Stefon Diggs is a matchup nightmare due to his playmaking ability, although you would be forgiven for not taking that away from Maryland's matchup against FSU. As one of the elite wide receivers in the 2012 recruiting class, Diggs' decision to attend Maryland raised eyebrows because he had scholarship offers from elite football programs such as Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State.
If Diggs chose to attend Maryland in an attempt to stand out then he has achieved that goal, as opposing defenses are forced to account for him on a play-by-play basis.
So how did FSU fare against Diggs?
Well, it would have been hard for the Seminoles' defense to come out of this matchup looking any better. On the day, Diggs caught two passes for 24 yards and took a pitch for five yards on the ground.
After making his starting debut a couple of weeks ago against Bethune-Cookman, linebacker Terrance Smith showed an understanding in regards to how dangerous Diggs could have been, "He's their big time receiver and you know he has a lot of speed, and they like to get the ball to him a lot. So we focused on him and to eliminate that threat and try to make them more one dimensional."
FSU's dominance against the Terrapin's ground attack, Maryland averaged just 1.3 yards per carry, aided in the secondary's battle to keep Diggs under control. Due to their inability to run the football effectively, Randy Edsall's football team was forced into far too many third-and-long situations, which allowed the Seminoles to play conservatively against the pass.
In the first half, the Terrapins did their best to demonstrate just how versatile Diggs is as a football player. Not only was he targeted four times as a receiver, but he also took a pitch on an option play and threw a ball into the end zone that fell incomplete.
The Seminoles chose not to employ press-coverage on most occasions against Diggs in the first half, as they elected to give the talented wideout breathing room at the line of scrimmage. From the onset, it was clear that FSU was focused on not getting beat over the top and was successful in limiting big plays.
Even as the game started to get out of control, FSU's dominance at the line of scrimmage made it difficult for Maryland's quarterbacks to take shots down the field.
For the most part, Diggs lined up in the slot and was covered in a man scheme by senior and team-leader Lamarcus Joyner. The defensive veteran was content to line up six-to-eight yards off of Diggs and continued to drop back after the snap, playing trail technique. Joyner was excellent on the day in shadowing Diggs when in man coverage, and FSU always kept players around him when playing zone defense.
On the plays the Terps attempted to get Diggs the ball early, the throw tended to be short which resulted in a pair of incompletions. Even on the curl route Diggs was able to haul in, backup Maryland quarterback Caleb Rowe threw the ball short and forced Diggs to go to the ground in order to make the catch. The play symbolized what had to be an extremely frustrating day for the Terrapin's chief offensive weapon.
Due to the lopsided score, it's difficult to fairly assess Diggs' performance in the second half as the game was essentially decided prior to the midway point of the third quarter. That being said, FSU's defense deserves credit for shutting down one of the most dynamic weapons the unit will face all season.