As was the case a few years ago, Maryland might want to consider bubble-wrapping their quarterbacks.
In the second half of Maryland’s season-opening 51-41 upset of Texas Saturday, Tyrrell Pigrome went down with what was later diagnosed as a torn ACL, ending his 2017 season. Quarterback No. 2, Kasim Hill, took over for the starter and guided the Terrapins to an easy 46-point win over FCS Towson the following weekend.
Coming off a bye, Hill started the Week 4 game against UCF, and promptly went down with what looked to be a very serious-looking injury to his right leg. Hill put no weight on the leg as he left the field with assistance from the team’s training staff, and was ultimately taken via cart into the locker room for further evaluation.
The true freshman has been ruled out of returning to the non-conference contest.
Hill was replaced by No. 3 quarterback Max Bortenschlager, who started one game last season for the Terps. Trailing the Knights 21-10 late in the third quarter, Bortenschlager has completed 9-of-16 passes for 83 yards, one touchdown and one interception in relief.
The middle of September isn’t typically the time that bowl arrangements are tweaked but that doesn’t mean they can’t happen.
Conference USA confirmed details of a bowl tie-in “swap” with the Big Ten on Wednesday, causing a bit of a Texas two-step in the postseason picture for both leagues in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. The move on the Big Ten’s end was originally announced back in May but it appears the CUSA end is just now being confirmed officially.
As a result:
- A Conference USA team will now play in the Armed Forces Bowl. They’ll play against Army if the Black Knights are eligible,
- The Big Ten will place a team in Heart of Dallas Bowl against vs. a Big 12 opponent
While the exact reason for the swap is unclear, it certainly makes a little more sense for a Big Ten team to be in Dallas against a fellow Power Five conference like the Big 12. In addition, the Big Ten has not had a team filled a slot in the Heart of Dallas Bowl since 2014 and have actually never scored a victory in the game either.
There was supposed to be a B1G squad in the bowl last season but, because of shortages elsewhere in terms of eligible teams, the game wound up being an Army win over an eventual 5-8 North Texas squad. Conference USA apparently remains contractually tied to the Heart of Dallas Bowl until 2019, just not this year.
The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 23 in Fort Worth while the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl is slated to be played on Tuesday, Dec. 26.
We don’t even know yet how the 2017 season will shake out, but we can already pencil in how we think the 2020-21 Big Ten seasons will play out.
The conference released its league schedule for both seasons, which can be found here and here. And while it’s useless to break down the relative strengths and weaknesses of a season three and four years in the future, these schedules are notable in one way:
The Big Ten is going all-in on the opening weekend.
Following the success of this year’s Ohio State at Indiana opener, the Big Ten has stacked more games to be played on Labor Day weekend. The 2020 season will feature Northwestern at Michigan State, Purdue at Nebraska and Indiana at Wisconsin on Sept. 5.
The 2021 season will open with Michigan State at Northwestern, Ohio State at Minnesota, Indiana at Iowa and Penn State at Wisconsin on Sept. 4.
All games are scheduled for Saturday for now; TV will make its Thursday and Friday designations (of which there will be a few) as the games actually approach. Three and four years from now.
Two of the biggest discussion points surrounding Big Ten schools as a result of their humongous new television deal centered on the amount of money flowing to their coffers and the new addition of Friday night football games to the conference schedule. Naturally, both aspects caused people to shake their fist at commissioner Jim Delany and complain about the good old days but everybody pretty much assumed that the league would be business as usual and they would join the rest of college football in hosting mid-week games.
Only that wasn’t the case at all. Penn State rejected the idea of hosting games on Friday in Happy Valley and Michigan later did the same. At the time, Ohio State seemed committed to the idea when it was first announced, despite the uproar over from those around the state’s high schools who have a strong tradition of being the focus on Friday before attention shifts to the Buckeyes, Bearcats and others in college football. Between OSU opening against Indiana on the first Thursday of the season and athletic director Gene Smith’s comments at the time, it sure sounded like there would be a time where football would be played under the lights of Friday night at the Horseshoe.
Right? Well, apparently not.
The Columbus Dispatch caught up with Smith this week ahead of the team’s massive game against Oklahoma and it sure sounds like the tune has changed in Columbus over playing on a day other than Saturday:
“We don’t think Ohio State is a program that will ultimately play on Friday night,” Smith told the paper. “We’re more valuable on a Saturday for our television partners. We don’t need to play on a Friday night.”
So will the Buckeyes ever play a Friday game?
“I don’t anticipate it,” Smith said. “If you’re running a network, would you put us on Friday night or Saturday? … Friday night is not our world.”
Smith, who is on the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, went on to say that he still supports the idea for the Big Ten and for other schools in the conference… just not his own. As a result, don’t be holding your breath on seeing any of the league’s powerhouses like OSU, Penn State or Michigan squaring off on Friday night. It seems that is a day best left to local high schools and the likes of Purdue, Northwestern, Maryland and others.
Unfortunately for the player and the football program, Tyrrell Pigrome‘s injury is as bad as initially feared.
In the second half of Maryland’s 51-41 upset of Texas Saturday, Pigrome went down with what looked to be a serious injury to his leg. Tuesday, D.J. Durkin confirmed that the quarterback has been diagnosed with a torn ACL in his right knee.
Obviously, the sophomore will be sidelined for the remainder of the 2017 season.
Prior to his injury, Pigrome had thrown for 175 yards on 9-of-12 passing and added another 64 on the ground. He also accounted for three total touchdowns — two passing, one rushing.
With Pigrome out, Kasim Hill will get the start this weekend against FCS Towson State. The true freshman, a four-star 2017 signee, attempted the first three passes of his collegiate career after replacing Pigrome. He also scored a fourth-quarter rushing touchdown that pushed the Terps lead to 44-34.
Suffice to say, this weekend will mark Hill’s first start at this level.