Although Maryland left Austin with a win Saturday evening, they lost both Tyrrell Pigrome and Jesse Aniebonam to injury, head coach DJ Durkin announced Tuesday.
Pigrome, a sophomore, will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee suffered on the final play of third quarter against Texas.
Aniebonam, a senior defensive lineman, will also be out for the foreseeable future after fracturing his ankle during the game. He will be out for “a significant amount of time,” Durkin said, but his return has not been ruled out completely.
Both players will undergo surgery this week, Durkin said.
Pigrome was named the Terps’ starter last Monday and threw for 175 yards and two touchdowns on 9-of-12 passing in the Terps win against the Longhorns. Pigrome went out after injuring his knee while running on the final play of the third quarter.
“[It’s] very tough for him and our program,” Durkin said. “I was proud of him, how he played and competed. I know there was a lot of questions about him going into this season… I think he showed everyone what he was capable of doing.”
Replacing Pigrome behind center is true freshman Kasim Hill, who went 3-of-3 passing and scored a touchdown on the ground to help Maryland hold off a rallying Texas squad. Last week, Maryland’s offensive coordinator Walt Bell called Hill a 6-feet-2.5-inch tall 240 lbs. version of Pigrome.
Hill did an “unbelievable job of leading the offense,” Durkin said. Expect the Terps offense to remain largely the same with Hill behind center instead of Pigrome.
“I have full trust in Kasim that he’ll come in and do a great job,” sophomore running back Jake Funk said. “He’s probably one of the most poised quarterbacks that I’ve ever been around… He has a lot of leadership qualities and you don’t really see those in a lot of true freshmen.”
Aniebonam finished the game with two total tackles, one of which was solo. Maryland was able to consistently pressure Shane Buechele and the Texas
Bryce Brand, a true freshman and three-star recruit from Michigan who played his high school ball in both Florida and California, is a player who could fill the hole left by Aniebonam.
“We have some options up there,” Durkin said. “We played probably a dozen guys on the defensive line in that game.”
While playing Aniebonam’s position, Brand recorded a crucial sack during a fourth-down conversion attempt from Texas at the start of the fourth quarter.
Durkin also mentioned Melvin Keihn and Chandler Burkett as players whose roles will either grow or change as a result of the Aniebonam injury.
Antwaine Richardson, who left the game against Texas on a stretcher before being taken to a local hospital, will rejoin the Terps shortly after he has cleared concussion protocol, Durkin said.