Terps QB Hills’ status uncertain, a common theme this season
COLLEGE PARK — Maryland football coach DJ Durkin reiterated Tuesday that fifth- year quarterback Perry Hills is “day to day” and that his status remains uncertain for Saturday’s game at No. 18 Nebraska after injuring his left shoulder in last weekend’s 62-3 loss to then-No. 5 Ohio State.
In reality, Hills’ availability has been almost week-to-week since early in the season, when he hurt his right shoulder getting tackled on the first play of double overtime at Central Florida — a game the Terps won when backup Tyrrell Pigrome ran for a 24-yard touchdown on the next play.
Since then, Hills has been forced out three times, including in each of the past two games: in the first quarter against the Buckeyes one week after leaving in the second quarter of a 59-3 loss to then-No. 4 Michigan. He was also sidelined during a loss at Penn State on Oct. 8.
“Certain weeks he’s felt better than others, and we’ll do what’s right for Perry and our team,” Durkin said during his regular Tuesday news conference. “He attacks every day that way. He does everything he can to practice and prepare, and we trust him to tell us how he feels.”
Asked whether he would consider sitting Hills out against Nebraska (8-2, 5-2 Big Ten) to let him get completely healthy for the regular-season finale at home against Rutgers on Nov. 26 — a game that will likely be a better chance for Maryland (5-5, 2-5) to become bowl-eligible — Durkin said: “It’s all like a bunch of one-game seasons. We’ll determine what gives us the best chance to win Saturday. If that’s Perry in the lineup, that’s what we’ll do, and if it’s not, then that’s what we’re going to do. That’s solely based on what his health is and also with the others around him.
“That’s how it is with every position. What gives us the best chance to win this game? I think that that’s what you have to [do]. I don’t know how you do it another way. From there, we’ll make that decision and we’ll determine that later in the week.”
Durkin said after last week’s game that few college teams could afford to lose their starting quarterback and play with the same execution and production. No better example of that is what happened when Nebraska lost senior Tommy Armstrong early in its own 62-3 loss at Ohio State two weeks ago.
Armstrong was temporarily knocked unconscious after running into an equipment table behind the visiting sideline at Ohio State and had to be taken by ambulance to a hospital, where it was determined that he had suffered a concussion.
Cleared at the last moment to play last week at home against Minnesota after passing his concussion protocol, Armstrong returned to lead the Cornhuskers to a 24-17 victory. He scored the game-winning touchdown to cap a 91-yard drive despite hurting his hamstring during the game.
Armstrong is expected to play on senior day Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
“He’s a good player. There’s good players every week,” Durkin said of Armstrong. “That’s whowe
Maryland’s Perry Hills, right, slips away from Ohio State defensive end Tyquan Lewis. Hills injured his left shoulder in the 62-3 loss to the Buckeyes.