Here are observations made during Maryland’s 27-20 victory over Virginia:
*How many times have you seen a kickoff returner pause to consider whether to run the ball out of the end zone … and then bolt past the coverage? That’s what happened on Stefon Diggs’ 100-yard touchdown return. Sometimes, even a short hesitation can cause the coverage team to either pause or overrun the play.
“The ball was 5 yards deep, I believe and we had the feeling that (Diggs) was going to take a knee,” said Virginia kicker Ian Frye. “He kind of tricked us. We need to make sure that we don’t slow down and continue on to the end zone.”
*Maryland found a spot to play backup quarterback Devin Burns. He came in at the end of the first quarter and ran for 3 yards on his first play.
*Center Sal Conaboy limped off the field in the first quarter but returned and recovered quarterback Perry Hills’ fumble deep in Maryland’s territory in the second quarter. Then he left again. His status – as well as that of injured offensive lineman Bennett Fulper – is uncertain.
*Maryland linebacker Darin Drakeford argued vociferously that he was held several times in the second quarter. “I guess the ref didn’t see holding,” Drakeford said. But he ended up with a pair of sacks.
*Diggs spun completely around on a 60-yard catch-and-run. “Just one of those instinct plays,” he said. “He had my jersey from the back. So I tried to get away from him any way I could, and it happened the 360 worked a little bit and I got some great blocks downfield.”
*With Maryland leading 17-3 in the third quarter, quarterback Perry Hills threw high to tight end Matt Furstenburg, who bobbled the ball and let it fall to the ground with nothing but the end zone in front of him.
*Maryland’s 3-4 defense sometimes seemed to rattle Virginia quarterback Phillip Sims, who spent back-to-back timeouts in the third quarter to get adjusted.
*Maryland seemed puzzled that Virginia did not bring in backup quarterback Michael Rocco earlier. “I think he is the best passer that they have,” Maryland coach Randy Edsall said.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun