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Syracuse Football: Scott Shafer Assesses Maryland QB C.J. Brown

Head coach Scott Shafer offered some thoughts on Maryland's starting quarterback during the ACC Coaches Teleconference

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer shared some thoughts with the media during the ACC Coaches Teleconference today. One of the bigger topics of conversation was Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown, and how the Orange are going to contain him -- which Shafer expanded upon quite a bit.

Talk about Maryland, what you saw in the film this week and how are you guys going to stop C.J. Brown?

Well, looking at Maryland and C.J. (Brown), obviously a team that can be extremely explosive, a great corps of wide receivers that can make plays in space, a quarterback that can beat you with both his feet and his arm. Also the biggest key right now is to go into the game plan understanding who their best players are and come up with a play to try to minimal eyes the big play. The things C.J. has done a great job of is bouncing back from a bad drive, then he'll come back and have a really good drive, and you can see his maturity as a player, and like I mentioned, he's got some very good players that he can deliver the ball to that can help the cause.

Dangerous team, explosive offensive team, and a tough defense that plays hard and gives you some difficult looks.

Having played a mobile quarterback in Robertson at Villanova, is there anything that you may have learned about your defense and how it handles a mobile quarterback and changes that are needed to make that you can now take into this game against C.J. Brown?

Yeah, I mean, we have some things, but first and foremost, I think it just starts with playing team defense and swarming to the ball like we did last week and doing a good job keeping the ball where it's supposed to be, keeping it inside and in front, and if they do run the ball with the quarterback, we've got to be an extremely physical attacking defense that's taking shots and playing aggressive but also playing smart, aggressive football.


So in summary, C.J. Brown is a pretty explosive part of the Terrapins' offense, knows how to bounce back from tough drives and has the weapons at his disposal to make plays. Our defense, predictably needs to do a better job than they did containing John Robertson. And if there's anything the Orange front-seven really needs to focus on heading into Saturday's matchup, it's getting pressure on Brown while still not allowing him to run rampant outside the pocket. Last week, Cooper Rush wasn't mobile, so that wasn't a concern. So it's going to take a bit of an adjustment and a focus on not over-pursuing to really keep Brown in check.

"But the Orange did that last year" -- Yes, but with several notable players for Maryland absent from the game. No, it doesn't mean the Terps are suddenly running over SU. Just means that what worked last year may not be directly applicable to stopping Brown again this year. If the Orange can do what they did last week, and force Maryland into a stream of quick throws and QB scrambles, then the defense should be able to hold them.


Are you concerned about C.J. Brown? Seems like the fan base is split from what I've seen -- but curious how people see the Orange defense keeping him in check.