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Wake Forest vs. Maryland: Terps rally for 19-14 win

Justus Pickett's one-yard touchdown run gives Maryland the lead for good in a nip-and-tuck ACC opener in College Park.

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Diggs' Big Play Leads Maryland To Victory

Maryland was able to beat Wake Forest despite some mental errors thanks to big plays from Stefon Diggs and the defense.


Big Plays Seal Maryland Victory

COLLEGE PARK, MD - - Mental lapses ran rampant for both teams as penalties and turnovers dominated Maryland's ACC opener against Wake Forest. But in the end, one great scamper by Stefon Diggs and a pair of sacks from senior leaders in the fourth quarter gave Maryland the victory. The Terps trailed for most of the game, but won their fifth straight conference opener Saturday, defeating the Wake Forest Demon Deacons 19-14.

On the first drive of the game, Wake Forest took advantage of a mistake by Maryland's secondary. On third-and-eight, Terence Davis used a double-move to fly by Isaac Goins, and when Eric Franklin failed to cover over the top, the receiver found himself twenty yards free of any Terrapin defender with the ball headed his way. He caught the pass from Tanner Price and sprinted to the end zone for the 73-yard score, giving Wake an early 7-0 lead.

Maryland responded with a 49-yard field goal from true freshman kicker Brad Craddock, and managed to get the ball back in good field position two drives later when Lovell Jackson muffed a Nate Renfro punt. Craddock managed to hit another field goal on that drive, a 52-yarder, and Maryland pulled it to 7-6.

After a 27-yard punt by Renfro gave Wake great field position to start out the second quarter, they marched to the goal line on the shoulders of Josh Harris. On fourth-and-goal on the one, they gave it to Harris again, but a Herculean effort from Dexter McDougle saw the cornerback jump over the line and stuff the play. Maryland would then give the ball away on their ensuing drive on an interception by Kevin Johnson.

Later in the quarter, Perry Hills finally woke up. On third-and-eleven, he completed a 23-yard pass to Stefon Diggs, and completed a 18-yard pass to Justus Pickett on a third-and-eight later in the drive. On the next play, he executed a perfect pump fake, faking out the cornerback and lofting the ball to a wide-open Kevin Dorsey. Dorsey trotted into the end zone easily, giving the Terps a 13-7 lead.

In the third quarter, the teams started out by trading fumbles, but it was the third that proved the most costly. Diggs muffed an Alex Kinal punt, Wake recovered, and turned it into a 22-yard touchdown pass to Tommy Bohannon.

Thanks to a Wake Forest pass interference penalty and key first-down runs from Pickett and Hills, the Terps put themselves in a position to take the lead again with about ten minutes left in the game. However, Craddock missed a 47-yard field goal, giving the Deacons the ball with the lead.

Just when the game started to look lost, Stefon Diggs came up big for Maryland. On second-and-18 after another Hills sack, Diggs caught a pass down the right sideline, outran a few Wake defenders, cut back beautifully inside and sped towards the end zone. He was brought down at the three after a 63-yard gain. Three plays later, Justus Pickett pounded it in for a one-yard touchdown. Craddock missed the extra point, but Maryland still led 19-14.

After giving up a first down on a Josh Harris run on Wake's following drive, Maryland's pass defense clamped down, forcing three straight incompletions. The Terps were forced into a three-and-out of their own, and the Deacons had seemingly one last chance.

The first play was an incomplete pass to Lovell Jackson, in which Maryland's defense swarmed and almost intercepted the ball. The second play was a four-yard run from Josh Harris, where Maryland also swarmed to the ball and showed little wiggle room. And finally, Kenneth Tate broke through the line and sacked Price for a loss of nine. The fourth - Demetrius Hartsfield, coming around the edge, sacking Price to seal the game.


Turnovers Trouble Terps, Trail After Third

With so many mental errors in this game so far, you had to figure one would lead to a game-changing score. Eleven penalties and five turnovers later, and Wake Forest has taken a 14-13 lead through three quarters after a Maryland fumble set up a Tommy Bohanon touchdown.

After receiving the kick to start out, Maryland continued to try and go with the zone-read, but Perry Hills was stripped by Joey Ehrmann. Duran Lowe recovered, giving the Deacons great field position to start out the second half. Three plays later, and it was Wake's turn to fumble - this time Josh Harris, with Kenneth Tate recovering for Maryland, and giving the Terps a fresh start on the quarter.

On third-and-ten, Hills looked for Stefon Diggs on the right side, but the true freshman dropped the pass. Hills was leveled on the play, and the Deacons were called for roughing the passer. The Terps were unable to capitalize, and the drive ended with Hills getting sacked for a ten-yard loss.

After stuffing the Wake Forest offense, the Terps gave the ball away again. Diggs muffed the punt, and the Deacons got possession deep in Maryland territory. This time, Wake was able to take advantage, as Tanner Price found fullback Tommy Bohanon in the end-zone for a seven-yard score. The Deacons led 14-13.

After a stunted Maryland drive led to Nate Renfro's third punt under 30 yards of the day, the Terps were able to stop Wake Forest's drive thanks to a great defensive effort by Jeremiah Johnson, who broke up a deep third-down pass intended for Lovell Jackson.

The Terps just eclipsed the 150 mark in total yards as the quarter ended, and are currently facing a third-and-six at their own 44. Wes Brown is the leading rusher for the Terps, with ten carries for 23 yards, while Diggs has four catches for 42 yards. Hills stands at 10/21 for 121 yards with a touchdown and an interception.


Maryland Leads Wake Forest 13-7 At Half

After Wake and Maryland each had drives stall, Nate Renfro punted the ball just 27 yards from the Terps' own 12, giving the Deacons great field position. The Terps gave up 13 and nine-yard rushes to Josh Harris, giving Wake the ball near the goal line, but the front seven stepped up. On fourth and goal at the Terrapins' one, Dexter McDougle came flying over the line to stuff Josh Harris, forcing a turnover on downs.

On the ensuing drive, Perry Hills tried to find Marcus Leak down the left flank on third-and-nine from the Terps' two, but instead found cornerback Kevin Johnson, who got the turnover for Wake.

After giving up a 21-yard gain to Terence Davis, Maryland's defense bunkered down again. Darin Drakeford sacked Tanner Price for a six-yard loss, and then two incompletions forced a Wake punt.

Just when it looked like the quarter was going to end without another score, Hills and the Maryland offense woke up. On third-and-eleven, he completed a 23-yard pass to Stefon Diggs, who leaped and made a great grab. Three plays later, on third-and-eight, he completed an 18-yard pass to Justus Pickett. On the next play, Hills fooled the Wake defense with a perfect pump-fake, lobbing the ball to a wide-open Kevin Dorsey for a 33-yard touchdown. Brad Craddock hit the extra point, and the Terps took a 13-7 lead.

Wake Forest's next drive was interrupted by a scary moment where starting left tackle Antonio Ford appeared to have broken his ankle. Ford was carted off the field, and the Deacons were forced to punt four plays later. On the punt, a facemask was called against Maryland, giving Wake another shot at the drive. Jimmy Newman got a chance to redeem himself after missing an earlier field goal, but was wide on a 44-yarder, keeping the score at 13-7 heading into the half.

Through two quarters, Hills is 7/14 for 100 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Surprisingly, the Terps haven't been able to get anything going against the Deacons' usually suspect run defense, with just 17 yards on 16 carries. And for your weekly Diggs Watch? Six touches, 67 yards.


Maryland Trails Wake Forest 7-6 After First

Maryland had an early mental lapse in their conference opener against Wake Forest, but have managed to get the game back under control thanks to the Australian boot of Brad Craddock.

Wake received the ball first, and struck early. After two Maryland stops forced a third-and-eight, the Terrapin secondary left Terence Davis wide open after a double-move that faked Isaac Goins out of his socks. Safety Eric Franklin wasn't there to cover for Goins, and Davis ran clear to the end zone, with not a Terrapin in sight. The Deacons took an early 7-0 lead on the 73-yard score.

On Maryland's first drive, they were able to move the ball on the ground fairly well, with a guest appearance from Stefon Diggs. Brandon Ross ran three times for eight yards while Albert Reid had two rushes for four yards. Perry Hills completed a 16-yard pass to a fully-extended Diggs in the air, and after no gain from Ross and two incompletions from Hills, true freshman kicker Brad Craddock managed to hit a 49-yard field goal through the wind to cut the Wake lead to 7-3.

After the two teams traded strong defensive drives, punt returner Lovell Jackson muffed one, giving Maryland possession at the Deacons' 35. Cole Farrand recovered the fumble. The Terps got a nice gain from Diggs on a run to start it out, and appeared to get a big gain on a pass from Kevin Dorsey, but were called for an ineligible man downfield. They were then called for a false start, and a scramble from Perry Hills ended up with the quarterback getting rocked and fumbling the ball. He recovered, and Craddock nailed a 52-yarder, making it 7-6.

Excluding the long touchdown play, Wake was held to 21 yards of offense. This was in large part due to the efforts of Dexter McDougle, who had a big pass break-up and a nice tackle on the edge, and the aforementioned Farrand, who made a big play on a second down sweep.


Maryland hosts Wake Forest in ACC tilt

The Maryland Terrapins will try to snap their two-game skid against Wake Forest in an ACC battle on Saturday afternoon.


Wake Forest suspends 6 players for Maryland game

Wake Forest has suspended six players in advance of their game at Maryland, according to a Tweet from Wake Forest blog Blogger So Dear. Running back Deandre Martin, wide receiver Airyn Willis, guard Frank Souza, cornerback Merrill Noel, safety Daniel Mack and Linebacker Mike Olson will not play due to what the school is calling a violation of team rules.

These suspensions are expected to make a significant difference in Saturday's game, as all but Willis and Martin are starters. Martin, a freshman, is second on the team in rushing with 279 yards on 57 carries, including five touchdowns, in five games. The Winston-Salem Journal had a statement from Deacons head coach Jim Grobe, who said "I'm disappointed that some of our kids made poor decisions. These are good kids who just need to learn from their mistakes.''

All six players will be eligible to be reinstated by the Oct. 20 game at Virginia, which comes following a week off for the Deacons.

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This story originally appeared on SBNation.com.


Will Diggs Run Wild On Deacons?

Maryland has won their conference opener every year since 2007, when they lost to Wake Forest on the road in overtime. Will they continue their streak of early conference success Saturday?


Maryland's secondary unit could be thin Saturday

The Maryland Terrapins' secondary could be a few members short for the team's ACC contest against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Saturday.

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