COLLEGE PARK — Maryland tailback Wes Brown could hardly have had a more eventful day. Coaches clearly increased the freshman's workload Saturday to try to take some of the pressure off Shawn Petty, who was making his first start at quarterback.
Brown, the team's leading rusher, carried nine times for 38 yards in the 33-13 loss to Georgia Tech, and he was the central figure in a new "Wild Crab" package Maryland developed last week in practice.
With the Terps lacking a true quarterback, pundits had wondered if the team might use a wildcat formation. The speculation had centered on receiver Stefon Diggs being the recipient of the direct snaps.
But it turned out to be Brown. On one play, he took the snap and pitched to Diggs, who ran for four yards. Other times, he kept the ball.
"I was ready to go in and run it. I like it," Brown said.
Brown left the game early with an ankle injury and will be further evaluated.
"I just planted wrong on my ankle and it bothered me a little bit and I didn't want to risk it," he said.
Diggs with a purpose
Maryland may have lost Saturday's game, but Diggs caught two touchdown passes, and the freshman receiver-returner continued to accumulate yards and records.
Diggs had 220 all-purpose yards, and his average of 174.9 all-purpose yards per game ranks first all-time among Atlantic Coast Conference freshmen.
His 1,774 all-purpose yards for the season has already passed the Maryland freshman record set by Torrey Smith in 2008.
Diggs also holds the school's freshman record for touchdown receptions (six) and receiving yards (721).
"I think I had an OK day," said Diggs, who made a leaping catch in the end zone on the game's final play. "It could have been better, but that's why we get back into the film room and practice."
Terps show their Pride
Maryland wore a new black version of its "Pride" uniforms Saturday, a variation of the multi-colored design that debuted in last season's opener against Miami and provoked a fashion debate.
Maryland also wore the Under Armour-designed "Pride" uniforms for last season's Notre Dame game. The Terps are 1-2 those games.
The most distinguishing feature is the helmet that features very different designs on each side and evokes the Maryland state flag.
Splitting the kicks
Like so much else about Maryland's season, the kicking game has not turned out at all how the team expected it.
The preseason began with senior Nick Ferrara as the expected place kicker — and possibly the punter as well. Ferrara was the only kicker on the roster with game experience.
But Ferrara endured a lingering hip injury and was sidelined for the season, leaving the field-goal kicking to be split between freshmen Brad Craddock and Brendan Magistro.
Coach Randy Edsall has designated Magistro as the "short" kicker from about 40 yards and in. Craddock was to kick the longer attempts and handle kickoffs.
Against Georgia Tech, Magistro kicked the lone extra point (the Terps' second touchdown came with time expired, so there was no point after). Maryland did not attempt a field goal in the game.