Shocker — the Terps' offense, headed by a reserve linebacker, was not as effective against a Georgia Tech defense.
Still, Shawn Petty showed some signs of life, as he connected with freshman standout Stefon Diggs twice, including as the clock ticked down in the fourth quarter.
After winning 4 of their first 6 contests, Maryland has lost three consecutive games in the ACC. For the first time this season, the Terps are below .500. Against the Yellow Jackets, they fell to 6-15 and losers of five of the last six games.
Maryland is tied for fifth in the country with 17 players making their college debuts this year. No. 17 came in the form of Petty, who made the start at quarterback.
Speaking of quarterbacks, Petty is the fourth quarterback to start for the Terps this season, and the third in as many games. The opening day starter, Perry Hills, was lost for the year on homecoming v. North Carolina State. Redshirt sophomore back-up Devin Burns followed suit shortly after. And after a loss to Boston College, true freshman Caleb Rowe's season was declared over. Including incumbent C.J. Brown, four of the Terps' signal-callers suffered torn ACLs, and Petty was forced to convert from linebacker.
Arguably the ACC's best freshman, Diggs caught his fifth and sixth touchdowns of the year. In doing so, he passed former Terps Darrius Heyward-Bey and Sean Sullivan for the most receiving scores by a freshman at Maryland. His receiving total was bumped up to 721, another freshman record.
In addition to his receiving skills, Diggs became the ACC's all-time leader in all-purpose yardage among freshmen. Entering Saturday's contest, Diggs was ranked second in the conference and ninth in the nation with 169 all-purpose yards per game. He burnt Georgia Tech for 220 yards (133 kickoff returns, 14 punt returns, 55 receiving, 18 rushing), and bumped his average to 175. With 1,774 on the year, Diggs passed Torrey Smith for the school's freshman record, but trails Smith and LaMont Jordan for the all-time mark.
Though the Terps' D has been a sticking point throughout the season, the 33 points allowed to Georgia Tech was a season-high. Despite the worst effort of the season to date, linebacker Cole Farrand had a career-high 10 tackles. Demetrius Hartsfield had nine first-half tackles. A.J. Francis blocked his third field goal of the year. Darius Kilgo had a career-high seven tackles. Quinton Jefferson forced and recovered a fumble for the first time in his career.
*Note: Help with the Hurricane Sandy relief effort. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to go towards the Red Cross Disaster Relief.Tags: A.J. Francis, C.J. Brown, Caleb Rowe, Demetrius Hartsfield, Devin Burns, LaMont Jordan, Maryland, Maryland Terrapins, NCAA, Perry Hills, Shawn Petty, Stefon Diggs, Terps, Torrey Smith