Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, September 24, 2014

Maryland takes the lid off Big Ten play this Saturday when it plays its first conference game. A big key to notching a win when the Terrapins travel to Indiana will be quarterback C.J. Brown.

The 6-3, 218-pound Brown isn?t a gunslinger, but he plays to his strengths as a game-manager who brings athletic skills to the field. A sixth-year senior who missed 2012 with a knee injury, Brown is motived to end his career with a bang. He has helped Maryland to a 3-1 start, completing 55.8 percent of his passes for 833 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions. Brown also leads the team in rushing with 244 yards and four scores.


Here's my Q&A with the Maryland quarterback:

Q: What are you most excited about with Big Ten play finally here?
A: New teams. Anytime you play someone new, it?s exciting. We get to go to a lot of neat places to play this year. A lot of great teams in hostile environments. Our stadium will be packed for big-time games (Ohio State; Iowa; Michigan State). We are looking forward to the environments and opportunities to go out there and win games.

Q: How big would it be to win the school?s first Big Ten game the first time out?
A: It would be huge. That would be ideal. That?s what we strive to do. That?s where we want to be. We want to start out 1-0 in the Big Ten, get that first conference victory. You can?t get any better than that.

Q: How would you assess the early part of the season?
A: So far, so good. We are 3-1 going into conference play. We?d like to have that one loss (a 40-37 loss vs. West Virginia) back. But we want to get the next one. Going into the Big Ten for our first league game, we are looking forward to it. Indiana is coming off a good win. They probably are feeling pretty good about themselves, as they should. We are excited to go into a new place and to start conference play.

Q: Could Maryland win the Big Ten East?
A: Absolutely. That?s our goal. It was our mind-set at the beginning of the year. We want to go out and achieve that. We set the bar high.

Q: Do you have the best set of receivers in the Big Ten with targets like Stefon Diggs, Deon Long and Marcus Leak?
A: Absolutely. I think our receiving corps is second-to-none. The guys that we have are very special and talented. And they work very hard.

Q: Is the offense clicking like you think it can?
A: We are on the right path and continue to get better each game. That?s all you can ask. I think we have improved each game, not just in yards, points and explosive plays, but also by cutting down on mental errors. And that?s huge.

Q: What do you still want to get better at?
A: The biggest thing for us is not hurting ourselves. Last week (a 34-20 win at Syracuse), we were able to start fast and put points on the board and put our defense in a good situation in terms of field position. That?s the biggest thing for us right now. When we get the ball, we have to do something with it, put points on the board and help our defense.

Q: Is the offense doing anything differently from a scheme standpoint as opposed to last year?
A: There isn?t as much that has really changed. We have had the system for three years. Guys understand it. And we are able to do it faster. We understand the tempo, and things like that. We have little tweaks game to game. But the system hasn?t really changed.

About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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