Maryland: RBs, Diggs Headline Spring Game
By Eric Russell
Note: All stats and quotes from release provided by University of Maryland .
Maryland's spring game took place Friday night. The 13-13 tie between the White and Red squads did shine some light on where the Terrapins are headed going into the summer.
Not surprisingly, Stefon Diggs had a big game. The receiver hauled in eight passes for 159 yards, including a 51-yard touchdown. Diggs is the biggest weapon Maryland has in its arsenal and is becoming more comfortable in his role on the team according to head coach Randy Edsall.
"He is better this spring. He is more focused, not to say that he wasn’t before. He really wants to be better," Edsall said of the second year playmaker. "He doesn’t want to stay the same, he doesn’t want to regress. He really understands the effort that has to go into being a good player."
Diggs believe's that the offense will be much improved in the upcoming season.
"I feel as if we’re going to have an electrifying offense. We’ve got two great quarterbacks that can bring things to the table so we feel comfortable out here," he said.
One of those quarterbacks, Ricardo Young completed 12 of 21 passes for 185 yards with a touchdown and interception. Young is expected to be the backup to C.J. Brown this fall.
The depth at quarterback is welcomed after the Terrapins' tumultuous 2012 season. The injury-riddled offense didn't get an opportunity to fully utilize Diggs' skill set. The team played its fifth-string quarterback, linbacker Shawn Petty. Maryland will likely improve from being the second-to-last pass offense in the conference.
Now Maryland will have somebody who can get the ball downfield to Diggs and stretch the defense. The added passing game will open the running threat that was also on display in the spring game.
Running backs Brandon Ross and Albert Reid. Ross ran for 123 yards and a touchdown while Reid went for 128 yards. Ross is looking forward to the depth at running back.
"“It could be something special," Ross said. "We’ve just got to keep working and stay healthy."
The young running backs give Maryland a reason to be optimistic. Ross was hampered by a hamstring injury for part of last season and never really got going in his freshman campaign. He did show flashes of what he could do in the backfield in two 100-plus yard performances against Clemson and North Carolina. Reid was a highly touted back out of high school — listed as the 25th best running back in the class of 2012 — but he didn't get much playing time last season, carrying the ball a total of 36 times for 92 yards. Any production from the two this season will be a vast improvement to the Terrapins anemic run game from last year. The team had a combined total of 1,236 rushing yards for the season.
However, on the defensive side of the ball, the performance could be a bit alarming for the Terrapins, who ranked second among the ACC in rushing defense last season. Despite the ranking Maryland fans know at times the defense can be inconsistent. Case in point, the Terrapins constant letdowns in a loss to Georgia Tech last season. The Yellow Jackets ran the ball at will, compiling 370 yards on the ground. The spring game performance doesn't do much to ease the concerns of inconsistent play.