Maryland’s Fan Appreciation Day scrimmage was marked by big defensive plays.
Did the fans appreciate the plays made by linebacker Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil, defensive end Quinton Jefferson and others?
It goes without saying that they would have enjoyed seeing first-string quarterback C.J. Brown and receiver-returner Stefon Diggs. The two were held out of the Byrd Stadium scrimmage so that coach Randy Edsall could observe reserve quarterbacks Caleb Rowe, Ricardo Young and Perry Hills. The coach said afterward that he has not yet decided which will be the No. 2 quarterback.
So the fans settled for big hits and interceptions. And dozens lined up afterward to get Diggs' autograph. Signing for the fans was the most work Diggs got all day.
“I thought the defense really got after it,” Edsall said. “Offensively, it is tough. I made the decision not to have C.J. (Brown) and Stefon (Diggs) out here. I know what they can do. I needed to evaluate other parts of the game. I know how they have been performing and how our offense has been operating from practice. “
Big defensive plays included:
*Jefferson tackling Rowe in the end zone for a safety.
*An interception by Will Likely, the 5-7 cornerback who also had a good day returning punts in Diggs’ absence.
*A handful of big hits by Cudjoe-Virgil. “He played well,” Edsall said. “ I like that effort. He has been showing that kind of effort ever since he has gotten here. He was a guy we always thought would be in the mix. We will look at the film, evaluate it, and see just how well he did.”
Big offensive plays (there weren’t a lot of them) included:
*A red zone touchdown catch by receiver Nigel King, who used his 6-3 frame to catch the ball on a fade pattern from Rowe for the day’s first touchdown. King will be a red zone threat, but told me he wants to diversify his game and be used also “in the middle of the field.”
*A long touchdown pass from Young to a wide-open Levern Jacobs. “My approach is … don’t try to be a hero,” Young said. “I feel like I was able to move the chains.”Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun