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For the first time in five games, Maryland head coach Randy Edsall announced the starting quarterback prior to game time. This time, however, he had no other choice.
C.J. Brown will get the nod behind center Saturday at Wake Forest with Danny O’Brien set to miss the remainder of the season with a broken left arm. Brown will make his fourth start this season, but the first since Boston College on Oct. 29.
“I feel good about C.J leading our football team these last two week,” Edsall said during his press conference Tuesday. “C.J. is eager. He’s ready. He’s excited about going out and being able to be the quarterback and hopefully leading the team to victory.”
Brown and have each started three games over the past six weeks, after O’Brien, the starter entering the year, was benched early against Georgia Tech. O’Brien drew the start the last two against Virginia and again on Saturday night against Notre Dame.
After replacing O’Brien in the third quarter, Brown led the Terps to two scoring drives, including a 24-yard scramble into the end zone. Brown finished the game with 87 yards passing and 31 yards on the ground.
Brown’s rushing performance moved him into second place all time on the University’s rushing list among quarterbacks. With 62 more yards against the Demon Deacons, he would own the single-season record.
“Anytime you’re on the field, you want to show what you can do, regardless of the situation. You want to show your talents, you want to help your team out and the biggest goal right now is just to win,” Brown said.
The Terps have lost six in a row, and have averaged 17 points per game over the past four games.
However, an air of confidence remains steady with Brown at the quarterback position. Senior cornerback Trenton Hughes, who started his first game this season against the Irish, believes the offense will be sparked by Brown’s presence.
“As a leader, he’s going to do what he has to do,” Hughes said. “He’s a great leader. When he gets in the game, he makes things happen and that’s all you can expect from a great quarterback. We’re very confident in C.J.”
One Brown fan will have to watch from home, though.
< p>Edsall said the team doctors recommended that O’Brien should not travel with the team in their final two games.
“Danny is disappointed in terms of what took place. He’s still in quite a bit of pain,” Edsall said. “He wants to try and do everything he possibly can. He wants to do whatever he can to help his team win.”
O’Brien’s arm will not require surgery, according to team doctors. He will wear a cast for 12 weeks and will undergo X-rays to continually monitor the healing process.
Typically, a broken arm requires anywhere from several weeks to several months to completely heal, and rehab is necessary to regain complete range of motion, muscle strength, joint motion and flexibility.
Rumors have swirled, however, that O’Brien may seek a transfer after graduating in the spring. He would have two years of eligibility as a graduate student.
Edsall downplayed that notion, stating that O’Brien is happy at Maryland and he has no knowledge of a possible transfer. Brown, who admitted the next two games are like an audition to be the starter in 2012, said likewise.
“Come springtime, I’m sure there’s going to be another competition.”