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Maryland Potluck 2: Quarterback Controversies and Offensive Offenses

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Solving the Maryland two- (three-?) deep at quarterback and remembering spread offenses gone by.

Bortenschlager Hill Pigrome Brambaugh new band name called it
Josh Stirn, Maryland 247 Sports

After a brief interruption, Maryland Week marches on. We’ve looked at the program from 30,000 feet, explored its history, and questioned whether DJ Durkin was on the hot seat. Now, it’s time for a bunch of Big Ten observers to settle Maryland’s biggest controversy.

At Big Ten Media Days, Durkin was (unsurprisingly) coy about which of Kasim Hill or Tyrrell Pigrome would start, though he did show that those Duolingo classes have been a good investment, successfully mentioning Max Bortenschlager. Most excitingly, though, the addition of OC Matt Canada could bring out the best in RB Ty Johnson.

So, friends, I put to you the following:

(1) Who are you most afraid of at quarterback for Maryland, and is that QB the one that gives them the best chance to win? Tell us how you see Maryland’s offense faring in 2018.

MNW: I’ll take Kasim Hill based on his size and passing ability, but I can see Canada having some packages where Pigrome is either on the field in a scatback role or actually lining up at quarterback to spell Hill, based either on matchups or Hill’s inefficiency. Do Canada (and Durkin) have the latitude, though, in Year Three, to play both quarterbacks based on matchups and subject themselves to more criticism?

I get that Canada will want to do some fun things with Ty Johnson, but I think outside of him getting his against Rutgers and an Indiana defense that’s still questionable in the trenches, we’ll be left holding our breath for what he can do in the crossovers. Maybe Johnson carries them to a win; certainly Maryland’s beaten Minnesota with worse.

GoForThree: Whichever one had the better wrestling career I suppose, since they all sort of suck at being a QB. The offense will be largely moribund, but good enough to beat Rutgers and maybe Indiana. Maybe.

WhiteSpeedReceiver: Ty Johnson. I don’t think Maryland has anyone else to be afraid of. With competent QB play they may be able to break the top 10 in the conference in total offense, but their schedule doesn’t make me overly optimistic that this is a real possibility.

Aaron Yorke: I’m more scared of Pigrome because of how well he played against Texas in last year’s opener, completing nine of his 12 throws for two touchdowns. He’s also more experienced, so I think he should be the starter, but I haven’t been following Maryland’s spring practices at all.

beezer07: Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh. The healthy one?

Andrew Kraszewski: We had too small of a sample size with Hill for me to be sure he’s actually that good, so if I’m raising an eyebrow at Maryland, it’s because Pigrome turns out to be capable of what he showed at the beginning of last year.

Stewmonkey13: I’m not I’m capable of answering this. I don’t think we know enough about either guy, and how they might fit into a new offense, coming off really bad injuries. Suffice it to say, I want the guy who will beat Minnesota and lose to Iowa.

DJ Carver: Pigrome is more dynamic with his ability to also scramble but the feeling is that it is Hills job to lose with his better throwing ability in Canada’s offense. I’d rather see Pigrome get another shot because he lit up Texas before the injury.

(2) In honor of all the Grizzled Football Veterans who remind us that “if you have two quarterbacks, you have none,” tell us: What’s the _worst_ offensive innovation ever brought to your school? Is it a two-quarterback system? A spread offense? The jet sweep? Cut open a vein.

MNW: While the reprise of the two-quarterback system was an abject failure in 2013 (just one of many that year), the first thing that always comes to mind here for Northwestern is the fucking speed option. Even if it works. Fuck the speed option.

GF3: Does Ted Ginn’s broken foot count? Otherwise I’m going with the Tim Beck & Ed Warriner technique of “run Barrett until he dies when we aren’t getting the exact look we want out of the defense.”

WSR: While last year’s “Read-Option, but only hand off to the RB and never keep it yourself” offense against Maryland was quite incredible, I need to give Jerry Kill’s RUTM offense the win here. Run Up The Middle. 1st and 10? Run up the middle. 3 and 27? Run up the middle. Do not pass. Do not run outside (unless you cut after running up the middle.) It was really...something.

AY: The two-quarterback system that Penn State used in 2011 was terrible because Matt McGloin did everything better than Rob Bolden, so when Bolden came in, everything got worse. I’m not sure that McGloin would have broken out in 2012 if the same coaching staff had remained in place.

beez: Can we consider Tanner McEvoy an offensive innovation? Because he did not succeed at all. Oh I know, what about the innovation of benching the most prolific RB in the country for a half because why would you want to beat LSU?

AK: Ohohohohohohoho let me issue a quick trigger warning to Spartan fans first and then present for your consideration THE UNBALANCED LINE BY DAN ROUSHAR:

The Only Colors

Which, to be sure, isn’t something MSU invented, but damn if we didn’t find a way to do it wronger than anyone else has ever done it.

The teams that used that the most, ‘11 and ‘12, had Le’Veon Freaking Bell and this was the offensive think tank we had to harness him. Le sigh.

DJ: Worst innovation had to be whatever Locksley was trying to run on offense. Square peg in a round hole. 5 wide sets on 3rd and short. UGH.

Stew: For a good 5 years Greg Davis tried to run an offense that combined a zone, heavy, running game and a slow, horizontal, passing game. Where the middle of the field was lava, play action didn’t exist, downfield passing didn’t exist, and formations telegraphed the play.

Where Iowa had 4 QBs at once, all of whom would get a shot in the NFL (Jake Ruddock, C. J. Beathard, Nik Shimonek, and Cody Sokol), and the best they could do was beat up Nebraska.


Be sure to answer the poll and tell us in the comments, O Readership: How will Maryland’s offense fare in 2018? What have we just given you flashbacks to?

Poll

Which QB gives Maryland the best shot to win?

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Kasim Hill
    (91 votes)
  • 25%
    Tyrrell Pigrome
    (40 votes)
  • 8%
    Max Bortenschlager
    (14 votes)
  • 7%
    Other
    (12 votes)
157 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who will see the majority of action for Maryland at quarterback?

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    Kasim Hill
    (77 votes)
  • 19%
    Tyrrell Pigrome
    (28 votes)
  • 15%
    Max Bortenschlager
    (22 votes)
  • 10%
    Other
    (15 votes)
142 votes total Vote Now