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Notes And Quotes From Maryland's Spring Game

April 14, 2018
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The Maryland football team's spring game took place April 14, and the red team (the first unit) beat the white team (the second unit), 31-3. Here are notes and quotes from the game:

- Terps quarterbacks Kasim Hill and Tyrrell Pigrome, both of whom tore the ACL in their right knee last September, are on track for fall camp, head coach DJ Durkin said. Hill and Pigrome were in uniform on the sideline during the spring game and did light workouts during practice April 12, which was open to the media.

"They're a little bit ahead of schedule right now with where they're at," Durkin said. "Our plan all along has been by the end of May to have them full strength, 100 percent, so they have a full summer to get ready to go. So that'll start right away as we head into preseason camp. I think any time, at any position when there's good competition going on, it makes everyone better.

"I just love their mental approach. They're so locked in. They're learning the offense. They're doing all the things that they're able to do right now, so we're excited to get them back in the summer."

Pigrome, who'll be a redshirt sophomore in the fall, injured his knee toward the end of the third quarter during Maryland's 51-41 win at Texas last September. He completed 9-of-12 passes for 175 yards, showing improved calmness, accuracy and decision-making compared to his freshman year. He also ran for 64 yards, displaying his electric athleticism.

Hill took over and polished off the win, but got hurt during a 38-10 loss to UCF in September. Hill completed 18-of-21 passes during his short time as starter, looking every bit like the polished passer the Terps recruited out of St. John's College High.

The competition between Pigrome and Hill will highlight Maryland's preseason camp. The Terps kick off their season against Texas at FedEx Field Sept. 1.

"They'll be back come August camp, so I'm excited to see what they've got in store for us and how they look in this new offense," junior receiver DJ Turner said. "It's going to be a real competition when camp comes, so it'll be real exciting who gets the job. They're doing real well. I feel like it was our job to keep them up while they were down, and now that they're getting back, their attitudes are up. I feel like they'll be good when their time comes."

- Maryland ran for 210 yards and rushed for three touchdowns April 14. New offensive coordinator Matt Canada showed off the variety of ways he runs the ball, with eight players other than quarterbacks getting carries. Junior running back Jake Funk scored two touchdowns, both on jet sweeps in the red zone.

The jet sweep is a staple of Canada's offense; it gets skilled players in space and forces the defense to account for it, opening up other possibilities.

"They try to get me all over the field. Jet sweeps, playing out in the slot, playing running back. I think my role in this offense is increasing, and I love it so far. It showed today," Funk said. "… That's what the whole offense is based off of: misconception. Getting the defenses' eyes off of what's actually going on. The plays that I scored [on] there's multiple things going on there that catches the defenses' eyes and then ultimately they lose track of the ball."

- Quarterback Max Bortenschlager ran the first-team offense and completed five passes for 70 yards, including a 26-yarder to Turner. Bortenschlager was forced into action after Hill's injury last year and started eight games. The pocket passer proved to be a poor fit for then-offensive coordinator Walt Bell's system, which required a mobile quarterback and a quick decision maker on run-pass option reads.

Bortenschlager completed just 51.9 percent of his passes on the season, but did show positive flashes during wins against Minnesota and Indiana.

"He's definitely a lot more confident than he was last year, and then I feel like our coaches have more trust in him to actually like let him run the offense," Turner said. "I feel like last year, it was kind of limited because they didn't trust him as much, but now, he's got confidence, he's been moving, he's been looking real good."

- Cornerback Marcus Lewis, who sat out last year after transferring from Florida State, ran with the first-team defense and lined up on the outside. He had an interception off rising freshman quarterback and early enrollee Tyler DeSue, and returned it for a touchdown.

Rising senior safety Darnell Savage discussed what Lewis brings to the defense.

"Just grit. He plays really hard, he's competitive and you definitely need that in the back end because stuff's not always going to go your way," Savage said. "You've just got to be able to recover and get it back the next play."

- Rayshad Lewis, another transfer who'll be eligible next year, played cornerback on the outside for the second team defense April 14. Lewis got called for pass interference in the end zone against Jahrvis Davenport and barely missed an interception on Turner’s 26-yard catch-and-run. Lewis played receiver for Utah State as a freshman in 2016, sat out last year due to NCAA transfer rules and split time between receiver and defensive back this spring.

For Lewis, the son of Baltimore Ravens legend Ray Lewis, it remains to be seen what position he'll play in the fall.

"He's good. He's a guy that has a really high motor and just that dog mindset," Savage said. "And sometimes, that's all you need at corner, because it can get rough out there on an island. But you've just got to keep your poise and keep playing."

Follow Luke on Twitter @luke_jackson10 

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox