The Maryland football team’s first Big Ten season was a successful one. Here’s a look at the top five individual performances from last season.
#5 Brandon Ross opens season with strong ground performance (8/30/2014) – It’s been no secret that coach Randy Edsall’s teams have struggled to run the football consistently. However, the Terps had a solid performance on the ground in last year’s season opener. Ross carried the ball 16 times for 86 yards (5.4 yards-per-carry) and a touchdown. Ross is a ball-carrier that uses his speed to get to the outside. He is capable of running the ball between the tackles, but makes a good amount of his living with his strong burst and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Against the Dukes, Ross had three carries for double-digit yards and totaled 86 yards in three quarters. Ross did not carry the football in the final stanza due to Maryland’s big lead. While it was against an FCS team, Ross still was very patient and was able to make the right cuts when he had to.
#4 Juwann Winfree puts up solid numbers against Michigan State (11/15/2014) – Along with Winfree’s 30-yard touchdown catch against Indiana, this was probably the coming-out party for the highly-touted freshman wideout. Winfree caught four passes for 80 yards in a 37-15 loss at the hands of the Spartans. While his 31-yard touchdown catch may have been when the game was out of reach, Winfree still showed remarkable hands on the play. On the season, the Englewood product hauled in 11 passes for 158 yards, which may not seem like a ton. However, when you’re playing in an offense that already has Diggs, Deon Long, and Marcus Leak, opportunities are a little scarce. Winfree could be poised for a breakout year in 2015 with all three of those wideouts no longer with the program.
Check out the 1:31 mark for Winfree’s touchdown catch against Michigan State
#3 C.J. Brown fills stat sheet against Rutgers (11/29/2014) – While it was arguably Maryland’s most crippling loss of the season, Brown turned in one hell of an overall performance against the Scarlet Knights. He’s obviously always known as a dual-threat signal caller, but he threw for 195 yards (14-of-24) and two touchdowns while carrying the ball 13 times for 107 yards (8.2 yards-per-carry) and a touchdown. His marquee day allowed the Terps to jump out to a big lead, which was ultimately blown, but it was still a strong performance from the sometimes erratic Brown.
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#2 Brad Craddock hits game-winner against Penn State (11/1/2014) – Craddock had a remarkable 2014 season and ultimately ended up winning the Lou Groza Award for the nation’s best kicker. The Austrailan phenomenon only missed field goal all season, but may have had his best performance against Penn State. Craddock connected on field goals from 25 and 43 yards respectively. The 43-yarder ended up being the game-winner and the junior kicker lofted it through the uprights with just 51 seconds remaining. Craddock has come a long way since being a freshman that didn’t have the best accuracy. Every Maryland fan remembers quarterback Caleb Rowe leading the Terps down the field against N.C. State and watching Craddock nail the game-winning tally off the goal post. Craddock hit all his 2014 attempts from 49 yards and under. He was cool under pressure in a game that Maryland wanted to have from a rivalry perspective.
#1 Stefon Diggs torches West Virginia again (9/13/2014) – Wideout Stefon Diggs had a history of having big games against West Virginia during his three-year career at Maryland. In 2012 as a freshman, Diggs only caught three passes, but totaled 113 receiving yards and two touchdowns. In 2014, the former Good Counsel star recorded five catches for 127 yards. Diggs’ biggest play was a 77-yard touchdown catch where quarterback C.J. Brown hit the junior in stride for the score. At the time of the catch, the Terrapins trailed 28-6 and were in danger of being blown out before halftime. The home-run threat of Diggs never put Maryland out of a game, so this was a prime example of how important he was to the offense. The Terps ended up coming back to tie the game at 37 after a punt-return touchdown by cornerback Will Likely, but ultimately fell 40-37 on a last second West Virginia field goal.
Flip to the 0:58 mark for Diggs’ 77-yard touchdown