Terps look forward to new season with healthy QBs
In each report from Maryland football practice, Comcast SportsNet will line up for "Four Downs" by highlighting the four biggest storylines from that day's practice, plus an extra point. Today, the team scrimmaged at Byrd Stadium. Check it out below.
First Down: Ricardo Young, Perry Hills stand out among backup quarterbacks
Perry Hills won the first half on Saturday afternoon in College Park, while it appeared Ricardo Young won the second.
The two bring different skill sets, from which head coach Randy Edsall will have to choose.
Young finished 8-of-16 for 111 yards, including one touchdown and one interception. He was able to escape the pocket when it collapsed, but often appeared to favor running over going through his passing options.
Of his 111 yards, 55 came on a touchdown to wide receiver Levern Jacobs, who exploited a defensive lapse and got free in the open field.
Hills finished 10-of-19 for 90 yards and an interception on Saturday. He looked more poised in the pocket than Young did in the first half and led a few strong drives that ultimately stalled without points.
The answer to this question needs to be answered: Does head coach Randy Edsall want the effective scrambler who can cause the defense to adjust, or the QB who appeared (at least for a time) to be more comfortable in the pocket?
Edsall has said he wants a backup who will fit seamlessly into the system already structured around C.J. Brown, were he ever forced into a game. So who would that be?
"I will just take a look at the film and we will get it all done from there," Edsall said. "It is just like anytime, there is always some good and some bad. We will get a chance to evaluate and come up with some decisions by Monday."
Second Down: Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil was most impressive defensive player
Against an offensive line that looked overwhelmed at time, Cudjoe-Virgil registered four sacks on the afternoon, all coming in the first half.
He was quick around the end and had little trouble beating linemen on the outside to get to the quarterback.
"He played well. I like that effort," Edsall said. "He has been showing that kind of effort ever since he has gotten here. He was a guy we always thought would be in the mix. We will look at the film, evaluate it, and see just how well he did.
Third Down: Defense getting a lot of pressure on the QB, meaning offensive line is problematic
Regardless of who was under center, the pass rush was giving each Maryland quarterback very little time to operate.
The issue wasn't as noticeable when Young was under center because he was able to escape, but will Cockerille, Rowe, and Hills at quarterback, they all were taken down numerous times.
On one down near the goal line, defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson was part of a gang tackle that sacked the quarterback and registered a safety.
Fourth Down: Freshman Will Likely continues to make an impact
With Stefon Diggs not playing to avoid injury, Likely took most of the punt and kick returns on Saturday and he excelled.
Though he fumbled one and made a risky decision on another, he also returned a punt 30 yards down to the opponent's 10-yard line.
On the defensive side of the ball, Likely intercepted an errant pass from Perry Hills and returned it 35 yards out toward mid-field.
Edsall has been adamant about saying that the cornerback spot is one of the deepest on the team, so it will be difficult for Likely to find consistent playing time.
But Likely continues to learn and excel when he's given the opportunity, meaning that in certain packages he could find time on the field. He has been integrating himself into the defense since he arrived in the spring and could be an asset if Edsall wants to utilize him.
"Stefon [Diggs] is our return guy. I feel comfortable if Will was back there or DeAndre [Lane]," Edsall said. "I wanted to try and cover as many bases as I could so if we do have issues, we know where to turn. That is what training camp is all about."
Extra Point: Jacquille Veii plays sparingly in scrimmage. More carries to Goins.
Maryland is already thinner at running back after the suspension of Wes Brown before the start of the season. Veii, a freshman, was tabbed as Edsall's most pleasantly surprising player so far in training camp.
He only took a few snaps in the scrimmage on Saturday and did not play after that. Edsall was blunt after the scrimmage:
"I will not have anything until Monday on any injuries."
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