Terps running back Wes Brown 'good to go' for game vs. Syracuse

September 14, 2014|By Matt Zenitz | Baltimore Sun Media Group

Maryland running back Wes Brown did not play during the Terps’ loss to West Virginia on Saturday, something Terps coach Randy Edsall later explained as a “head coach’s decision.”

However, Brown is “good to go” for Saturday’s game against Syracuse, Edsall said Sunday.

“I just, as a head coach, decided not to play him yesterday,” Edsall said. “We’ve got a new week today. … He was out there last week. But like I said, I made a decision that he wasn’t going to play. But he’s back practicing. He’s been practicing. And we’ll see how the game plan shakes out.”

Brown leads Maryland running backs with 142 rushing yards and is averaging 5.5 yards per carry.

Edsall breaks down pass defense’s issues vs. West Virginia

West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett finished 37 of 49 for 511 yards with four touchdowns and just one interception in Saturday's game.

Wide receiver Kevin White had 13 catches for 216 yards and a touchdown. The Mountaineers also got 11 catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns from wide receiver Mario Alford.

West Virginia had 694 yards of total offense and 33 first downs, and most of that damage came through the air.

“They didn’t really do anything different offensively,” Edsall said. “We just didn’t execute as well as we needed to. On some deep balls, we didn’t go up and attack the ball the way we should, and they got more of those kind of 50-50 balls. The quarterback put the ball up. Their guys made the play. We didn’t. We’ve got to make more plays in those situations in order to be successful.”

There were also multiple screen passes that pass-catchers turned into big gains as a result of the Terps either missing tackles or struggling to get off blocks (or a combination of both).-

“You can’t give up eight passes for 303 yards and give up three touchdown passes of 36, 43 and 44 there,” Edsall said. “We did get [three] turnovers defensively. But we’ve just got to be more consistent in everything we do.”

Offensive line was ‘a little bit inconsistent’

Terps quarterback C.J. Brown was only sacked twice against West Virginia, and Maryland ended up averaging 6 yards per carry on the ground.

But the offensive line had some issues with the Mountaineers' defensive front.

Brown ran for 161 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, but Terps running backs had just 2 yards on nine carries and were twice tackled in the backfield on third-and-shorts during the fourth quarter because of the offensive line allowing West Virginia's front to get penetration.

“I thought [the offensive linemen] were a little inconsistent, like a lot of people,” Edsall said. “They’ve just got to keep working together and keeping better. But just like everybody else, we just weren’t consistent enough in the offensive line.”

End zone

Edsall said he will know better later in the week whether injured players such as linebackers Matt Robinson (undisclosed injury), Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil (foot) and L.A. Goree (back) will be able to play against Syracuse. … Edsall explained what led to Brown, a quarterback, finishing with 18 of the Terps' 27 rushing attempts. “There were just things that we ran and they decided to take away [running backs] in the zone-read and the quarterback opened up,” Edsall said. “That’s the thing. With what we do offensively, sometimes they may take away the quarterback and make the running backs carry the ball. Yesterday, they took the running back away and the quarterback had those options.”

mzenitz@tribune.com

twitter.com/mzenitz

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