Still Plenty Of Juice For Bowl Game


Nov 1, 2014; University Park, PA, USA; Maryland Terrapins wide receiver Stefon Diggs (1) returns a kick off against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the first quarter at Beaver Stadium. Maryland defeated Penn State 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday’s loss against Rutgers was extremely deflating. There’s no two ways around that simple fact.

However, there will still be plenty of juice surrounding Maryland’s upcoming bowl game, regardless of the opponent.

The biggest factor will be the return of Terrapins star wideout Stefon Diggs from the injured list. After serving his one-game suspension against Michigan State and missing the last two games due to a lacerated kidney, coach Randy Edsall announced on Sunday that his junior receiver would return to practice this week.

In the absence of Diggs, Maryland went 1-2 with their lone win coming in Ann Arbor against Michigan. Guys like Deon Long and Jacquille Veii saw increased targets, but didn’t quite have the production that Diggs brings to the table.

During the 2014 season, the former Good Counsel star caught 52 passes for 652 yards (12.6 yards-per-catch) and five touchdown receptions.

Diggs brings a whole new dynamic to the Maryland offense. The Terps can line him up pretty much anywhere on the field. Diggs can run the deep routes or just simply catch the ball out of the backfield. His speed and elusiveness allows him to be extremely dangerous in the open field.

While getting Diggs back in incredibly beneficial for the Terps, just why else will there potentially be a lot of hype surrounding Maryland’s bowl game?

Obviously, nobody really knows what bowl they will be selected for. However, according to several projections over the last few weeks, Maryland could draw a team from the star-studded SEC.

Over the course of the past two weeks, teams like Auburn, Georgia, and Ole Miss have come up quite often. A team like Auburn may be even more of a possibility after the Tigers fell to Alabama in the Iron Bowl on Saturday evening.

Following the final week’s games, several prognosticators have selected Maryland versus Georgia in the Outback Bowl.

Now having to face a stellar running attack that includes freshman tailback Nick Chubb, would be an extraordinary challenge, but one of extreme importance for the Terps.

Over the course of the last two years, Maryland has managed to win seven games in each season, but failed to beat any huge marquee opponents. Edsall’s group has beaten the likes of Iowa, Penn State, and Virginia Tech, but the latter two were shells of what they usually are. Lopsided losses against Michigan State, Ohio State, and Wisconsin in their inuagural Big Ten campaign definitely leave a sore taste in a team’s mouth and doesn’t prove much to recruits.

Now some kids don’t care about the wins and losses, and just want to be a part of a program that they feel is on the rise. On the other hand, if you want to continue to land the Damian Princes and Stefon Diggs of the world, a good showing in a significant bowl game against a talented SEC team would be a huge boost.

That’s why there’s juice still left in this season for the Terps.

If Maryland is able to hang with a Auburn or a Georgia or a South Carolina even, that’s a huge impact for a program in several facets. Now being a member of the Big Ten, it’s time for the Terps to bring their game up to another level, and a good showing in a marquee bowl game does just that.