College Park, Md. — Maryland quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome is out for the season with a torn right ACL, an injury that takes some of the joy out of the Terrapins’ season-opening 51-41 upset of Texas last Saturday.
Pigrome twisted his knee at the end of a third-quarter run and had to be helped off the field. He was replaced by true freshman Kasim Hill, who now becomes the starter.
Pigrome won the starting job in an intense competition during the summer. Though his first pass of the season was intercepted and returned for a touchdown, Pigrome went 9 for 12 for 175 yards and also ran for 64 yards and a touchdown .
The sophomore will undergo surgery this week, coach DJ Durkin said Tuesday.
“Very tough for him and our program. He will be missed by all of us,” Durkin said.
“But ‘Piggy’ is a tough guy, tough competitor, and he will come back and be a great player for us in the future.”
Hill performed admirably in his first college game. Rushed into action after Pigrome left, the 6-foot-2, 232-pounder finished 3 for 3 for 44 yards and ran for 14 yards and a score.
His poise under difficult circumstances — playing on the road against the 23rd-ranked team in the nation — was more impressive than his numbers.
“He’s been a veteran guy since Day 1 when he got here,” Durkin said.
“He was smiling when he went into the game. That’s the type of kid he is. We can do everything we want to do on offense with him, and we will.”
Though only a year removed from high school, Hill stepped onto the field and guided the Terrapins to victory after they let a 20-point lead dwindle to 37-34 in the fourth quarter.
“This guy is special,” Durkin said. “He went in there, went 3 for 3 and ran for a touchdown. That’s what we expected from Kasim, and that’s what we got.”
Hill will make his first college start Saturday against visiting Towson.
His teammates expect the offense to operate smoothly in spite of the change.
“Piggy and Kasim were battling out in camp for the starting spot, and we trust both of them,” running back Jake Funk said. “We are devastated for Piggy, but I have full trust in Kasim that he will come in and do a great job.”
Pigrome’s injury wasn’t the only costly one sustained by Maryland in its first victory over a ranked opponent since 2010. Senior tackle Jesse Aniebonam fractured an ankle and will be sidelined for several months.
Hokies’ Jackson impresses
Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente had a slightly different take on the debut of Hokies quarterback Josh Jackson.
The coach praised the redshirt freshman from Saline, not only for what he did against West Virginia, but also for what he didn’t do.
“There were some times when things weren’t just perfect and he didn’t turn them into a bad situation for us or a game-altering play for West Virginia,” Fuente said Tuesday. “He obviously valued the football, he was calm and collected out there throughout the entire game and he made some plays. He manufactured a few plays.”
Jackson completed 15 of 26 passes for 235 yards and a TD ran for 101 yards and another TD and avoided turning the ball over against the Mountaineers.
One highlight of the 31-24 victory, a 46-yard run, has caused him to be the target of teammates’ jokes. Jackson got tackled from behind just short of the end zone.
“We joke around with Josh all the time about being able to run and go,” receiver Eric Kumah said. “And this week in practice, he was like, ‘If y’all guys see me take off, just know that I won’t get walked down by the defender.’ So after the game we were joking with him, laughing about it, because he got walked down by the defenders.”
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz shot back at former broadcaster Ed Cunningham, saying allegations the Hawkeyes would subject a player to possible long-term health issues were “surprising and offensive.”
Cunningham said in a story in the New York Times last week he retired from broadcasting because of his discomfort over the health risks associated with football. Cunningham said his last straw was watching limping Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard play in last year’s Outback Bowl until the closing moments, even though the game was a blowout.
Ferentz added Iowa’s medical staff has the definitive say about whether a player is fit to compete.
Beathard’s father, Casey, defended the Hawkeyes in a statement, saying that Iowa was “very thorough and diligent in addressing any injury situations.”
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