COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — The Maryland football team is turning to its third starting quarterback of the season.
Sophomore Max Bortenschlager will make his second career start in place of freshman Kasim Hill when the Terrapins (2-1) visit Minnesota Saturday in the Big Ten opener for both teams Coach DJ Durkin said Tuesday that Hill will miss the rest of the season with a torn right anterior cruciate ligament suffered in Saturday’s 38-10 loss to Central Florida.
“It was just a tough play,” Durkin said of Hill’s injury. “He was competing and got spun around and got hit and went down in the game. He’ll bounce back. He has a great future in football, both here and beyond.”
Hill had stepped in for Sophomore Tyrrell Pigrome, who suffered a torn right ACL during the Terrapins’ season-opening victory at Texas.
Now it’s Bortenschlager’s turn.
Bortenschlager was 15 of 26 for 132 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions while taking five sacks against Central Florida.
“I thought it was a gutsy performance,” Durkin said. “He did really well. It wasn’t perfect, but who would expect it to be? He’s tough and he competes. . Now having a full week to prepare, we can tailor the game plan to him as opposed to someone else. It will certainly help him.”
Maryland is down to two scholarship quarterbacks: Bortenschlager and junior Caleb Henderson, a North Carolina transfer who was expected to contend for the starting job but was plagued by a right foot injury during preseason camp and has yet to play this season. Walk-on Ryan Brand, a junior college transfer, is the Terps’ No. 3 quarterback.
In his only previous start, Bortenschlager was 14 for 29 for 191 yards, a touchdown and an interception against Nebraska last season. While Bortenschlager isn’t as mobile as either Pigrome or Hill, teammates anticipate the Terps will be able to play to his strengths as they venture into their conference schedule.
“He’s a really good pocket passer, especially when he’s given time to go through his reads and get the ball out like he’s supposed to,” tailback Lorenzo Harrison III said. “I feel like he has a good arm and throws a really pretty ball.”
A full week with Bortenschlager taking first team reps should help not just him but the entire offense. Durkin acknowledged the Terps were deflated after Hill’s injury, and they finished the game with just 197 total yards.
“It kind of took the wind out of our sails,” Durkin said. “I think we didn’t respond well to adversity. We’re certainly we’re going to learn from it and it’s something we talked about as a team. We’ll use it as a teachable moment. There’s been times earlier this year when we had similar adversity and handled it really well.”
Maryland is no stranger to quarterback injuries. This marks the third consecutive season and fourth time in six years the Terps will use at least three starting quarterbacks. Since 2004, only two Maryland quarterbacks have started every game in a season — Sam Hollenbach in 2006 and C.J. Brown in 2014.
As a result, the Terps are already seasoned at adapting to quarterback tumult.
“The scheme doesn’t change, our attitude toward the game doesn’t change and this team certainly isn’t going to lie down,” center Brendan Moore said. “We just have to face this adversity and get closer as a team.”
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