Year three of the Randy Edsall era in Maryland has gotten out to a fast start, as Maryland leads the visiting FIU Golden Panthers 13-3 after a pair of field goals and a touchdown from C.J. Brown.
Stefon Diggs started things out with a 40-yard kick return where he managed to dodge about five FIU defenders. The first drive got off to a quick start from about midfield, with Brandon Ross starting things off with two rushes for a combined 11 yards, before C.J. Brown completed a 16-yard pass to Levern Jacobs. Brown completed all three of his attempts on the drive, and Maryland settled for a 20-yard field goal from Brad Craddock to take the 3-0 lead.
On the ensuing kick-off, linebackers Alex Twine and Abner Logan made their way through the FIU special teams unit and lit up FIU kick returner Sam Miller, causing a fumble that Isaac Goins recovered at the FIU 14. The forced fumble was given to Twine, although television watchers appear to say it was Logan who really caused it. Craddock ended up making a 25-yarder on that drive, making it 6-0 Terps.
After Maryland forced a three-and-out, Will Likely muffed a punt, giving the Panthers the ball in the red zone. After a sack by Darius Kilgo, a tackle from Cole Farrand, and a deflection by Kilgo, Sergio Sroka was forced to make a 32-yard field goal.
Maryland's offense got rolling again on the next drive, when Maryland ran the triple option zone read on second-and-seven. Brown faked the hand-off to Ross, pitching it outside to Diggs, who ran 26 yards for the first down. Two players later, Brown showed his escapability, dodging a rushing defensive end, scrambling to the outside, and finding Deon Long on the sideline for a 27-yard gain. On the next play, Brown faked the entire Panther defense with the zone read, running 29 yards down the left sideline untouched for the touchdown and the 13-3 lead.
After another Panther three-and-out, C.J. Brown and the Terps have gone back to work. Facing third-and-six after two straight runs from Ross, Brown passed to Diggs, who made an incredible one-handed catch on a pass behind him, ducking two defenders and making his way to a first down. On the next play, Brown completed an eight-yard pass to Long, and Maryland will have the ball on FIU's 25 when the second quarter starts.
Some quick stats:
C.J. Brown - 8/9, 93 yards, four rushes for 35 yards and a touchdown
Brandon Ross - Seven rushes for 23 yards
Deon Long - Four receptions for 42 yards
Stefon Diggs - One reception for ten yards, one rush for 26 yards, 54 yards returning