Reporting Pete Medhurst
LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Maryland had players transfer in droves at the end of last season and many people felt the Terps would suffer major consequences with just young pups left on the roster.
What’s different for this Maryland team is the skill level of one particular freshman. Stefon Diggs, the local product out of Good Counsel, could have gone just about anywhere, but chose to stay home. His talents are not often seen in College Park as local stars usually end up at Penn State, Florida State or the like. Even former high school teammate Jarvis Jenkins went to Florida.
Diggs, who leads the ACC with an average of 168.8 yards per game, set the tone for Maryland’s win in Charlottesville by returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Maryland ran for fewer yards than you can count on two hands.
The coaching job being done by Randy Edsall and his staff is almost miraculous. The defense is far exceeding expectations, even as they battle injuries.
Admittedly, I’m not the biggest Mike Locksley fan. His behavior at Illinois and New Mexico left a lot to be desired. Just do a quick search for “Mike Locksley, New Mexico” and read.
But his shady past is overshadowed by a gift to recruit and keep local products. His offense is atrocious right now, but that is because of the skill level of the players as much as anything. I will fairly give him a chance to get the offense going as everyone deserves a second chance since we all react differently under pressure.
I am happy for Edsall. The guy was not Mike Leach. Anyone who wasn’t Leach was going to be scolded by Maryland fans because, well… they weren’t Leach.
Edsall can coach — you’re seeing that now. This team doesn’t have as much talent as the Cavaliers on its roster, but they were better prepared, played solid defense, and won on special teams.
Next up: N.C. State 3:30 Saturday
Navy knocked off Central Michigan, 31-13. It was Navy’s second-straight win and evened their record at 3-3.
Freshmen quarterback Keenan Reynolds threw three touchdowns, the first Midshipmen quarterback to do so since 1997.
“I’m proud of my team. We played hard, and made some plays, the offensive line gave me time to throw and the defense kept getting us the ball back, it was a great team win,’’ Reynolds said.
This week Navy hosts a high scoring Indiana team who just lost 52-49 to Ohio State. It will be a big test for Navy’s defense which has also improved steadily as the season has gone on, giving up just 28 points in the past three games.
“Guys are getting to the football, playing hard and being in the spots they are supposed to be,” said Navy outside linebacker Keegan Wetzel, who scored a perfect 1600 on his SAT Score.
Next up: Indiana 3:30 Saturday.
In Blacksburg, Virginia Tech spotted 5-1 Duke a 20-0 lead, but rallied for a convincing win thanks to Bud Foster’s defense and the 183 yards rattled off by freshmen J.C. Coleman.
The Hokies had been struggling in the air game all year, but, Marcus Davis caught five balls for 144 yards and two scores.
Coleman, a freshman out of the great program at Oscar Smith in Chesapeake, Virginia, stepped up for an offense that needed a spark badly.
“Coach Beamer gave me the start this week, and I just wanted to make sure that, whenever they called my number, I wanted to make plays,” Coleman said. “Everyone fought hard. The offense fought hard, and the defense fought hard. The line gave me outstanding holes to run through, and it was great.”
Luther Maddy had two sacks for Tech and James Gayle had nine tackles and two tackles for loss for a defense which didn’t allow a point after the first quarter.
The Hokies improved to 4-3 and are at Clemson next week. Kickoff is set for Noon.