Rout by Michigan gives Terps QB Rowe his chance
ANN ARBOR, MICH. — Maryland quarterback Caleb Rowe has spent much of his final season buried on the depth chart, finding himself behind not only fellow fifth-year senior Perry Hills but true freshman Tyrrell Pigrome.
An injury toward the end of preseason camp had contributed to Rowe’s demotion, as did a history of unforced interceptions under former coach Randy Edsall that had continued in the spring after the arrival of new coach DJ Durkin and offensive coordinator Walt Bell.
But with Hills forced out of Saturday’s game at Michigan Stadium in the second quarter with an undisclosed injury, and the Terps already down 21-0 in what would turn into a 59-3 defeat by the third-ranked Wolverines, Rowe found himself on the field.
Having seen Pigrome’s inability to throw downfield when he came off the bench at Penn State and started for an injured Hills in a 31-10 home loss to Minnesota last month, Durkin called on Rowe.
“I thought he gave us the best chance for what the game plan was,” Durkin said later.
Said Rowe: “We’re never out of the game. We’re always fighting to the very end. I don’t think anybody was doubting that we could come back. We just had to execute a little better. We left a lot of plays on the field.”
Sophomore wide receiver D.J. Moore said after the game that he didn’t see the play on which Hills got injured — it came when Hills was hit after completing a 19-yard pass to Moore — but had full confidence that Rowe could do the job.
“When Caleb came in, he just filled the role real good and just tried to lead us to the victory,” Moore said.
Rowe would finish his first extended opportunity of the season completing 12 of 23 passes for 203 yards. While a couple of his passes were dropped, Rowe’s penchant for throwing almost unforced interceptions resurfaced — twice.
In both instances, Rowe gave the ball up in the face of minimal pressure, the first time with only Michigan defenders in the area. Both passes were picked off by Wolverines safety Delano Hill. But there were also instances where Rowe made the kind of throws that Hills and Pigrome haven’t.
“Obviously a couple of times he put the ball in harm’s way, which we’ve got to work through and get over, but I thought he did a good job throwing the ball downfield and kept us moving, too,” Durkin said after the game.
Said Rowe: “I think [we] just shot ourselves in the foot a little bit.”
will arrive by this weekend and usher in an arctic blast of air. Temperatures on Saturday will be more representative of December with blustery winds creating even lower AccuWeather RealFeel(r) temperatures.