Quarterback C.J. Brown Makes Up for Lost Time in Maryland Terrapins' Season Opener

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Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports\

Maryland Terrapins quarterback C.J. Brown showed Terps fans exactly what they were missing last season with a huge game against Florida International in the season opener.

The senior suffered a torn ACL in a scrimmage before the 2012 season, the first of four Maryland quarterbacks to suffer season-ending injuries.

If anyone had lingering questions about whether he was fully healthy, Brown answered them, loud and clear, with his performance against the Golden Panthers.

In his first start since November 2011, Brown scored five touchdowns (three passing, two rushing) and accounted for 336 of the Terps’ 400 first half yards.

Before his knee injury, Brown had a reputation for being a running quarterback, and he proved that his surgically-repaired ACL hasn’t slowed him down, leading the team with 11 carries for 105 yards, including a 64-yard run, and two touchdowns on the ground.

In a recent profile in The Washington Post, Brown bristled at the “running quarterback” label, telling The Post‘s Mike Wise: “I know that’s not what I am.”

It’s a bold statement from a guy who’d been an ineffective passer the last time we saw him, but he backed it up with his performance against FIU. Playing into the third quarter, Brown finished 20-for-23, with 281 passing yards and three touchdown passes to three different receivers.

After the win, Maryland head coach Randy Edsall admitted to being nervous about Brown’s big return but praised his QB’s dedication to getting game-ready.

“Boy, did he play well, and he’s only going to get better. I’m glad he’s healthy and hopefully we can keep him healthy,” Edsall said.

Staying healthy might be a challenge. Brown has missed the better part of two seasons due to injury, and the Terps’ offensive line is a cause for concern.

If he can stay healthy, though, Maryland, led by Brown and receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, might be in for one of the better seasons they’ve had in recent years.

As Brown said after the game, “The sky’s the limit.”

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