It’s been all hearts and flowers for Stefon Diggs in his sensational freshman year at Maryland.
But when he committed his first serious mistake as a Terrapin, Saturday against Wake Forest, it nearly cost the Terps the game.
His fumble on a punt return in the third quarter, gave Wake possession at the Maryland 24, setting up the Demon Deacons’ go-ahead touchdown. But Diggs atoned when he took a short pass and raced 63 yards to set up the winning touchdown midway through the fourth quarter in the Terps’ 19-14 victory.
“I had time. I peeked a little bit,” Diggs said. “It happened. I tried to move forward from it. I got down on myself a little bit because that’s how I play. I like the game. I love the game. I believe things like that shouldn’t happen, especially if it’s your fault. I said, ‘I gotta get it back, gotta get it back some way, somehow.’”
Diggs’ big play was a product of his extraordinary speed as he beat Wake to the edge and turned up the Maryland sideline, before cutting back and reaching the Demon Deacons 4.
These are the kind of plays Maryland (3-2, 1-0) is rapidly coming to expect from Diggs. Maryland coach Randy Edsall would like the true freshman however to demonstrate more prudence.
“It’s a slippery slope with Stefon,” Edsall said. “He wants to make a big play every time, and it’s not gonna happen. He has the ability to make the big plays. But sometimes he hurts himself more than he helps himself. He gets so excited to play, we gotta calm him down.”
Diggs (5 receptions, 105 yards) had an up and down game. He made a spectacular stretching catch for 16 yards on the Terps’ first possession, setting up a Brad Craddock field goal. On another occasion, however, he was wide open but dropped a pass from Hills that would have accounted for at least 20 yards.
“He drives you crazy,” Edsall said. “He makes those mistakes, but you know he’s gonna find a way to make the play, and he did.”
Diggs’ assessment of his first game that wasn’t at least 90 percent positive?
“Probably the worst game of my life,” he said. “But we’re gonna move to next week. We’ve got Virginia.”