Terps 'always' trying to create touches for Stefon Diggs, Deon Long

September 17, 2014|By Matt Zenitz | Baltimore Sun Media Group

When former Maryland star Shawne Merriman watched the Seattle Seahawks play the Green Bay Packers earlier this month, he saw a Seahawks offense that found different, creative ways to get the ball in the hands of their top playmaker -- wide receiver Percy Harvin.

The Seahawks lined Harvin up in the backfield, used Harvin as a traditional wide receiver and also put him in motion and handed him the ball on jet sweeps.

In all, Harvin touched the ball 11 times.

Merriman said he wants to see the Terps do more of those types of things to get the ball in the hands of wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long.

“You have two of the best wide receivers in all of college football,” Merriman said during a phone interview. “And unless the quarterback gets them the ball, it doesn’t matter.”

But Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley said he is constantly trying to figure out opportunities to get the ball in the hands of Diggs and Long.

The numbers aren't necessarily reflective of that. Diggs is averaging a modest 5.7 offensive touches through the Terps’ first three games. Long, meanwhile, has just 10 catches.

However, those numbers would be greater if not some off-target throws from quarterback C.J. Brown.

Brown misfired on two potential touchdowns to Diggs during Maryland’s win over South Florida in Week 2. Long has just the 10 catches, but he has been targeted 20 times.

“I don’t think there’s been a game that we don’t try to create ways to get guys that can make plays the ball,” Locksley said. “[But] offensive football, you can’t just line up and say throw the ball to one guy. Obviously, when you have guys like Stefon and Deon, they draw a lot of attention, which opens guys like Marcus Leak, which opens up backs.

“A lot of things go into play. But there hasn’t been a game yet where we haven’t tried to find creative ways to get those guys the ball."

mzenitz@tribune.com

twitter.com/mzenitz

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