Just how bad is the Maryland football program’s luck when it comes to quarterback health? The answer is worse than you probably think.
In just three games of the 2017 campaign, the Terrapins lost both Tyrrell Pigrome and Kasim Hill to torn ACLs. This has prompted fans to ask the same question.
These sentiments are honestly realistic to have. Let’s take a look year-by-year at just how bad the last decade of Maryland football has been in terms of quarterback injuries.
Jordan Steffy took the reins of the Maryland offense to start the season after backing up the 2006 Champs Sports Bowl MVP, Sam Hollenbach. The downfall began during the fifth game of the 2007 season, as Steffy suffered a concussion and shoulder injury, keeping him out for the remainder of the season.
Chris Turner would then start the last seven regular season games for Maryland. Turner went just 2-5, but got the Terrapins to 6-6, earning them a trip to the Emerald Bowl, which they lost to Oregon State.
Steffy managed to earn the staring job back in 2008 ahead of their season opening game against Delaware. In that game, Steffy suffered a broken thumb on his throwing hand, which kept him out all season.
Steffy graduated after the 2008 season, but that would not be the end, but just the beginning to the Maryland injury bug.
Turner was named the starter dud to his success the season before. He would start in nine games, and garner just two wins before getting injured against NC State in that ninth matchup. The season was already a lost cause, as the Terrapins finished 2-10 behind Jamarr Robinson.
In what would be Ralph Freidgen’s final year as head coach, Maryland fans were introduced to the first of just three immune starters. Jamarr Robinson began the season as starting quarterback, before being injured in the third game of the season, a loss at West Virginia.
In the prior game against Morgan State, the Terrapins had found a young gem in Danny O’Brien. He would grasp the starting role and lead Maryland like nobody had since Chris Turner. O’Brien led the Terps to an 8-4 regular season record, and a win against East Carolina in the Military Bowl at RFK Stadium.
Robinson was considered healthy before the end of the season, but O’Brien did take over the starting job for the remainder of that season.
The Randy Edsall era begins with O’Brien leading the charge, but the first year was not pretty. Injury-wise, Maryland actually went clean at quarterback, but the play led to question marks.
This is where Maryland fans were introduced to C.J. Brown, as he and O’Brien split time down the stretch of the 2-10 season.
Danny O’Brien left the school and transferred to Wisconsin after the brutal season, making him the only quarterback on this list to not miss multiple games due to injuries.
This season was by far one of the worst injury-wise, as the couldn’t even make it to the first snap. Brown would tear his ACL in a practice before the opener, a 7-6 win over William & Mary.
The season would go on with Perry Hills in control, but it all came crashing down in one of the worst games that sticks in the minds of Maryland fans. At home against NC State, the Terrapins lost Perry Hills in the second quarter, and the season, to a torn ACL.
Devin Burns would take over the duties, but not for long. In the second half, Burns suffered a Lisfranc injury to his foot and would miss the rest of the season.
This would open the door for true freshman Caleb Rowe, who was the last quarterback on Maryland’s roster. He finished the game against NC State, but would suffer a torn ACL against Boston College in the next game.
For the last four games of the season, Maryland would start linebacker Shawn Petty at quarterback. The 4-2 Maryland team, prior to the NC State disaster, would end the season 4-8 behind Petty.
In the season of 2013 through 2016, Maryland simply went through the redshirts of Brown, Hills, and Rowe.
This season, through just three games, has only been a continuation of this trend. Pigrome tore his ACL against Texas and will miss this season. Many were excited at the abilities Hill had shown in his place, but he also suffered a torn ACL just two games later.
Nobody is able to answer the questions “why?” Maryland consistently struggles to maintain health, but there is one similarity.
Fingers can be pointed towards the durability of dual-threat quarterbacks, or the workload that they take on. Their sizes are often not comparable to the defenders tackling them. The true basis of a dual threat quarterback should require the size similar to Cam Newton, who stood at a powerful 6’6 and 250 pounds.
Shawn Petty followed this stature, but mostly because he was a linebacker himself. This allowed him to make it through the required runs unscathed. Other than Petty, O’Brien was the only other quarterback, and that can be attributed to his presence as a pocket passer.
Fans will continue to contemplate how D.J. Durkin and his staff can try to end this streak, but only time and the culture of College Football has control of the future.