TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown, who left Saturday’s 63-0 loss at No. 8 Florida State after absorbing a vicious first-half hit, suffered a concussion, Coach Randy Edsall said after the game.
Defensive lineman Jacobbi McDaniel crushed Brown several minutes before intermission, leading with his helmet straight into Brown’s chest. Brown snapped backward and crumpled to the ground, where he remained while team trainers inspected him.
“I hope that he is alright,” McDaniel said. “But I guess by the time I got there and when Christian Jones had him and he let the ball go, by the time I got there and hit him, I feel anyone could have hit him that hard because when he threw the ball I just continued to go through the play.”
He eventually stood up and walked, under his own power, into the locker room. Backup Caleb Rowe took over and Brown never returned, though he was spotted walking to the team bus after the game with his teammates.
“It was tough to see a friend down on the ground like that,” center Sal Conaboy said. “I ran into him, he said he was okay.”
Maryland was behind 14-0 at that point, and after Rowe completed two straight passes for 19 and nine yards, the Terps eventually punted. Florida State then powered 78 yards into the end zone, capped off by a 5-yard touchdown pass from Jameis Winston to Kelvin Benjamin. The Seminoles entered halftime up 21-0. At the end of the third quarter, it was 42-0.
“I think it changed the game,” nose tackle Darius Kilgo said. “When your quarterback goes down, it hits a place in everybody’s heart. We didn’t respond like we needed to. We needed to bounce back quickly and just move on. I don’t think that’s one thing we did.”
Edsall said Brown will be further evaluated on Sunday “to see where he’s at and go from there.” No. 25 Maryland hosts Virginia next weekend before traveling to Wake Forest, two games the Terps hope can right the ship after the enduring the most lopsided loss of Edsall’s career. It also tied the record for the biggest loss ever by a ranked team (UCLA defeated Texas, 66-3, in 1997).
McDaniel’s hit visibly upset Edsall and had the third-year Maryland coach jawing at the referees, pointing to his temple to possibly plead for an illegal targeting penalty. But Edsall restrained himself during postgame interviews.
“I’d rather make no comment on that at this point in time,” he said. “I know what I was told by our coaches but I have not seen it myself on film and I probably won’t have any comment after that because all of these things are in the hands of the conference. I’m sure we will have them take a look and we will just go from there.”