Perry Hills won the starting job out of training camp, but after two mediocre performances against Richmond and Bowling Green, the switch was made. Rowe ended up only completing one pass while tossing two interceptions in relief of Hills this past Saturday against the Falcons.
Much like Hills, Rowe does have a good amount of starting experience at the collegiate level. The South Carolina native has also subbed in for former Terp C.J. Brown when Brown was banged up.
Rowe’s first start came back in 2012 when he took the field for just the second time in his Maryland career. After completing two passes in the fourth quarter in that memorable N.C. State game, Rowe started in place of Hills and Devin Burns and ended up completing 23-of-42 passes for 240 yards to go along with two touchdowns and three interceptions.
The Maryland signal caller ended up tearing his ACL in the game, which forced the Terps to start linebacker Shawn Petty for the final four games.
During the 2013 season, Rowe started two games in place of Brown. He led Maryland to a 27-26 win over Virginia on Oct. 12 and passed 332 yards and a touchdown. Rowe’s only touchdown pass came with just 5:14 remaining when he hit tight end Dave Stinebaugh from 12 yards out.
Rowe also started against Clemson two weeks later. The former three-star recruit did throw a pair of interceptions, but otherwise had a solid performance considering what he had to work with. Without Stefon Diggs, Deon Long, and Brandon Ross, Rowe threw for 287 yards and three touchdowns in a 40-27 loss. He kept the Terps in the game until the fourth quarter when Sammy Watkins and company pulled away for good.
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That was the last game that Rowe started. He saw relief work during the 2014 season before suffering a torn ACL.
With a decent amount of background on Rowe’s credentials, what exactly can Maryland fans expect from their starter?
First of all, Rowe is a very mentally tough signal caller. He has the ability to be sacked and hit, but then come back on the next play and deliver a strike to one of his wide receivers.
Rowe is a very disciplined quarterback that plays with a great deal of confidence, even when faced with adversity.
He doesn’t have the strongest arm in the world, but possesses pinpoint accuracy when throwing the football. Rowe is definitely an above-average passer that can pick apart a defense when given the opportunity. Rowe also throws a very catchable ball, so as long as it’s in the vicinity of the wide receiver, a reception is likely.
This is a very smart football player that is mobile enough to avoid sacks and make plays. Rowe also has a rapport with wideouts Levern Jacobs and Amba Etta-Tawo from being the backup quarterback in 2013, so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if both wideouts had strong showings against South Florida.
The biggest issue for Rowe has been the turnovers. Over the course of his Maryland career, the South Carolina native has thrown the same number of interceptions as touchdowns with 12 apiece.
In the 14 games that Rowe has appeared in as a Terp, he has tossed multiple interceptions in four of those games and one in two additional contests. Obviously, Maryland’s offensive line is shades above what it was during the 2013 and possibly even 2014 season.
Still, Rowe needs to keep his wits about him and make smart throws, but also make sure he isn’t too cautious because he has the talent.
It was definitely clear that Hills wasn’t getting the job done and wasn’t taking any chances. The talk prior to the season was that Rowe should be the starting quarterback and now he’ll get his chance to potentially save the program from another devastating loss.