West Virginia defense to get workout vs. Maryland
College Football Videos
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — When West Virginia plays its final nonconference game and its only regional rivalry game of the season Saturday against Maryland, the challenge will be tougher than it has been in recent years,
WVU has won the past seven meetings, but this time an old friend (and foe) — coach Randy Edsall, formerly of Connecticut — brings in a high-powered team. The Terps are driven by quarterback C.J. Brown of Seneca Valley throwing to the dangerous Stefon Diggs, whom West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen compares to Tavon Austin, and Deion Long, a one-time WVU recruit.
“Tavon (Austin) and Diggs are pretty similar,” Holgorsen said Tuesday. “They're both from Baltimore and receivers and returners. He's proven to have big-play potential. He's probably a little better at downfield play than Tavon.”
That is high praise, coming from the man who coached the electrifying Austin.
“The thing with Stefon is he can hurt you in so many different ways,” Edsall said. “We can throw him the ball, we can hand him the ball, we can fake like he's going to get the ball, and it takes the safety out of the middle of the field.”
Long has had an interesting career. He signed with the Mountaineers in 2009 but wound up Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy. In 2010, he enrolled at WVU, staying only three months because he was “feeling out of place socially.”
WVU allowed him to transfer but limited his choices, even making Maryland off limit. Long went to New Mexico, sat out 2010, and played in 2011 for Mike Locksley, now Maryland's offensive coordinator. After leading New Mexico with 46 catches, Long transferred again to Iowa Western Community College, where he became the first junior college player to catch 100 passes, gaining 1,625 yards and scoring 25 touchdowns.
Off he went to be reunited with Locksley at Maryland. The duo will present a challenge for WVU's revamped defense.
“We haven't seen the throwing threat that we're going to see this week,”Holgorsen said. “They've got big-play potential. Look at Diggs, who has 400 yards in three games and three touchdowns and Long, who's got almost 200 yards and a touchdown. This will be a different challenge for us. I'm excited to see how our guys react to it.”
Bob Hertzel is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mountaineers wary of Iowa State’s trickery
- LB Kwiatkoski sentimental about WVU traditions entering final home game
- WVU notebook: Holgorsen gives departing Iowa State coach Rhoads respect
- Penn State-West Virginia soccer rivalry renews at Elite Eight
- Williams shines in West Virginia win over Richmond
- West Virginia whips Kansas to become eligible for bowl
- West Virginia blasts Bethune-Cookman at Las Vegas Classic
- West Virginia football team finds late-season mean streak