Terps QB Hills’ sta­tus un­cer­tain, a com­mon theme this sea­son

Baltimore Sun - - COLLEGE FOOTBALL - By Don Markus

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

PA­TRICK SEMANSKY/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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.

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