Maryland rallies past Wake Forest 19-14
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Maryland freshman Stefon Diggs has the ability to make a big play every time he touches the ball.
Unfortunately, not all those plays benefit the Terrapins.
Diggs made up for a fumbled punt and a dropped pass by taking a short throw 63 yards to set up a fourth-quarter touchdown run by Justus Pickett, and Maryland opened the Atlantic Coast Conference portion of its schedule with a 19-14 win over Wake Forest on Saturday.
The Terrapins (3-2, 1-0) snapped a two-game skid and surpassed their victory total from 2011, when they went 2-10 in coach Randy Edsall's first season. Maryland also matched its win total in the ACC last season.
Wake Forest (3-3, 1-3) led 14-13 when the Terrapins gained possession at their own 41 in the fourth. After a first-down sack, freshman Perry Hills connected with Diggs on the right flat, and the fleet-footed wide receiver cut down the sideline behind several good blocks before being tackled at the 3. On third down, Pickett carried it in from the 1 with 5:37 left.
Diggs' play made up for two earlier misadventures, when he fumbled a punt to set up a Wake Forest touchdown and dropped a third-down pass.
"It's a slippery slope with Stefon," Edsall said. "He wants to make a big play all the time. It's not going to happen. Sometimes the ability to do that hurts himself more than he helps himself. Like his punt return. He's got to understand the most important thing is securing the football.
"It's great to have a young man like that who's got that tremendous confidence. He's a talent. He makes plays. It drives you crazy because he makes those mistakes, but you know he's going to find a way to make a play. And he did."
Diggs finished with five catches for 105 yards and also contributed a 17-yard punt return. His 63-yard jaunt, however, was the difference-maker.
"He made an electric play and you have to give credit to him," Wake Forest linebacker Riley Haynes said. "He made the play and we didn't."
Hills went 14 for 25 for 191 yards to help Maryland avenge a 31-10 defeat at Wake Forest last year. The Terrapins won despite committing three turnovers and being flagged for eight penalties.
"We've got a lot of things we still have to clean up," Edsall said. "(But) it's good to be 1-0 in the ACC. Now let's see if we can build on it."
Demon Deacons' quarterback Tanner Price was harassed most of the game by a Maryland defense that came in ranked eighth nationally in yardage allowed. Price went 13-of-38 passing for 170 yards and two scores.