Injuries force Terps to overhaul receiving corps

COLLEGE PARK — Maryland fans may well have had a question for coach Randy Edsall — what position is Ricardo Young playing?

With starting receivers Deon Long and Stefon Diggs out for the season, Young — normally a reserve quarterback — warmed up with the receivers before the Clemson game.

Young was not wearing the headset — Perry Hills was — that backup quarterbacks normally don during games. He stood with the receivers on the sideline.

Maryland coach Randy Edsall said Young practiced at receiver during the week.

With all of the injuries, Edsall said Maryland asked itself:  “How can we get people in positions to give us the best opportunity to win? We used Ricardo at receiver this week a lot just because we were short. If he had to go in, there were certain plays we could have run.”

Young had competed for the backup quarterback job during training camp.

Young's first appearance in Saturday's game, in the first quarter, came at quarterback in a variation of the wildcat, which Maryland likes to call the “wild crab.” Quarterback Caleb Rowe lined up as a receiver on the play.

Young lost 2 yards on a run. He entered again in the second quarter and handed it to Jacquille Veii for no gain. Later, Young for 2 yards. But he didn't go out for any passes.

Rowe — who started Saturday's game because of C.J. Brown's unspecified upper-body injury — had won the backup job over Young and Hills, a former Pennsylvania state champion high school wrestler. Young originally committed to Virginia Tech in 2010, where he redshirted as a freshman before transferring to New Mexico the next year. After sitting out the 2011 season under NCAA transfer rules, Young attended Iowa Western Community College.

Young is from Washington, where he was a dual-threat quarterback at Woodson.

Shuffling the deck

The injuries to Diggs and Long meant Maryland had a new receiving corps of freshman Amba Etta-Tawo, sophomore Levern Jacobs and sophomore Nigel King. It was Etta-Tawo's first career start and Jacobs' first start of the season.

Jacobs caught a touchdown pass for the second straight week, a 71-yarder from Rowe, and finished with eight catches for 158 yards.

“It’s unfortunate about what happened [the injuries] but I’m getting my chance now and I just have to keep proving myself,” Jacobs said.

But Maryland receivers dropped a number of Rowe's passes.

Receiver Daniel Adams, a transfer from New Mexico, also played for the first time in his Maryland career.

Big day for Watkins

Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins has feasted on the Terps.

Two seasons ago, the junior broke C.J.Spiller's school record for all-purpose yards in a game with 345, including an 89-yard kickoff return. Last season, Watkins had 60 receiving yards and a 39-yard kickoff return against Maryland.

On Saturday, he picked it up again. Watkins had 10 receptions for 127 yards in the first half.

He finished with 14 catches for 163 yards. He also fumbled in the third quarter.

“Our game plan was to run the ball to open up the passing game,” Watkins said.

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