The positives shown by this Maryland squad are plenty. Stefon Diggs has lived up to every bit of his five-star hype. The true freshman from Good Counsel has returned 15 punts for 177 yards, seven kickoffs for 186 yards, and caught 12 passes for 259 yards and three touchdowns. I'd expect him to become an even more integral part of the Terps' offense in ACC play. Other bright spots offensively include the potential in running back Wes Brown (23 carries for 127 yards and one touchdown), the emergence of wide receiver Marcus Leak (14 catches for 231 yards and two touchdowns), the reliability of tight end Matt Furstenburg (seven catches for 98 yards and one touchdown) and the toughness of quarterback Perry Hills. For a true freshman, the Pittsburgh native has done a solid job.
Whether or not the Terps reach their bowl-game goals depends largely on the development of the offensive line. Hills, one of the most-sacked QBs in the country, could use more time to get the ball to his many playmakers. I'll be interested to see how much more time true freshman Mike Madaras and redshirt freshman Andrew Zeller see over the rest of this season. For Maryland's long-term prospects, it certainly wouldn't hurt getting those young linemen more action.
Defensively, Maryland has benefitted from the play of defensive linemen Joe Vellano and A.J. Francis, and linebackers Demetrius Hartsfield and Darin Drakeford, in particular. Add Kenneth (nee Kenny) Tate back into the mix, and the Terps have lots of veteran talent in the front seven. There's a lot more cause for concern in the secondary, although the Terps are actually a respectable 22nd in the country in pass defense (177.75 yards per game). With so much youth at corner and safety, it's probably fair to expect more up-and-down play from this group.
There's a mix of winnable games (vs. Wake Forest, at Boston College) and probable losses (at Clemson, vs. Florida State) left on this schedule. How Maryland does in the toss-up games (at Virginia, vs. North Carolina State, etc.) will determine its postseason plans. But all things considered (true freshman QB, coming off a 2-10 year, lots of injuries and inexperience defensively), the first portion of the Terps' season -- save for a missed opportunity vs. UConn -- has gone about as well as could be expected.