There were a couple of developments on the quarterback front for Maryland Wednesday morning.
The one with the most immediate impact was the announcement that Perry Hills has been named the Terps’ starter at the position. Hills, a senior, had been involved in an offseason-long competition with fellow senior Caleb Rowe for the starting job.
Hills started eight games last season and ran for 535 yards, the fourth-most by a quarterback in the program’s history. He also tossed 13 interceptions; in fact, Hills and Rowe, who started the other four games, combined to toss a staggering 28 interceptions.
Of the 114 quarterbacks in passing efficiency listed on the NCAA’s stats website, Hills was 109th. The 114th? Rowe.
“After an open competition through the spring and the first two-plus weeks of training camp, we’re excited to move forward with Perry as our starting quarterback,” said first-year head coach DJ Durkin in a statement. “Perry has embraced this challenge from day one and has put in the work and shown improvement every day. He’s grasped our offense and the way we want to do things, and has shown tremendous leadership.”
In addition to the Hills news, the U of M also announced the addition of transfer Caleb Henderson. The quarterback had just confirmed via Twitter four days ago that he would be transferring from North Carolina.
A four-star member of UNC’s 2014 recruiting class, Henderson was rated as the No. 10 pro-style quarterback in the country and the No. 7 player at any position in the state of Virginia.
After redshirting as a true freshman, Henderson played in a pair of games last season. He attempted one pass, which fell incomplete.
Henderson will be forced to sit out the 2016 season. He’ll then have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2017.
Juwann Winfree‘s college football odyssey has taken yet another decidedly negative twist.
Colorado announced late last week that Winfree sustained a torn ACL during practice this past Wednesday. As a result, the wide receiver will miss the entire 2016 season.
A bit of silver lining for both the player and the program is Winfree will have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2017 when he returns to the playing field.
“We all really feel for Juwann,” a statement from head football coach Mike MacIntyre began. “He is a phenomenal young man and has fit in really well on our team. Unfortunately, this is what can happen in football. But Juwann is a very positive young man and no doubt will work hard in his rehabilitation and will be back for 2017.”
Winfree began his collegiate career at Maryland, a three-star 2014 signee who caught 11 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns as a true freshman. In November of that year, Winfree was suspended for a pair of games for violating the university’s student-athlete code of conduct.
In June of 2015, Winfree was suspended for a violation of Maryland’s student-athlete code of conduct, which was followed by his decision less than two weeks later to transfer from the Terps. After flirting with Pittsburgh a couple of times, Winfree spent the 2015 season at the junior college level before signing with Colorado.
The rocky tenure of Wes Brown at Maryland will officially have yet another speed bump to overcome.
In mid-November of last year, Maryland announced that Brown had been indefinitely suspended for violating the student-athlete code of conduct. That suspension cost him the final two games of the 2015 season, and, even as he was permitted to participate in spring practice, will also cost him the first three games of the upcoming season as well.
First-year head coach D.J. Durkin confirmed Wednesday that the running back will miss games against Howard, FIU and UCF, the latter two on the road, as the unspecified violation will bleed into the new season.
“Obviously, we’re honoring that. We’re going to serve that,” said Durkin, who wasn’t yet the Terps head coach when the suspension was handed down.
Despite missing the last half of November, Brown was still second among U of M backs with 317 yards on the ground and three rushing touchdowns. Despite being hampered by a labrum issue, he was third on the Terps in rushing in 2014 as well with 357.
Brown had been suspended from the university in early August of 2013 following a physical run-in with Baltimore police, and did not play at all that season even as all of the charges against him had been dropped. In January of 2014, Brown was readmitted by the university.
Back in February, four other teams had, per Bovada.lv, better odds to win the 2016 College Football Playoff than LSU. Six months later, and less than a month before the start of a new season, the Tigers lag behind just one.
Currently, Alabama, 7/1 in February, is listed as Bovada‘s favorite at 6/1. Right behind them is SEC West rival LSU at 7/1 and 2016 playoff runnerup Clemson at 17/2.
Ohio State, Bovada‘s wagering favorite earlier this year, has seen its odds grow longer at 9/1. Those are the same odds hated rival Michigan (15/2 in February) is getting from the gambling website.
Houston (66/1) and Boise State (150/1) are the only Group of Five teams listed. BYU (250/1) as a football independent (for now?) is also included.
Below are the updated odds for the 2016 College Football Playoff championship, again courtesy of Bovada.lv:
Temple’s non-conference schedules will have a decidedly Power Five flavor to them in the future.
The AAC school announced Friday that it has reached agreements on future home-and-home series with a pair of ACC schools, Boston College and Duke, as well as one from the Big Ten, Maryland. The series with BC and UofM both start in 2018 and both are on the road, with the Owls traveling to College Park Sept. 15 and to Chestnut Hill two weeks later. The Blue devils will play in Philadelphia Sept. 14, 2019, to conclude the series, while the Eagles come calling September 18, 2021.
Temple will start their series against Duke with a road game to open the 2022 season Sept. 3, while the Blue Devils will make their way to Philly Sept. 16 the following season.
Temple and BC have faced each other 35 times since 1937, with the latter holding a decided 27-6-2 edge in the series. The team’s last played in 2004, and the Owls’ last win came in 1999. Maryland and Temple have squared off just eight times, the first coming in 1997 and the last in 2012. The Terrapins have won seven of the eight, the only loss coming by 31 points at home in 2011.
Duke and Temple have never faced each other on the gridiron.
With this announcement, plus the recent announcement of a three-game series with Oklahoma, Temple will play 14 games against Power Five teams the next eight seasons. Those will include, in addition to the aforementioned, games at Penn State (2016), at Notre Dame (2017) and a pair of home-and-home series against Rutgers (2020-21, 2022-23).