By DAVID GINSBURG COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Freshman Stefon Diggs took a short pass 63 yards to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Justus Pickett with 5:37 left, and Maryland opened the Atlantic Coast Conference portion of its schedule with a 19-14 win over Wake Forest on Saturday. The Terrapins (3-2, 1-0) snapped a two-game skid and surpassed their victory total from 2011, when they went 2-10 in coach Randy Edsall's first season. Maryland also matched its win total in the ACC of last season. Wake Forest (3-3, 1-3) led 14-13 when the Terrapins gained possession at their own 41 in the fourth. After a first-down sack, true freshman Perry Hills connected with Diggs on the right flat, and the fleet-footed wide receiver cut down the sideline behind several good blocks before being tackled at the 3. On third down, Pickett carried it in. Diggs' play made up for a fumbled punt that led to the Demon Deacons' second touchdown. He finished with five catches for 105 yards. Hills went 14 for 25 for 191 yards to help Maryland avenge a 31-10 defeat at Wake Forest last year. The Terrapins won despite committing three turnovers and being flagged for eight penalties. Demon Deacons quarterback Tanner Price was harassed most of the game by a Maryland defense that came in ranked eighth nationally in yardage allowed. Price went 13-of-38 passing for 170 yards and two scores. Terence Davis, subbing for injured star receiver Michael Campanaro, caught a 73-yard pass for Wake Forest on the third play of the game and finished with seven receptions for 130 yards. The Demon Deacons took a 14-13 lead with 7:06 left in the third quarter, moving 24 yards after Diggs fumbled a punt. On third down from the 7, Price threw a touchdown pass to Tommy Bohanon, the fullback's third score in two weeks. Maryland led 13-7 at halftime despite fumbling twice, throwing an interception, making only five first downs and being penalized six times for 45 yards. Diggs was the Terrapins leading rusher, gaining seven yards on one carry. Wake Forest had 196 yards in offense at the break, 116 of them on five catches by Davis. Following the opening kickoff, Davis took advantage of a miscommunication in the Maryland secondary to break free down the left sideline for a 73-yard score, the longest play by the Demon Deacons this season. Maryland then converted a fourth-and-1 from its own 49 in a drive that produced a 49-yard field goal by Brad Craddock. Minutes later, Lovell Jackson mishandled a Maryland punt after calling for a fair catch. Terrapin Cole Farrand recovered at the Wake Forest 35 to set up a 52-yard field goal. In the second quarter, a short punt gave Wake Forest the ball at the Maryland 38. Price fumbled a third-down snap at the 1, and on fourth down, Joshua Harris was stopped for no gain. Minutes later, Kevin Johnson picked off a Hills pass at the Maryland 40, but Jimmy Newman missed wide left on a 42-yard field goal try. He also missed from 44 late in the half. The Terrapins took the lead with 2:19 left in the second quarter. Hills directed a 75-yard march that included a 23-yard completion to Diggs and ended with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Dorsey.
It took awhile, but Leonard Fournette finally looked like the player we all knew he could be. On Saturday against Ole Miss, Fournette rushed for 284 yards and three touchdowns in just 16 carries. It's too bad it won't matter in terms of the Heisman race.
Heading into this season Fournette was a player to watch given how he started the 2015 season. He faded after a poor performance against Alabama, but his talent cannot be denied. Fournette's 2016 season has been a struggle, but on Saturday he finally broke through.
After Saturday's performance, Fournette is actually getting some love from experts in terms of the Heisman race (like here and here). With all due respect to Fournette, who is absolutely remarkable, this is completely ridiculous.
Fournette has been hampered by injuries this season and has missed three games as a result. That right there virtually knocks him out of the running. Add in the fact that LSU is only playing 11 games this season because the South Alabama game was canceled, that means his Heisman resume will be only eight games, nine at the most if LSU somehow reaches the SEC Championship game. Whatever Fournette does for the rest of the season, it's going to be hard for him to prove he is more deserving of the Heisman than any of the other contenders who have been great for 12+ games.
Plus, it's not as if Fournette has been unreal in every game he has played this year. Before the Ole Miss game, Fournette was averaging just under 130 rushing yards per game. That's not bad, but it's not all that Heisman worthy either.
So no, Fournette is not among the Heisman hopefuls this week despite his monster performance. Enjoy it LSU fans, it was a phenomenal game, but it was not enough to put him back in Heisman contention.
No longer among the ranks of the unbeatens, Ohio State’s playoff chances certainly took a hit Saturday with their loss to Penn State.
But let’s not start digging their grave just yet.
Michigan now sits atop the Big Ten East standings, but they still have to finish the season with the big game against the Buckeyes. And it’s at Ohio State.
The truth is, if the Buckeyes win out, they still will win the Big Ten East and will have a chance to play (likely) either Nebraska or Wisconsin for the conference championship.
Will the committee really leave a one-loss Big Ten champion out of the playoff? Perhaps, if either Baylor or West Virginia remain undefeated, but if the winner of the Big 12 has at least one loss, it’s hard to see how either team would get in over Ohio State.
Again, assuming they win out, the Buckeyes will have beaten Oklahoma in Norman, Wisconsin in Madison, Nebraska, Michigan and the Big Ten West winner. Neither Baylor or West Virginia can match that resume.
So let’s not declare Ohio State’s playoff hopes done just yet. Their biggest challenge is likely rival Michigan, and the Wolverines have to travel to Columbus. That’s a very tough place to play, especially if you’re wearing maize and blue.
Will the Buckeyes ultimately reach the playoff despite their loss to Penn State? Who else will join them? Found out here in this week’s updated College Football Playoff projections.