Stefon Diggs had three offensive touches Saturday against West Virginia. On two of them, he found the end zone.
Yes, this blog will continue to refer to Maryland’s dynamic true freshman with all manner of magical references provided that Diggs keeps starring for the Terrapins. He didn’t miraculously spin his way out of punt coverage on Saturday, but he brought back the Superman dive on a 42-yard touchdown scamper in the first quarter, then dipped and weaved his way through Mountaineers coverage en route to a 56-yard touchdown reception midway through the fourth quarter in Maryland’s 31-21 loss.
“Diggs is an amazing player,” said quarterback Perry Hills, the front end of Diggs’s 113-yard afternoon. “I’m very privileged to have him on my team. Just makes big plays every time he touches the ball. It’s a great opportunity to play with him.”
And yet there’s the obvious question mark. Diggs only had three receptions. He returned seven kickoffs and punts and was solid again in that aspect. But when the ball came his way on plays from scrimmage, the Mountaineers had no answer for the Good Counsel product.
His first score came on a 15-yard out route in front of West Virginia’s bench. Diggs planted, tiptoed near the sideline and got solid blocks from Marcus Leak and Kevin Dorsey. Running side-by-side with Mountaineers cornerback Pat Miller, Diggs took flight from the four-yard line, football in his right hand.
Diggs actually missed the pylon. He landed three yards into the end zone.
“It’s the same we said last week and the week before,” Coach Randy Edsall said. “He’s a dynamic player. He’s a guy that makes things happen. He’s a game-changer. I guess we’ve got to find more ways to get him the ball more.”
The 56-yarder was reminiscent of grade-school sports, where a herd of defenders just aimlessly runs after the ball in a jumbled pack to no avail. Diggs caught Hills’s pass on a five-yard curl, cut inside and ran into a wall of three West Virginia defenders.
No matter. Diggs just cut outside, got a phenomenal bowling-ball block from center Sal Conaboy that took out one Mountaineer and slowed three more, had time to adjust his face mask before cutting across the field at the 20.
Diggs crossed the goal line in front of the “W” in “WEST VIRGINIA.” He started his run parallel to the “G” and went all the way to the “A” before winding up scoring by the near sideline.
“You see the confidence he has,” Edsall said. “But what’s more impressive is his demeanor on the sideline, how much enthusiasm and leadership he shows as a freshman. To watch him make those plays he made today, to leap into the end zone for the touchdown on the first one, I mean that kid is not a freshman. That kid plays well beyond his years. I’m just glad he’s on our team.
“What we need to do is continue to get guys to step up to his level. ”
Diggs more than lived up to the pregame comparisons drawn between him and West Virginia standout Tavon Austin. The two spoke at mid-field after the game, offering each other kudos for five combined touchdowns.
“We mostly just said it was a great game,” Diggs said. “He said I’m going to be pretty good one day.”
You don’t say, Tavon.