de­ci­sion not to take sopho­more de­fen­sive end Melvin Keihn (Gil­man) on the trip to Cen­tral Florida was the re­sult of a “mi­nor in­ci­dent” and that Keihn will be avail­able for the next game. ... Se­nior safety Den­zel Cony­ers, who was in­jured late in the game, had an MRI sched­uled for Mon­day. ... Run­ning back Wes Brown, who sat out the first three games with a sus­pen­sion dat­ing back to last sea­son, will re­turn for the Pur­due game.


Mary­land coach DJ Durkin, cel­e­brat­ing with Ty John­son in the win over Howard on Sept. 3, said the Terps still have “plenty to clean up.”

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