What makes Stefon Diggs so good on special teams?
Final: Maryland 47, Old Dominion 10
Announced Attendance: 38,377
COLLEGE PARK-–Maryland had been preparing all week for an Old Dominion offense that was fast. It was fast, it was up-tempo, it was spread out, and it could put points on the board in a hurry.
That ODU offensive train, which was a force at the FCS level, at times looked too fast, turning the ball over three times and running off the tracks in a 47-10 Maryland win on Saturday evening at Byrd Stadium in College Park.
On the way there, wide receiver Stefon Diggs set a new career high with 179 receiving yards and the program scored at least 40 points for the second consecutive game. This is the first time in program history that back-to-back 40-point performances have started the season.
Game recap: The game didn’t start out on pace for a blowout. In fact, in the opening minutes it looked a lot like Maryland’s season-opening win over Florida International.
An interception by replacement corner Isaac Goins, starting Saturday for the injured Jeremiah Johnson, picked off Old Dominion QB Taylor Heinicke on his first pass attempt and put the Terps in a position to score in the opening minutes. They ultimately settled for a field goal and a 3-0 lead.
Old Dominion continued to drive with consistency as Maryland got used to the Monarchs’ fast-paced offensive style, even tying it at 3-3. But two more Heinicke interceptions kept flipping field position in favor of Maryland and with it went ODU’s offensive consistency.
But then came the points.
Maryland scored 44 unanswered points after the game was tied at 3-3 on their way to the blowout win.
Quarterback C.J. Brown followed up a strong Week 1 vs. FIU with another big outing, going 14-of-22 for 275 yards and two touchdowns in three quarters of work being substituted out. He also added 30 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Running back Brandon Ross emerged from the doldrums he experienced in Week 1 to be the centerpiece of the running game vs. ODU. He carried the ball 18 times for 149 yards and a touchdown.
Key moment: With 5:19 to play in the second quarter and Maryland leading, 24-3, the score would suggest the game was in hand. But with the ability to drive that Heinicke and the Monarchs had shown to that point, momentum was not yet on Maryland’s side.
That’s when wide receiver Stefon Diggs took a screen pass from quarterback C.J. Brown on the far side of the field, stutter-stepping past defenders and flipping into the end zone for a 41-yard score.
The extra point made it 31-3 and at that point the game was officially out of reach.
Diggs went on to have a career high 179 yards. An injury scare late in the third quarter forced Edsall’s hand and Diggs sat for the remainder of the game. More information on the scare will follow, though Diggs appeared to be in fine health and not receiving medical attention as of the end of the game.
Terps Offensive Player of the Game: Stefon Diggs (6 receptions, 179 yards, 1 TD)
Even more than in Maryland's opener against Florida International, Diggs showed why he is a game-changing player and all-conference talent.
Head coach Randy Edsall has said since training camp that Diggs believes he can score a touchdown whenever he is able to get the ball in his hands.
On Saturday, we saw the proof. Diggs' 41-yard touchdown came on a simple screen to the far side of the field from Brown, a play Diggs blew up into the play it was.
He is elusive, both on the sidelines and in the middle of the field, making him one of the toughest players on the field to defend.
Terps Defense Players of the Game: Will Likely (11 tackles, 1 Pass Def), Isaac Goins (5 tackles, 1 INT)
With Jeremiah Johnson sidelined, the responsibility fell to Likely and Goins to pick up the slack in the secondary opposite Dexter McDougle. And they did.
Goins intercepted ODU quarterback Taylor Heinicke on his first pass attempt, setting the tone for Maryland defense the rest of the night.
Likely was the player that the coaching staff had said so much about during training camp. He had 11 tackles, including nine solo tackles, and had a part in the team's safety that took place late in the fourth quarter.
CSNBaltimore.com will have more on Maryland's secondary in the coming days.
Next Up: Maryland takes on Connecticut Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m. for the team's first road game of the season.