After a “lackluster” 62-14 loss at Ohio State on Saturday, DJ Durkin took to the podium for his weekly press conference.
One of the main questions revolved around the health of quarterback Max Bortenschlager, who left Saturday’s game early with a head injury. As he was sliding after a scramble, he was hit in the head/neck area by an Ohio State player, who was ejected for targeting, but only after a booth review. No flag was thrown by an on field official after the hit, which left Durkin questioning what more he could do.
Durkin did acknowledge that backup quarterbacks Caleb Henderson and Ryan Brand are both 100% healthy and ready to play. But, questions continued to rise about if Max Bortenschlager was still the starter. Durkin simply responded by saying, “Max Bortenschlager is our quarterback.”
This confidence comes after an excellent display on the road at Minnesota, where Bortenschlager finished 18 of 28 for 154 yards and two touchdowns. His ability to command the offense was questioned going in, but Bortenschlager seemed to shut those questions down with the winning effort.
Durkin admitted that early in the Ohio State game, Maryland had chances to change momentum after a fumble and a blocked kick, but neither did the trick. Nonetheless, this does not fall on the shoulders of Bortenschlager, so if he is healthy enough to start against Northwestern, he will.
- Shane Cockerille did not make the trip to Ohio State, which Durkin commented on by saying he is “day-to-day with the program.” Cockerille missed Maryland’s bowl game last season due to off the field issues, which have seemed to come back. Durkin said they are “helping him for his life” and that if he can do what is asked of him, he is welcomed back to the team.
- Josh Wood’s success is attributed to the hard work he put in through the spring and summer camps. Durkin noted that he is the kind of player that younger guys can look up to and emulate as they try to fight for playing time on the field and conduct themselves off the field.
- Northwestern will be a “big challenge” for this team, as their schemes do a good job of figuring out what their opponent is doing and how to counter it.