A smorgasbord of notes from Maryland’s 24-21 loss to Connecticut on Saturday at Byrd Stadium. Expect expanded thoughts on many of these items in further posts, but for now, your quick hits.
● Another game, another standout performance from Stefon Diggs, who had 221 all-purpose yards and somehow was in the right place in catching a 29-yard touchdown prayer from Perry Hills that Marcus Leak tipped.
“We’re punting the ball and getting great hang time, he should be fair-catching them and he’s not,” Connecticut Coach Paul Pasqualoni said.
Indeed, Diggs didn’t take a fair catch all Saturday. He probably should have, but his greatest run came when the coverage team came so close that the Huskies thought he actually had called for a fair catch. Instead, Diggs spun away and dashed upfield. Truly electric.
“They know I’m young and realize my potential, so they are pushing me at all times to be better,” Diggs said. “It’s coming along pretty well.”
● Wes Brown rebounded in a big way from his two-fumble outing against Temple that had the freshman running back steaming on the sidelines, worried that if he acted on impulse and slammed his helmet, he would have ended on on SportsCenter’s “Not Top 10.”
Brown kept his composure against the Owls, and finished with a team-high 14 carries for 74 yards and a 19-yard score, one quarter before Diggs, his Good Counsel teammate, notched his first collegiate touchdown, too.
“I think it shows a lot about Wes’s personality with all the adversity he faced last week at Temple,” Coach Randy Edsall said. “That’s what has me excited about him. He made some mistakes before, but he learned from them and got better all week.”
● On Maryland’s last drive, which could have either tied or won the game, Hills took a three-yard loss and the Terps didn’t call a timeout, effectively burning around 25 seconds off the clock.
“I never did think about taking a timeout there,” Edsall said, noting that the two-minute offense “has been one of the things that we haven’t been good at, even in practice.”
● Edsall’s voice began cracking during his postgame press conference when asked about his interactions with former players on Connecticut’s roster. “There will always be a sense of pride with what you do [at Connecticut],” said Edsall, who said he wished those players well and “tell them that if there is anything you can do for them after they graduate, for them to give you a call.”
A reporter then asked about just how emotional it was, which led Edsall to say the following:
“I have emotions. I don’t think you are human if you don’t have emotions. It was good to see some of the guys and to wish them well.”
● Pasqualoni told reporters after the game that the Huskies were suffering from a flu bug that made its away around the roster, which he said kept some players out of action.
● Perry Hills is a brick. He took six sacks, got rocked on a fumble in the third quarter and had no ice on his body after the game. After that fumble, Hills popped right up and walked to the sideline, picking up the telephone to speak with the booth about more adjustments. Hills finished 10 of 24 for 109 yards and one touchdown, and had 18 carries for 10 yards and another score.
“I know it hurts, but he’ll push through,” wide receiver Kevin Dorsey said.