The hits keep coming for the Maryland football team.
Meet Maryland's new starting quarterback: Converted linebacker Shawn Petty.
Quarterback Caleb Rowe, who earned his first career start Saturday in a 20-17 loss to Boston College, has torn his ACL and will be sidelined for the remainder of the season. Rowe is Maryland’s fourth quarterback to go down with a season-ending injury since August and third in the past week, joining C.J. Brown (ACL), Perry Hills (ACL) and Devin Burns (Linsfranc injury). Brown tore his ACL during a noncontact drill in the preseason, while both Hills and Burns went down last week in a loss to N.C. State.
“It’s unfortunate,” coach Randy Edsall said Sunday night in a teleconference with reporters. “We’ve gotten some bad luck. That’s all I can think of.”
With Rowe sidelined, Maryland has zero healthy scholarship quarterbacks left on its roster. Freshman linebacker Shawn Petty, who played quarterback at Eleanor Roosevelt, will be the team’s starting signal caller against Georgia Tech and heading forward with tight end Brian McMahon serving as the primary backup.
Rowe suffered the torn ACL on Maryland’s next-to-last play on offense, when he was tackled near Maryland’s sideline. The South Carolina native returned to the field and threw an interception on the next play. After waking up with knee soreness Sunday morning, Hills went to the team’s trainers and had an MRI exam, which determined he had torn his ACL.
Both Edsall and Rowe had no indication of any injury to the quarterback postgame and did not find out about the ailment until Rowe woke up with pain in his knee Sunday morning.
“It’s tough on him. I talked to him. He felt like he let the team down,” Edsall said. “I told him these are things you can’t control. I said, ‘You went out there and you played and this happened. You didn’t let anyone down. You have a bright future and you’re going to be a very good quarterback.’”
Rowe, who will have surgery on his left knee in the near future, finished 23-of-42 for 240 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in his first career start against the Eagles. He made his collegiate debut a week prior against N.C. State and ran a successful two-minute offense, completing two passes for 50 yards and rushing 11 yards for a first down.
Now the Terps turn to Petty, the converted linebacker who ran a run-option offense in high school as Eleanor Roosevelt’s starting quarterback.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in Shawn and Brian,” Edsall said. “We saw Shawn when we recruited him in high school, and watching him out here in practice, the whole team has confidence in Shawn and what he can do. Everyone else just has to step it up a bit.”