Maryland QB Brown accepts blame for team’s skid

Six weeks ago, Maryland and quarterback C.J. Brown were flying
high.

The Terrapins were 4-0, and even climbed into the national
ranking at No. 25 following a 37-0 victory over West Virginia in
late September.

At that point, Brown – who missed all of last year with a torn
ACL – was one of the biggest stories in the Atlantic Coast
Conference. He threw seven touchdown passes in those four games and
ran for six scores.

Since then, things have gone downhill for Brown and Maryland
(5-4, 1-4). As they prepare to face Virginia Tech (7-3, 4-2) on
Saturday, the Terrapins have dropped three in a row and four of
five. They’ve been stuck on five victories for a month and still
need a sixth to become bowl-eligible.

Brown has struggled as well. He has been knocked out of two
games and didn’t play at all in two others because of those
injuries. He hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass or run for a score
since the West Virginia game.

In the last three times he has started for Maryland, the offense
has produced a mere 13 points.

”It’s definitely on me,” Brown said. ”That reflects that
(quarterback) position. I’ve got to be able to lead the team down
the field and make plays.”

Brown was especially critical of his play in last week’s 20-3
home loss to Syracuse. In that game, Brown threw a pair of
interceptions and fumbled away a snap that led to a Syracuse field
goal.

”I felt like I let the team down,” he said. ”The three
turnovers I had, they were dumb. There’s no excuse for them. I
don’t know what I was looking at out there. That could have been
the difference in the outcome of the game. I took it personally and
I took it hard. I’m going make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

In his defense, Brown hasn’t been getting much help. Stefon
Diggs and Deon Long, Maryland’s top two receivers, are lost for the
season with broken legs. The running game managed just 81 yards
against Syracuse.

Brown acknowledged that he may be pressing at times, just
because he wants to get the offense moving as it was early in the
season.

”When guys go down, you try to step up and maybe sometimes I
try to do more than I should or need to,” he said.

Despite Brown’s struggles, Maryland coach Randy Edsall has no
plans to make a change. He pointed out that eight of Maryland’s 13
possessions ended in Syracuse territory, stressing that he hasn’t
lost faith in his quarterback.

”To me,” Edsall said, ”C.J. gives us the best opportunity to
win going into the Virginia Tech game.”