It’s early Saturday afternoon and we still have no idea who will be starting for the Maryland Terrapins today at Quarterback. Sophomore’s Danny O’Brien – the beleaguered starter – and C.J. Brown – the flashy backup – probably know who is starting today, no one knows yet publicly.
I’ve seen a lot of people predicting it will be Brown, and I have a hard time disagreeing. The writing’s been on the wall that coach Randy Edsall has liked what he’s seen in Brown in limited work. After taking over for O’Brien in the second quarter last week Brown struggled throwing, but did lead the team to two scoring drives in the fourth quarter, including a 77-yard rushing touchdown.
So what are the Terps to do? O’Brien has struggled since the Miami game, but it’s just tough to believe he has regressed this much since last seasons ACC Rookie of the Year performance. Is it the play-calling? Is it his receivers or offensive line? I think it’s a bit of all three.
We all noticed in the first game that Offensive Coordinator Gary Crowton’s offense was predicated on the screen pass. Teams figured it out early and forced the Terps into 2nd-and-long and 3rd-and-long. I also don’t think it helped Kerry Boykins and Quinton McCree were the targets rather than Tony Logan or Ronnie Tyler. Why have the smaller Tyler blocking for the bigger McCree? It didn’t make sense. Then, McCree and Tyler were suspended. With McCree and Tyler suspended that opened the door for Kerry Boykins and Tony Logan to see more playing time.
Both had big moments, but drops ultimately hurt Boykins effectiveness. One constant all season has been Kevin Dorsey. He’s been phenomenal, but most wouldn’t know it from looking at the box score. He’s caught just about everything thrown his way, and his blocking has been just as good – he had the key block in Brown’s 77-yard TD last week against Georgia Tech. TE Matt Furstenburg has been non-existent since the West Virginia game.
The offensive line has performed admirably, they didn’t give up their first sack until the third game of the season (Temple). However, they will be without two starters for today’s game against Clemson.
So where does that leave the Terps? I think for right now they will go with Brown and hope his efficiency as a passer improves and rely on his great speed to keep the Tigers off-balance. I think at some point you have to give Danny O’Brien an opportunity, he’s too good a passer to be on the bench and can surprise with his legs. We’ll see tonight on ESPNU at 7 pm what Coach Edsall has decided.