BOSTON – Freshman Caleb Rowe played well on his only series as Maryland's fourth quarterback of the season. With the first three sidelined, he'll get a chance to play a whole game on Saturday.
Rowe will face struggling Boston College one week after nearly guiding the Terrapins to a victory over North Carolina State.
"We've got full confidence in Caleb," defensive end A.J. Francis said. "I told him to play the whole 60 minutes like it's (the) two-minute (offense), and he'll be all right."
Rowe moved Maryland 60 yards in five plays in the final minute last Saturday, but Brad Craddock's 33-yard field goal attempt hit the left upright with two seconds left and North Carolina State held on for a 20-18 victory.
Perry Hills tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the second quarter. Devin Burns replaced him but is out for the year with a foot injury. And C.J. Brown tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in August.
"I would have liked to redshirt (Rowe)," Maryland coach Randy Edsall said Tuesday before learning that Burns wouldn't play. "We had made the decision to go with Devin as number two and Caleb at number three. I told him he had to be ready and be prepared because he hasn't gotten many reps.
"I think it was so impressive that he went in and performed the way he did with such minimal reps. Ideally, we would have wanted to redshirt him but we weren't afforded that luxury."
Quarterback is one of the few strong points for Boston College (1-6, 0-4 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Chase Rettig leads the nation's 34th ranked passing offense. He's completed 56.3 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions but will be going against a solid pass rush.
"Chase Rettig is what makes them go," Edsall said.
Andre Williams is having a good season at running back with 534 yards rushing and an average of 4.9 yards per carry.
"Their offense is very different from what it's been the last few years," Maryland linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield said. "They're not as downhill as they've previously been. They're pretty spread out. Their quarterback is a pretty good quarterback. I think we have to get some pressure on him."
They should be able to do that.
"I think this is the best defense we've played, and we played Florida State," BC offensive coordinator Doug Martin said. "I think these guys are a better defense, scheme-wise."
The Terrapins (4-3, 2-1) have had a rough year offensively. They've scored just 18 touchdowns and rank last in the ACC with 295.3 yards per game.
But the Eagles are weak on defense. They have the fewest tackles for a loss nationally, have given up the second most yards rushing and have the third fewest sacks, five.
They'll try to stop freshman Wes Brown, who rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown against North Carolina State.
"We take a lot of pride in the defensive line. It's been frustrating this year," BC defensive end Kasim Edebali said. "If we get to the quarterback, the (defensive backs) have it easier. (If) we all make sure we stop the run, the linebackers have it easier and, ultimately, we can have a better shot at winning games."
The Eagles were beaten last Saturday 37-17 at Georgia Tech, the fifth straight game — all losses — in which they've allowed at least 34 points. Barring a dramatic turnaround, coach Frank Spaziani's tenure as coach could be in serious jeopardy, especially with the recent appointment of a new athletic director, Brad Bates. Spaziani is 21-26 in four seasons.
BC also was 1-6 last year then beat Maryland to start a 3-2 stretch that ended the season.
"Nobody sheds more blood, sweat, and tears on Saturday than I do," Spaziani said. "I know what our situation is. I know what I'm doing, I know the problems I have to work through. That's what I'm worried about. I'm worried about getting the victory on Saturday."