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Randy Edsall says he's sticking with C.J. Brown at quarterback

Randy Edsall congratulates C.J. Brown after a Maryland touchdown in the first half of Saturday's loss to Ohio State.
Randy Edsall congratulates C.J. Brown after a Maryland touchdown in the first half of Saturday's loss to Ohio State. (Mitch Stringer, USA Today Sports)

COLLEGE PARK — Maryland coach Randy Edsall is sticking with C.J. Brown as his starting quarterback.

Edsall pulled Brown in favor of backup Caleb Rowe during the Terps' 52-24 loss to Ohio State on Saturday. However, Edsall said that was simply because Maryland was facing a 21-point halftime deficit, and Edsall felt the team was going to need to throw the ball more in the second half to be able to come back and win.

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"That's why I ended up making the decision I made to go with Caleb," Edsall said. "C.J. is our quarterback. But I felt that we just needed to do that, and that's why I made the decision I made."

Edsall could have another decision to make if Brown continues to struggle as a passer, though.

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Brown was just 11 of 18 for 71 yards during the first half Saturday and threw a momentum-shifting interception near the end of the half, which allowed Ohio State to take a 31-10 lead after the Terps had trimmed their deficit to 14 points.

"We were in a two-minute situation, and we've worked on those things, and the young man made a poor decision, [but] things like that happen in football," Edsall said. "You don't like to see things like that happen, but it did."

For the year, Brown is completing just 58 percent of his passes and has just seven touchdown passes and four interceptions.

Rowe had some issues, too, Saturday.

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He threw an interception in the end zone to end the second series he was in for. He also had two other interceptions later on, although both came as a result of the ball deflecting off the hands of a Maryland receiver.

But Rowe provided a spark. He led the Terps 67 yards in eight plays to Ohio State's 27-yard line before throwing the first interception and guided Maryland to a touchdown on the Terps' next possession.

Rowe finished 13 of 22 for 173 yards. He was 21 of 32 for 316 yards with four touchdowns and only one interception in spot duty through the Terps' first five games.

"As we say about our two quarterbacks, they can both win for us, and we will evaluate the situation," Edsall said. "[Rowe] did some things that were good [Saturday] and that were not so good."

Limited returns

Throughout the week, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer stressed to his team the importance of containing Maryland kick returner Stefon Diggs and punt returner Will Likely.

Meyer was happy with the performance of both his kick and punt coverage units Saturday.

Diggs entered averaging a Big Ten-best 29.4 yards per kick return. He averaged just 12.7 yards on three kick returns Saturday.

Likely entered averaging a Big Ten-best 22 yards per punt return. But Likely never got an opportunity to return a punt against Ohio State.

The Buckeyes punted just twice. One was downed at Maryland's 7-yard line. Likely called for a fair catch on the other.

"A phase I was most pleased with was the return yards were minimal," Meyer said. "That kickoff team, those are my guys. … I was very impressed with our coverage units."

End zone

Maryland kicker Brad Craddock connected on a 57-yard field goal Saturday, the longest in school history and the second-longest field goal a Football Bowl Subdivision kicker has converted this season. ... Sophomore running back Wes Brown scored his first touchdown since his freshman season in 2012. Brown was suspended last year. ... Terps safety Sean Davis had a tough day in coverage. Davis allowed a 9-yard touchdown pass during the first quarter, he was to blame on a 1-yard scoring pass in the second quarter, and he also got beat on a 30-yard touchdown pass that extended Ohio State's lead to 38-10 early in the third.

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