Terps' C.J. Brown status unknown until game time against Ohio State

September 28, 2014|By Matt Zenitz | Baltimore Sun Media Group

Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown may practice this week. He may not. Either way, Terps coach Randy Edsall likely will not have much to say about Brown prior to Saturday’s game against No. 22 Ohio State.

Brown suffered a sprained left wrist against Indiana Saturday and did not play during the second half.

“We’ll see if he can practice,” Edsall said. “But we won’t have anything [on his status] until game-time.”

The Big Ten does not require its coaches to put out injury reports during the week, so it would not make much sense strategically for Edsall to update Ohio State on Brown’s status if he does not have to.

Without knowing whether Brown will play, Ohio State will likely have to spend time preparing for Brown as well as backup quarterback Caleb Rowe, a traditional pocket passer who brings a different skill set to the table than the dual-threat Brown.

Game ball recipients

Following Maryland’s 37-15 win over Indiana, Edsall gave game balls to wide receiver Stefon Diggs (offense), inside linebacker Cole Farrand (defense) and kicker Brad Craddock (special teams).

Diggs had six catches for 112 yards and a touchdown.

Farrand had 19 tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss and a pass deflection while helping the Terps limit a good Indiana offense to 15 points and just 332 yards of total offense.

Craddock converted all three of his field goal attempts, including two from 48 yards. Craddock is 10 of 10 on field goals on the year.

Craddock also had two touchbacks on kickoffs Saturday.

Long breaks out

Wide receiver Deon Long had just 11 catches through Maryland’s first four games. But Long had 10 catches for 108 yards against Indiana on Saturday.

Long had five catches before Brown got hurt and then five more after backup quarterback Caleb Rowe entered during the second half.

Long also picked up 9 yards on a reverse.

“A lot depends on what people do to you,” Edsall said. “The coverages will dictate who gets the ball and what goes there. We’ve tried to have him involved before. But what they did just dictated that we were able to do some things where the ball would go to him yesterday, and he ended up doing a good job.”

Long also had a block to spring running back Brandon Ross for a 36-yard touchdown on a screen pass during the third quarter.

“I thought he blocked the best that he’s blocked all year,” Edsall said. “We’re getting much more from a blocking standpoint out of our receivers, allowing us to get the big plays. … Deon’s getting better, and I thought he took a step forward yesterday, and I thought Stefon took another step forward from the week before.”

Shaky debut for Hayward

Redshirt freshman tight end Derrick Hayward will be counted on to contribute some at tight end after starting tight end Andrew Isaacs suffered a season-ending knee injury against Syracuse Sept. 20.

Hayward was just OK while seeing his first extensive action on offense against Indiana.

He was on the field for 14 snaps while working behind new starting tight end P.J. Gallo, but Hayward was flagged for a false start and also dropped a pass over the middle on what would have gone for a big gain.

“I saw a guy that got in there and got about 14 snaps that didn’t look lost in those 14 snaps,” Edsall said. “[He] went in there and did the things he had to do. He had the one illegal procedure penalty. But those reps are invaluable to him. They’re going to make him better. Derrick wants to be good. He works hard, and it’s a process for him to gain that experience, to gain that knowledge and to continue to get bigger and stronger.”

Nice game for Kilgo

Maryland’s front seven limited Indiana standout running back Tevin Coleman to an average of just 3.8 yards per carry aside from one long run during the fourth quarter.

Farrand was a big part of that. So were other members of the Terps’ front seven. That includes senior nose tackle Darius Kilgo, who had two tackles for a loss.

“He probably played one of his best games,” Edsall said of Kilgo. “He did a really nice job yesterday, and I think he’s getting better with each game that he’s playing, so I was very pleased with how he played.”

Ngakoue still producing

Sophomore outside linebacker Yannick Ngakoue had a sack Saturday and is tied for the Big Ten lead with seven tackles for a loss.

Starting outside linebacker Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil is back after missing the first three games with a foot injury, but Ngakoue is still seeing time on defense and contributing.

“I think he’s just getting better,” Edsall said. “He’s still green. He’s still raw. But he’s playing hard. He’s getting better each week, and that’s what he’s got to continue to do.

“He’s just got to continue to gain that experience so that he can play faster than what he’s playing and play with more natural instincts rather than maybe thinking a little bit [too much], but very happy with how he’s playing and how he’s coming along. And we know that he still has a lot of room to grow and get better.”

End zone

Maryland has now gone two straight games without a turnover on offense. “Hopefully we can continue that,” Edsall said. … The Terps had eight plays that went for gains of 22 yards or more against Indiana. Maryland’s defense, meanwhile, allowed just three plays of 20 yards or more despite facing an Indiana offense that entered Saturday averaging 33.7 points per game. “We cut down on the number of big plays against us yesterday, and we got quite a few,” Edsall said.

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