The start of coach Randy Edsall's weekly news conference usually is his opportunity to go all Lou Holtz on the next opponent, convincing reporters that Maryland is about to play the 1985 Chicago Bears.

But on Tuesday, he made a point of announcing the fourth-quarter statistics of Terrapins freshman quarterback Perry Hills: 24 completions, 35 attempts, 390 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. It all adds up to a passer rating of 175.3.

In other quarters, Hills' ratings are 115.5 (first), 137.3 (second), 104.6 (third).

With his clutch play, Hills is living up to the team mantra -- start fast, finish strong. As expected for a true freshman, Hills has made plenty of mistakes. But defensive end A.J. Francis said that Hills' uncommon resilience has been the difference.

"I think Perry would rather run a linebacker over than throw a touchdown pass," Francis said. "When you have that kind of mentality, it's one of those things: 'Yeah, I messed up a little bit. Let's try to make up for it.'?"

- Kevin Dunleavy