QB issues abound as Maryland hosts Indiana

NCAA Football

Quarterback play will be under the microscope on Saturday when Maryland faces Indiana in College Park, Md., in a matchup of two skidding Big Ten East teams.

Hoosiers quarterback Jack Tuttle is week-to-week after sustaining a foot injury during last Saturday’s 54-7 beatdown at the hands of No. 5 Ohio State. Tuttle has been the starter for Indiana (2-5, 0-4 Big Ten) since Michael Penix Jr. suffered a shoulder injury three weeks ago against Penn State.

Penix remains week-week as well, according to coach Tom Allen.

Indiana played true freshman Donaven McCulley and walk-on Grant Gremel at quarterback after Tuttle exited last week. Who starts for the Hoosiers on Saturday is a mystery outside the program.

“Without letting Maryland know the rotation of players, we have to get everybody ready to play,” Indiana offensive coordinator Nick Sheridan said.

The Hoosiers only mustered 114 yards of total offense and allowed the Buckeyes to score 44 points by halftime en route to losing their third straight game to a division opponent ranked inside the top 10.

Allen said his approach after grading Saturday’s tape was to “flush it and press on with our guys.”

On the opposing side is Maryland (4-3, 1-3) — like Indiana, a loser in three straight — where starting QB Taulia Tagovailoa has struggled following a torrid start to the campaign.

In last week’s 34-16 loss at Minnesota, Tagovailoa completed 17 of 27 passes for 189 yards with one touchdown and a lost fumble. It was his first game without an interception since Week 3 against Illinois.

“I’m going to stand up here and protect him like the papa bear,” coach Mike Locksley said of his starter. “He has not probably played his best in the Iowa game (a 51-14 loss on Oct. 1), made some mistakes. I thought Ohio State, he took a step forward. And then I thought this game (against Minnesota), he’s as close to what he’s been. But you also have to realize, some of the pieces aren’t around him.”

The Terrapins have lost wide receivers Dontay Demus Jr. and Jeshaun Jones to season-ending injuries. Redshirt freshman Marcus Fleming stepped up last week, leading Maryland with five receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown.

Maryland did surrender 326 rushing yards and four rushing scores — one each from four different Minnesota players.

–Field Level Media

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