The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

September 18, 2013

HERTZEL COLUMN- Maryland’s dynamic WR Diggs reminds Holgorsen of Austin

FAIRMONT — When West Virginia plays its final nonconference game and its only regional rivalry game of the season at 3:30 p.m. Saturday against Maryland, the challenge will be tougher than it has been in recent years.

WVU has won the last seven meetings between the longtime rivals, but this time a friend — and foe — Randy Edsall from Connecticut brings in a talented, high-powered team driven by quarterback C.J. Brown throwing to the dangerous Stefon Diggs that WVU coach Dana Holgorsen compares to Tavon Austin and Deon Long, a one-time promising WVU recruit.

“Tavon (Austin) and Diggs are pretty similar,” Holgorsen said during his weekly Tuesday press conference. “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. Tavon didn’t have just the downfield potential. His thing was to get the ball and go score.”

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 following a big game a week ago against Connecticut. “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. He’s a decoy.

“... I just love being around him because he’s a competitor. He’s on the sidelines getting guys going, doing the things you want players like him to do. He’s special.”

So is Long, who has had an interesting career.

Long signed with the Mountaineers in 2009 but wound up at 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 limits.

So he wound up at New Mexico, sat out 2010, and played in 2011 for Mike Locksley, now Maryland’s offensive coordinator.

After leading New Mexico with 46 catches he is transferring again to Iowa Western Community College, where he became the first junior college player to catch 100 passes in history, gaining 1,625 yards and scoring 25 touchdowns.

Off he went to be reunited with Locksley at Maryland.

This will present a huge challenge for WVU’s revamped defense that this week will be without backup cornerback Brodrick Jenkins, who started last year but whom Holgorsen revealed was no longer with the team.

“We haven’t seen the throwing threat that we’re going to see this week,” Holgorsen admitted. “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.    

“Keith (Patterson) has done a great job. Coaches (Tony) Gibson and (Brian) Mitchell have done a great job. Technically, the scheme is the same as last year and they’ve been playing pretty well, but they haven’t been challenged like they’ll be challenged this week.”

Text Only
WVU Sports
  • LINDLEY COLUMN: Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    Cheating has been part of college athletics probably for as long as people have bothered to keep score.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: O’Toole joins long list of eccentric WVU kickers, punters

    The star of the Big 12’s annual football media day wasn’t a star at all.

    July 24, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Five major sports topics of interest to area fans

    Tom Hart, a widely known retired Morgantown High School administrator and coach, continues to excel as one of the nation’s top bowlers.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.
    The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 24, 2014

  • ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 23, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.

    July 23, 2014

  • WVU, Tennessee finalize 2018 meeting

    West Virginia University and Tennessee have finalized their season-opening, Sept. 1, 2018, meeting in Charlotte, N.C., at Bank of America Stadium.
    Both teams will receive $2.5 million for the game and have a chance to earn up to $3.2 million with ticket incentives.
    Each team will buy 12,500 tickets and set aside 2,000 of its allotment for students.
    The game, played on the home field of the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, is being put on by the Charlotte Sports Federation.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Fleming, Billy.jpg WVU’s Fleming signs contract with Yankees

     Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.
    “Ever since I was a little kid, it’s been my dream to play professional baseball,” Fleming said. “It is still surreal that I get to chase my dream, but I am ready to get after it. I loved my three years at WVU and want to thank all the coaches that made it possible for me to achieve my dream.”

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
WVU Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos