QUARTERBACK RACE REMAINS WIDE-OPEN
No clear starter emerged from Saturday under center. While the race may seem to be in flux, there’s no need to panic. Frontrunner and touted high school recruit Caleb Henderson was held out for precautionary reasons, and the program’s cornerstone gunslinger, Kasim Hill, hasn’t even received his high school diploma yet, the obvious step before breaking ground in a Terps uniform. But if we’re talking about the showing from the guys who played on Saturday, I’d grade the overall effort as a solid C.
Tyrell Pigrome (103.4 passer rating) got off to a horrid start, chucking his first pass of the day out of bounds to avoid a sack that really wasn’t coming. And his second pass was even worse: A flustered read right into the hands of defensive lineman Jessie Aniebonam, who then went 41 yards and nearly took it to the house.
“Overall in the spring, those guys have competed really well. We’ve gotten better at that position through the spring. I feel really confident with us being able to throw the ball and complete balls down the field. You couldn’t really always say that last year,” Maryland coach D.J. Durkin on the quarterback situation
Pigrome didn’t cave in, however, and connected on six of his next 12 pass attempts for 70 yards and a pair of scores. He did throw another interception, but showed great touch on both of his touchdown passes. Pigrome offers playmaking and naive gumption under center, but didn’t take the necessary steps to be QB 1A at the moment.
“I just have to keep on working,” Pigrome said. “Just keep on progressing, be ready for fall camp, come back and compete.”
Max Bortenschlager (144.2 passer rating) wasn’t much better, staggering seven completions on 16 attempts. He didn’t turn the ball over, though, and amassed 152 yards through the air on seven drives, including a 53-yard gash to D.J. Turner. The one thing Bortenschlager brings is intelligence. You can count on him more times than not to follow through with the correct reads. Reality says he’s not quite there, and now, we’ll have to wait and see who wants it more.
“Coach Bell doesn’t think it was our best day,” Bortenschlager said. “We don’t think it was our best day. But we just have to forget about that and think about the good stuff that happened. Work on the bad stuff.”
Ryan Brand (64.9 passer rating) saw two drives of action, completing 1 of 4 passes for 19 yards. Hill, the incoming true freshman who will get his shot at the starting job this fall, was in attendance as a spectator.