Tag:C.J. Brown
Posted on: October 11, 2011 10:05 am
 

Keys to the Game: Clemson at Maryland

Posted by Chip Patterson

CLEMSON WILL WIN IF: If the offensive line can keep Tajh Boyd upright and allow him to get comfortable, the Tigers should win against Maryland on Saturday night. They can expect that Maryland will try to bring pressure on Boyd, who suffered a strained hip last week in the win against Boston College. If the offensive line can keep Boyd from getting hit and open up seams for running back Andre Ellington, the Tigers should be able to wear down a Terps defense that has been banged up at key positions in recent weeks.

With Maryland's questions at the quarterback position, defensive end Andre Branch and the Tigers' pass rush should be ready to hunt as well. Clemson has recorded 17 tackles for loss in their last two victories against Virginia Tech and Boston College, after starting the season with just 12 total in their first four contests. The Tigers will need more pressure like this to rattle the Maryland quarterback - whoever ends up getting the nod.

MARYLAND WILL WIN IF: The Terrapins need to feed off of their home crowd and get a fast start, the same way they did in the season opener against Miami. This is Maryland's Homecoming weekend, and their first night game since that win over the Hurricanes. The defense has to create some turnovers to keep Clemson's offense from hitting a rhythm and taking the crowd out of the game early.  On paper a healthy Clemson team should run away with this game, so they'll need every extra boost they can get.  

Head coach Randy Edsall benched Danny O'Brien in the loss to Georgia Tech, allowing freshman C.J. Brown to step in for his first action of the season. Brown struggled to move the ball through the air, but racked up 124 yards rushing including a 77-yard run for a touchdown. We still don't know who will be under center against the Tigers, and probably won't until kickoff. All the more reason for the defense needs to create turnovers to set either quarterback up with a short field.

X-FACTOR: The health of starting quarterback Tajh Boyd. Watching the awkward way Boyd fell to the ground on the play he strained his hip, there was nervousness that he could miss significant time. However every report out of Clemson's camp has been positive, and head coach Dabo Swinney expects him to play against the Terps on Saturday. Backup quarterback Cole Stoudt was able to show the ability to manage the offense in the second half and close out Boston College, but four quarters against Maryland in Byrd Stadium under the lights will be a different challenge.

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Posted on: October 9, 2011 2:46 am
Edited on: October 9, 2011 3:15 am
 

ACC Winners and Losers: Week 6



Posted by Chip Patterson


A handy recap of who really won and who really lost that you won't find in the box score.

WINNER: Logan Thomas

The struggles of the Virginia Tech offense and sophomore quarterback Logan Thomas were well documented after the 23-3 loss to Clemson a week ago. But Thomas absolutely silenced his critics with a near-perfect performance in the 38-35 win over Miami on Saturday. With 2010 ACC Player of the Year Tyrod Taylor watching from the sidelines, Thomas did his best Taylor impression orchestrating a game-winning touchdown drive in the final minutes of the game. Thomas may have capped his memorable night with a 19-yard touchdown rush to win the game, but it was performance through the air that showed the most improvement. Thomas completed 23 of 25 passes for 310 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions against a Miami back seven with NFL-caliber talent at nearly every position. The young quarterback had shown flashes of potential, but not quite put it all together until Saturday's victory. If Thomas can replicate that kind of production, the Hokies may not be as far removed from division contender status as we thought.

LOSER: Miami's defense

Miami defense - For the first time all season, the Hurricanes did not turn the ball over once on offense. Jacory Harris and Lamar Miller had the offense humming in the second half against Virginia Tech, giving the defense an opportunity to win the game in the final minutes. The unit has become significantly thinner in recent weeks, particularly with the loss of seniors Ramon Buchanan and Marcus Forston to season-ending injuries. That lack of depth showed late in the game, with the Hurricanes defense a step slower all over the field as the Hokies stormed back and won the game on a 19-yard Logan Thomas run up the middle.

WINNER: Wake Forest, your new ACC dark horse

With a 3-0 conference record, the Demon Deacons are tied with No. 8 Clemson and No. 13 Georgia Tech as the best team in the ACC. A national ranking may arrive for Jim Grobe's squad on Sunday, but the team's arrival as a contender was made on Saturday with the victory over Florida State. Sophomore Tanner Price and Josh Harris were impressive against a talented Seminoles defense, but the play of Wake's defense has changed the team's outlook in conference play. Nearly the entire starting lineup was part of 2010's disastrous 1-7 ACC record, but the unit is back and playing at an unexpectedly high level. Grobe is notorious for being tagged as a "player development" coach, but 2011's team might be another one of those squads that keeps that reputation going. The unit forced five Florida State turnovers on Saturday, picking off both Clint Trickett and EJ Manuel two times each to set up a short field for Price and the unpredictable spread offense. There are plenty of challenges left on Wake's schedule, including next week's contest against Virginia Tech, but the similarities that some have drawn to the 2006 team don't seem to be that radical.

LOSER: Florida State's offensive line

There are a lot of aspects to Florida State's team that aren't going as planned, but the struggles of the offensive line can be blamed for many of the most glaring problems. The Seminoles were one of the most productive rushing teams in the conference in 2010, and now the running backs have become a non-factor against quality opponents. The line is not opening up the lanes, and the backs are not finding their holes. The inability to rush the ball has now begun to have an increasingly negative effect on the passing game, as Florida State's opponents treat them as a one-dimensional team. The unit entered the season dealing with injury issues, and has continued to search for a working rotation. Getting EJ Manuel healthy brings 2011's best rusher back to the lineup, so that should be a start. But the line has to improve if Florida State wants to try and make the most of the season after this three-game losing streak.

WINNER: Clemson's winning streak

The Tigers improve to 6-0, even losing Boyd to the strained hip. Luckily the Tigers had built a lead at the time of the starting quarterback's injury, so Cole Stoudt's job was not too difficult. But considering how much time Boyd spent mastering the intricacies of Chad Morris' system in the offseason, it has to be comforting for Tigers fans to know that Stoudt can keep the machine moving forward while under center. If Stoudt gets the start against Maryland next week, there will be some drop-off. But after seeing the freshman move the ball against Boston College's defense, head coach Dabo Swinney was able to get some comfort in Stoudt's ability if Boyd is unable to play. Rushing Boyd back and/or causing further injury would be the worst possible situation for the undefeated Tigers, and if there is any question regarding Boyd's health the Tigers should be able to continue performing at a high level with Stoudt.

LOSER: Georgia Tech's ability to close out opponents

Georgia Tech was not a loser on Saturday, but they took a step back with yet another poor defensive showing in the fourth quarter. In their three ACC contests combined, the Yellow Jackets have given up 48 fourth quarter points, while only allowing 31 points in the first three quarters of play. The reasons seem to be different every time, but the result is always the same. Against Maryland, it was allowing backup quarterback C.J. Brown and Davin Meggett to establish a powerful downhill running attack. Against N.C. State it was soft coverage and lack of focus with a big lead. The Yellow Jackets are 6-0 and sitting on top of the ACC standings, but they might not be so lucky if they let another opponent climb back into the contest late.

WINNER: Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown

Maryland's inconsistencies and offensive struggles since their opening night win have been well documented, but a quarterback change in the loss to Georgia Tech introduced a new aspect to the offense. Sophomore quarterback C.J. Brown took over for 2010 ACC Rookie of the Year Danny O'Brien in the second half, and led two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to bring the Terps back into the game against the Yellow Jackets. Brown presented a new rushing threat for the opposition, and was able to get an effective read game going with running back Davin Meggett. The backup quarterback finished as the game's leading rusher, thanks in large part to a 77 yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. Brown struggled mightily trying to move the ball through the air, but he at least presents offensive coordinator Gary Crowton the option of possibly using a two-quarterback system to keep opposing defenses on their toes. Imploring the two quarterback tactic can be toxic to a team in certain situations, but at 2-3 Maryland needs something to jump start the sputtering offense.

LOSER: This Clemson fan

Tajh Boyd's hip was not the only Clemson thing slightly out of place on Saturday. CBSSports.com's Adam Jacobi pointed out this lost soul from the Michigan-Northwestern game.





WINNER: N.C. State CB David Amerson

N.C. State's sophomore cornerback was responsible for two of the Wolfpack's four interceptions in the second half against Central Michigan. After the Chippewas came out firing and took an early lead in Raleigh, N.C. State's defense answered with big stops and turnovers in the second half while the offense piled on the points and N.C. State picked up a much-needed bounce back win after dropping two straight.

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Posted on: October 8, 2011 3:46 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2011 3:46 pm
 

QUICK HITS: No. 13 Georgia Tech 21, Maryland 16

Posted by Adam Jacobi and Chip Patterson 

GEORGIA TECH WON. The numbers were not as impressive, and the on-field product did not flash as much as expected, but No. 13 Georgia Tech survived 21-16 in an ugly conference showdown to improve to 6-0.

HOW GEORGIA TECH WON: Georgia Tech entered the fourth quarter with a 21-3 lead after completely shutting down Maryland's offense for most of the game. When backup quarterback C.J. Brown took over, he introduced a new ground threat to the Maryland offense. The Yellow Jackets looked unprepared for the zone read attack of Brown and running back Davin Meggett, who finished the game combining for 210 yards on 27 carries.

WHEN GEORGIA TECH WON: Georgia Tech saw the Terps charge back into this game late, but a failed 4th down conversion with 2:31 remaining put the game away for the Yellow Jackets.

WHAT GEORGIA TECH WON: This is the third straight contest Georgia Tech has allowed their opponent back into the game. Georgia Tech has won something to be concerned about. The Yellow Jackets are still arguably the best team in the Coastal Division, but they are certainly not invincible. Late pushes by N.C. State and Maryland have shown the conference weaknesses in the Georgia Tech attack.

WHAT MARYLAND LOST: What Maryland won was a quarterback controversy. The 2010 ACC Rookie of the Year Danny O'Brien has struggled to find a rhythm in the last couple weeks, and head coach Randy Edsall decided it was time for a chance. C.J. Brown did not get a ton going through the air, but his 124 rushing yards definitely made a case for his use in the future. Whether Edsall decides to use two quarterbacks, or try out Brown as the full-time starter; Maryland will likely spend this week considering the immediate future of their offensive backfield.

THAT WAS CRAZY: Midway through the third quarter, Maryland ran a double pass trick play where wideout Tony Logan hit Kevin Dorsey on a 34-yard pass. That one play was enough for Logan -- again, a wide receiver -- to lead the Terrapins in passing yardage until backup quarterback CJ Brown found Dorsey for a first down with 3:43 left in the game. Danny O'Brien was 1-6 for 17 yards before being benched, and Brown proved to be a much bigger threat on the ground than through the air. Brown finished as the game's leading rusher, with 124 yards and a touchdown.

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Posted on: April 12, 2011 11:40 am
Edited on: April 12, 2011 11:52 am
 

Edsall: Danny O'Brien getting competition at QB

Posted by Chip Patterson

Coming into the 2010 season, the expectations were pretty low for Maryland football. They were fresh off a 2-10 season, and the touchdown-less second half in the 17-14 season-opener against Navy did not ease any concerns. But when quarterback Jamarr Robinson injured his arm and began missing snaps due to soreness, redshirt freshman quarterback Danny O'Brien took control.

O'Brien took the keys to the offense helped lead the Terps for a 6-win turnaround to 8-4, one of the best turnarounds in program history. O'Brien threw for 2,438 yards and 22 touchdowns, and was named the ACC Rookie of the Year.

But a new head coach (Randy Edsall ) and new offensive coordintaor (Gary Crowton ), O'Brien's hold on on the starting job might not be as tight as many expected. Edsall made a point on Monday to compliment the play of sophomore quarterback C.J. Brown .

“C.J. Brown is putting pressure on Danny,” Edsall said today in a conference call with reporters . “I like the things that he’s doing. C.J. is a guy that does a good job in the huddle and can make plays.”

Brown was considered one of the candidates for Robinson's starting job until his season was ended by a broken collarbone against Morgan State in the second game of the season. The dual-threat quarterback only has one passing attempt and one rushing attempt in his brief collegiate career, but he has been making a statement so far in spring practice. As far as Edsall is concerned, the compeitition will only lead to good things for Maryland.

“Everybody always needs somebody pushing them, somebody behind them,” Edsall said . “I think the competition is great for everybody. You can never drink the Kool-Aid. I’m not saying anyone is, but I’m saying every day you have to go out there and prove yourself and be the best you can be. That’s all we want these guys to do.”

RELATED : Maryland may have their options open at the quarterback position, but they are already having to shuffle the depth chart due to injury. Edsall also told reporters that starting left tackle Justin Gilbert re-injured his left knee and underwent surgery on Thursday . It is the same knee that ended Gilbert's season Sept. 18 at West Virginia a year ago. Sophomore Max Garcia is expected to take over the starting spot.

 
 
 
 
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