Oct 13, 2018; College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins quarterback Kasim Hill (11) throws against Rutgers Scarlet Knights linebacker Olakunle Fatukasi (3) at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

© Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a 34-7 victory over Rutgers, Maryland needs more from QB Kasim Hill

Maryland's Hill has to get the passing offense going to defeat better opponents.

October 13, 2018 - 7:30 pm

By: Kyle J. Andrews

COLLEGE PARK -- The Maryland Terrapins had a strong 34-7 victory over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, holding them to just 179 total yards. Maryland especially shined in their pass defense, with Rutgers quarterback Artur Sitkowski passing for eight yards. The Terps also gained 290 yards on the ground on 40 carries. Despite that, Maryland has a challenge to overcome in the passing game. 

Between Kasim Hill and Tyrrell Pigrome, the Terps had 85 yards through the air on 20 attempts. Though Hill had his most prolific day of the year with three passing touchdowns, it took Maryland's defense to give them a short field for the Terrapin offense to punch the ball into the endzone. On the bright side for the Terps, they were 4-for-4 in the red zone on Saturday.

"I think going into every single game, the red zone is a big key first -- on offense and on defense -- trying to score touchdowns, trying to stop touchdowns," Hill said postgame. "I think we had a good gameplan going in today, as we do every week for the red zone and we just went out and executed." 

Hill has 654 passing yards on the year, averaging just 109 yards per game. After six games, Hill has six touchdown passes and has a completion percentage of 53.05%. His best game this season came against Maryland's upset over the #9 Texas Longhorns in the first week, where he went 17-for-29 (58.6%), passing for 222 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. Since that game, Hill hasn't hit the 200-yard mark in passing.

The sophomore quarterback has looked to perform better in every game and goes back over the rights and wrongs of his game. 

"After every single game, you always go back and watch the film and learn from the things you could've done better and there's always things that you could do better," said Hill. "So, I would say that, but after every game I want to have the feeling of winning and we had that feeling today. That's the best feeling that you can have."

Coming into the Maryland's game on Saturday, the Terps had the 37th ranked rushing attack (1,181 yards) in the country. Their passing offense -- 125th in the nation (638 yards). Maybe it could be due to both Hill and Pigrome returning from knee injuries or it could just be due to his inexperience. 

“He played one game, right?” Maryland interim Head Coach Matt Canada said of Hill. “He played the end of the opener and he played the start of the third game and all of the sudden he’s supposed to go out there and be Joe Montana. That’s not how it works."

On the stat sheet, it says that Hill played in three games last season. The four-star recruit took over for the injured Pigrome in their opening day win over Texas, completing all three of his passes for 44 yards. Coming into the 2018, Hill had just two starts under his belt against the FCS Towson Tigers and the Central Florida Knights at home. Against Towson, the then-freshman seemed to have things under control, with 163 yards passing and two touchdowns with no interceptions. He would then tear his ACL in the next game against Central Florida. 

Through his ineffectiveness this season, Hill still doesn't blame it on his knee. 

“I would not say it’s having any effect on me,” Hill said of his surgically repaired knee. “There are things that you go back and watch the film that you can do better -- week by week. As a team and myself, we’re just trying to get better week by week against every opponent that we face.”

Though Maryland was able to get a big victory against the Scarlet Knights, they will have bigger tests in the Big Ten -- starting with Iowa next week on the road. After the Terps face the Hawkeyes, they will have to face off against Illinois, a tough Michigan State squad, Indiana on the road, #3 Ohio State and #8 Penn State.

"We sit in that room -- all the blame comes on the quarterback and the quarterbacks understand that," Canada continued on Hill. "That's how it works. They get to much blame and they get too much credit. He's gotta play better at times, but he made some plays today too. Some of those throws he made, I'm not sure anybody else could have made those throws."

Simply put, Hill has to step up for Maryland to succeed against better opponents. As of right now and whether or not it's due to the Terps having a run heavy offense -- he just hasn't done that. 

Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleAndrews1994