After getting blown out by Michigan in the Big House, Maryland football turns its attention to Rutgers and Homecoming week.
Head coach DJ Durkin is still on administrative leave, so Interim head coach Matt Canada once again handled press duties. This week he divulged his plans for the quarterbacks going forward, reflected a little on the Michigan loss and looked ahead to the Scarlet Knights.
Here's the full press conference:
Matt Canada is here to address the media as Maryland prepares to host Rutgers this weekend. https://t.co/H1DFXZRSIY— Testudo Times (@testudotimes) October 9, 2018
Canada has continued use two quarterbacks to run his offense, with varied success. Against Michigan, Kasim Hill once again got the start and the majority of snaps, but it was Tyrrell Pigrome who’d break off a big run late to set up a touchdown. Canada affirmed Tuesday that the dual play-callers are here to stay, and that Hill will continue to start but Pigrome will continue to play.
For the season, Hill is the team’s leading passer with 47 completions on 86 passes for 586 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions compared to Pigrome’s six completions on 11 attempts for 44 yards. Pigrome’s feet have always been his most dangerous weapon, however, and he is Maryland’s fourth-leading rusher on the year with 19 attempts for 131 yards and a score. Canada’s philosophy is a sharp contrast to his predecessor’s, Walt Bell, who used to say “If you have two, you don’t have one” when it came to the quarterback position.
Once Michigan got its offense going Saturday, Maryland had almost no chance to pull out the win. The Wolverines’ top-ranked defense made sure of that. Maryland got outgained 465-220, and was also handicapped by 12 penalties for 107 yards.
“[The Wolverines] deserve credit for some of the plays we didn’t make,” Canada told reporters Tuesday. “But as you watch the film, it wasn’t as if we were just overpowered every play. ... I’m not taking anything away from them. I think we do have some plays we left on the field. I think there were some things we could have done better. So obviously that’s my fault. I have to coach better.
“I’m aware of who we played, the game plan and what you try to do to try to win. Stats are for losers. You’re either ranked this or this or this, that’s all great on offense. Like if you’re the No. 1 defense, that’s a real stat, they’re not letting people score.”
The Terps now turn their attention to the Scarlet Knights, who enter this weekend with a 1-5 record and already has three losses in the Big Ten. Chris Ash’s squad has been struggling heavily, and Maryland has the chance to give Rutgers its sixth straight loss this weekend. Coming off a loss, this game provides the Terps a rebound opportunity and a shot at revenge, after losing to the Scarlet Knights in
the Bronx Piscataway last season.
“Their special teams jumps off the film,” Canada said. “They play extremely hard on special teams, as far as blocking kicks. Their kickoff coverage team is amazing, they’re flying down the field. So when you look at that, that’s where you start, and you see a team that does that it shows you how well coached they are, how hard they play. So we’re going to have to take care of the football, we’re going to have to limit big plays on defense. ... We need to maintain some drives on offense, we need to get the first first down.”