COLLEGE PARK — C.J. Brown's best throw was his last one, a 41-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Deon Long that pushed Maryland's lead to 38-0 midway through the third quarter.
As a whole, though, the senior quarterback called his play during the Terps' 52-7 win over James Madison on Saturday "unacceptable."
Brown always has been a threat on the ground — and he ran for 61 yards and three touchdowns Saturday. But Brown spent a lot of time this summer working with Maryland's wide receivers to become more consistent and reliable as a passer, and 11 of 24 for just 111 yards isn't how Brown wanted to start off the season.
"I didn't do too well today in terms of throwing the football," Brown said after the game. "The stats speak for themselves, and that's unacceptable. I didn't prepare for that. It helps that we got the win, but I didn't play well today. I understand that, and I'll get better."
Brown's play as a passer was one of the few negatives for the Terps in Saturday's game.
Brown underthrew two deep balls to receiver Marcus Leak on plays that could have produced long touchdowns had Brown's passes been on the mark. Brown also threw an errant pass to Long across the middle and had some other off-target throws as well.
"The biggest thing for him is just to make good decisions in terms of the passing game," coach Randy Edsall said Sunday. "Sometimes guys have a bad day in terms of doing certain things. He did a lot of really good things, getting us in the right plays and everything else. Maybe he wasn't as accurate as we would have liked him to be, but he did a lot of really good things."
It also didn't help that there were two drops, including one by running back-turned-receiver Jacquille Veii on a perfectly thrown ball by Brown that would have produced around a 15-yard gain.
Two other incompletions, Edsall said, came on balls that Brown threw away because of pressure.
Still, Brown said several times that he has to be a lot better than he was Saturday.
Maryland has two of the top wide receivers in the Big Ten — Stefon Diggs and Long. Brown is the man responsible for getting them and others the ball.
The running is great, and Edsall called Brown a warrior for one run in particular.
The Terps were facing a fourth-and-goal from James Madison's 2-yard line during the second quarter. Two Dukes defenders met Brown in the backfield, but he broke free, reversed field and ran through a crowd to get into the end zone.
Brown also had the other two touchdowns, as well as a 22-yard run that he nearly broke for a score.
But Maryland is looking for more from Brown as a passer, and next week should be a good test.
The Terps play at South Florida, which narrowly beat Football Championship Subdivision team Western Carolina, 36-31, on Saturday.
In that game, Western Carolina quarterback Troy Mitchell was 46 of 66 for 374 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
"[Brown] holds himself to high standards as well as we do," Long said. "So he said had a rough time throwing the ball [Saturday] … but he'll continue to show people that he's gotten better as a passer."
NOTE: Maryland likely will be without promising redshirt freshman wide receiver Taivon Jacobs for an extended period of time. Jacobs suffered a meniscus injury while battling for a pass during the first quarter of the Terps' win Saturday. Jacobs will undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the full severity of the damage. However, he likely will miss a minimum of four weeks, according to a source.
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