C.J. Brown spent Saturday afternoon on the sidelines. After one week away, the Maryland starting quarterback will finally rejoin his team on the field.
The concussion Brown incurred against Florida State in Tallahassee on Oct. 5 will only keep Brown away for one week, Coach Randy Edsall said during his weekly Sunday teleconference. Doctors have cleared Brown and he was expected to practice Sunday afternoon. A return for Saturday’s road trip to Wake Forest is expected as well.
In Brown’s place, Maryland quarterback Caleb Rowe threw for 332 yards in a 27-26 win over Virginia at Byrd Stadium, narrowly avoiding the home upset with a late fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Dave Stinebaugh. Barring any setbacks by Brown, Rowe will return to backup duties in Winston Salem, N.C.
Brown warmed up fully on Saturday, taking snaps from backup center Evan Mulrooney, throwing passes to receivers and leading stretches before his teammates. He returned to the locker room and changed into warmup clothes just before kickoff, however, at which point Maryland officially ruled him out.
>> Edsall reiterated the news released Saturday that outside linebacker Matt Robinson will miss three to four weeks with a rotator cuff injury, pegging his return sometime around Maryland’s second bye week. Edsall declined comment on fellow outside linebackers Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil, who left in the first quarter with an apparent shoulder injury and never returned, and Alex Twine, who had his wrist checked out several times by team trainers.
All Edsall said was that no new surgeries will take place, and deferred to the weekly injury report released on Thursday afternoons.
>> Without Cudjoe-Virgil and Twine, true freshmen Yannick Ngakoue and Cavon Walker received extended snaps against Virginia and mixed reviews a day later from their coach. Walker had four tackles (three unassisted) and Ngakoue did not record a tackle.
“They’re young,” Edsall said. “They’re getting experience. They’re learning on the go. They got to understand how important fundamentals and technique are to playing the position. They’re working hard, trying to get better and making improvements. But they’re still freshmen. They’ll be good players here as long as they keep working and keep understanding it’s all about technique and fundamentals.”
>> An interesting comment from Edsall when asked about the downfield blocking on running back Brandon Ross’s 77-yard screen pass, which helped set up Maryland’s first score of the afternoon.
“Yeah Deon Long did a really good job,” Edsall said. “I think Stef[on Diggs] had a block on that, but Deon was the guy who really escorted him down the field. That’s been a point of emphasis for us, those guys have to be complete players. They can’t be guys who just think they’ll only catch the ball. They have to be guys who block.”
Both Diggs and Long neared 100 yards receiving against the Cavaliers, and are clearly the team’s most dynamic offensive weapons, save perhaps Brown. But it sounds like Edsall demands more than simply catch-and-runs from the close-knit pair.
>> With the regular season officially halfway over, the Terps have already surpassed last season’s win total. They are one victory away from both bowl eligibility and matching the win total of Edsall’s first two seasons in College Park.
“For being such a young team, I think yesterday was a great experience for us to come out on the winning side,” Edsall said. “After six games we’re 5-1, and I think that’s very good for this football team.”
>> Based off Maryland’s film review conducted Sunday, the Terrapins collected 11 “big plays” for 381 yards against the Cavaliers, including five rushes for 139 yards and six passes for 242 yards.
Only Danny O’Brien, in the season opener in 2011, had passed for more yardage by a Maryland quarterback under Edsall.
>> Game balls went to Long (offense), defensive lineman Keith Bowers (defense) and punter Nathan Renfro (special teams).
Long caught four passes for 98 yards including a key third-down conversion that set up Stinebaugh’s touchdown, Bowers finished with nine tackles and several red-zone stops, and Renfro averaged 39.6 yards on five punts, pinning Virginia twice inside its 20-yard line.