It's not the score that mattered Saturday, It's this…
**Terps leading wide receivers Deon Long and Stefon Diggs suffer season-ending lower leg injuries in 34-10 loss to Wake Forest.
**Three other significant contributors injured on Saturday.
**C.J. Brown benched.
The Terps had high hopes as they headed into Saturday's game against Wake Forest. For starters, Maryland needed just one win to become bowl eligible, C.J. Brown's return to the field, and things finally seemed to be getting back on track after the Terps blowout down in Tallahassee.
After Saturday? Hope was just another four-letter word.
Maryland's 34-10 loss to Wake Forest was somewhat overshadowed by two serious injuries to the Terps' most dynamic playmakers; Deon Long and Stefon Diggs, who both suffered serious leg injuries on Saturday at BB&T Field. Long was carted off the field on a backboard going down with a leg injury in the second quarter. Diggs, who was slow to get up on the same play, left the game in the fourth quarter in a similar fashion.
After the game, Edsall confirmed the nightmare scenario.
""It's not good. Deon broke his tibia and fibula, both bones in the lower leg. He's got to go home tonight and probably have surgery later tonight when we gets home. Stefon fractured his fibula so there will probably be surgery sometime this week for him."
Long was attempting to block for running back Brandon Ross near the sideline in front of the Terps bench when his legs got tangled with several other surrounding players. In the replays, Long's lower leg hit the ground as several players landed on him. Fellow wide out Stefon Diggs was also out blocking for Ross and went down on the play, but quickly got back on his feet and returned to game.
Long was not so lucky.
Trainers quickly covered Long's leg with a towel to shield his injury. He was put on a backboard and carried off the field to a nearby ambulance just outside of the stadium and transported to a nearby hospital for x-rays.
Diggs' injury occurred early in fourth quarter, just as Maryland's offense was gaining momentum. On fourth-and-five, Quarterback Caleb Rowe hit Diggs on a 6-yard crossing route but he was brought down awkwardly on the tackle. Trainers covered his ankle immediately with a towel, while they worked on him, but left the field with the help of the medical staff rather than on a cart. Minutes later, a cart arrived to take Diggs to the locker room.
Both Diggs and Long suffered their respective injuries just a few feet in front of the Maryland sideline, and in plain sight of some of their teammates.
"It was hard for me because I was right there and I saw and heard everything," sophomore safety Sean Davis said. "It was hard hearing both of them scream but it is what we get ourselves into playing [football]."
Long ends his season as the Terps leading receiver with 46 catches for 489 yards and one touchdown. Diggs had eight catches for 67 yards on Saturday, and ends his sophomore campaign with 36 catches for 587 and three scores. Diggs and Long combined for an average of 161 yards per game this season.
The injuries weren't just limited to the wide outs. Sophomore running back Brandon Ross was taken back to the locker room at the end of the third quarter. His last carry came on the second play of the stanza on a rush up the middle for no gain. The sophomore returned to the sidelines in the fourth quarter where he could be seen standing with ice wrapped on right shoulder. No update was given on Ross after the game.
Maryland's defense, which was already without a handful of key contributors, lost two more on Saturday. Linebacker L.A. Goree had back spasms during pregame warm ups and did not play, and safety Anthony Nixon left the game with a toe injury. The two can now be added to the list of injured players on the defense, including: cornerback Jeremiah Johnson (foot); linebacker Matt Robinson (rotator cuff), Alex Twine (labrum) and both linebacker Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil and cornerback Dexter McDougle out for the year.
Maryland did get back quarterback C.J. Brown for Saturday's game against Wake Forest, but even he was unable to finish the game on the field. The Terps offensive line was no match for Wake Forest defensive lineman Nikita Whitlock, who finished with two sacks for 29 yards and three quarterback hurries. Brown completed 15 of 24 passes for 137 yards… when he wasn't running for his life. Wake Forest picked off the fifth-year junior twice, before head coach Randy Edsall made a call to the bullpen for sophomore Caleb Rowe. Rowe hit Amba Etta-Tawo on his first pass of the day for a 17-yard pick up, before hitting sophomore Levern Jacobs in the end zone for a 56-yard touchdown. Rowe completed 12 of 27 for 207 yards, but that doesn't mean Brown in out for good.
Edsall did not comment on starters, etc…but stay posted for continuing updates on this situation.
Sunday Review: Injuries and More
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