COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — C.J. Brown celebrated his return from injury with a marvelous performance, throwing for three touchdowns and running for two scores to lead Maryland over Florida International 43-10 Saturday.
Brown missed all of last year after tearing his left ACL in preseason practice. The senior made up for lost time during a torrid first half, completing 15 of 16 passes and running for 99 yards to help the Terrapins (1-0) go up 40-10.
Brown finished 20 for 23 for 281 yards passing and ran for 105 yards on 11 carries before being removed in the third quarter. His touchdown runs were 29 and 11 yards, and he threw for scores of 25, 17 and 66 yards.
Playing its first game under coach Ron Turner, Florida International (0-1) gave up 399 yards before halftime and managed only 59 yards and three first downs over the opening 30 minutes.
Panthers quarterback Jake Medlock went 5 for 15 for 26 yards before Turner mercifully took him out of the game in the third quarter.
Coming off a 4-8 season that ended with six straight defeats, the Terrapins opened their third year under coach Randy Edsall with a dominating effort. The offense amassed 576 yards and the only scores against the defense came after turnovers.
Maryland moved 50 yards on its first possession before Brad Craddock made a short field goal. Sam Miller fumbled the subsequent kickoff, setting up another field goal for a 6-0 lead.
Florida International's first score in the Turner Era came when Sergio Sroka kicked a 32-yard field goal after Maryland's William Likely mishandled a punt.
Brown answered with a 29-yard touchdown run around left end, the final play of an 86-yard drive in which Diggs ran for 26 yards with a pitch from Brown off the option.
On the first snap of the second quarter, Brown put a nice touch on a 25-yard toss to Long in the right side of the end zone, making it 20-3.
Later, Brown fumbled in the pocket and FIU recovered on the Maryland 25. That led a 1-yard run on fourth down by fullback Lamarq Caldwell.
Brown quickly made amends. He ran for 64 yards around left end before lofting a 17-yard touchdown pass to Kenneth Goins to put Maryland up 26-10.
After a three-and-out by the Panthers, Diggs slipped far behind the FIU secondary. He caught a pass, stumbled and narrowly kept his knee from touching the turf before cruising into the end zone for a 66-yard score.
Brown completed the first-half barrage with an 11-yard run after FIU received a personal foul penalty on a fourth-and-8 play.