As midnight approached, C.J. Brown sat slumped in a chair inside Maryland's football complex after Maryland's 56-45 loss to Clemson on Saturday.
A reporter asked Brown how he felt.
"I'm tired," Maryland's new starting quarterback replied.
And why not?
Brown had just rushed for 162 yards. It was easily the most by a quarterback in school history, besting the 139 yards by Dennis O'Hara against Wake Forest in 1969.
Brown had rushed for 124 yards a week earlier in a loss to Georgia Tech. The only other Maryland quarterbacks to top 100 yards in the past decade were Jamarr Robinson in 2009 and Shaun Hill in 2001.
Brown replaced Danny O'Brien, who had started 15 games in a row dating to early last season. Brown's runs came on a variety of plays. Some were options, others were designed carries and at least one was a broken play.
Head coach Randy Edsall appeared to have no problems with Brown's running 22 times — six more than running back Davin Meggett's total.
"I thought he made pretty good decisions when he got back there and ran the ball," Edsall told reporters Sunday.
Brown said coaches had told him before the game: "Do what you do."
Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said Brown, a redshirt sophomore, "added a new dimension to their offense, and we didn't have much video evidence of some of the stuff we witnessed today."
Brown completed 17 of 35 passes for 177 yards. He had three touchdown passes but missed some throws and was intercepted once.
Brown was off on a second-quarter deep throw to Quintin McCree with the Terps ahead 21-10 that was almost intercepted. But he fell victim to a drop by a wide-open Ronnie Tyler on another deep route with the Terps ahead 28-17 in the second quarter. It may have been Brown's best pass of the day.
Meggett, who ran for 69 yards and one touchdown, said Brown's running seemed to keep Clemson guessing.
The Tigers entered the game ranked eighth in the nation. Clemson has surrendered an average of 23.1 points per game so far. Led by Brown, Maryland's offense put up 38 points, and the defense scored a touchdown on Cameron Chism's 46-yard interception return.
Meggett said of Brown's running: "It makes it difficult for them [and] a llittle easier for us."
Notes: Edsall said there were no early indications that Maryland would be getting back some of its injured defensive players. Linebackers Demetrius Hartsfield and Kenny Tate both missed the Clemson game with apparent leg injuries. Maryland has not disclosed details of the injuries. "Talking to our training and medical staff, today, boy, it doesn't look like it now," Edsall said. "I don't know if we'll get anybody back."
Maryland's rushing total of 291 yards was its highest since last season's Military Bowl. Tight end Matt Furstenburg had 104 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Clemson had 576 yards and hurt the Terps on special teams. The Tigers averaged 35.4 yard per kickoff return.
Maryland (2-4, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) at Florida State (3-3, 1-2 ACC), which beat Duke, 41-16.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun