"You see similarities when you watch the film,'' Maryland coach Randy Edsall said. "They're both kickoff returners and punt returners and they both play the slot position on offense. They might use Austin more from a running game standpoint than we do with Diggs. They are both great athletes and great competitors with the ability to change the game quickly and make big plays."
Diggs caught his first touchdown pass last week, snaring a tipped ball in the end zone. That, Edsall said, shows how advanced Diggs is from a mental aspect of the game.
"He still has a lot to work on in terms of fundamentals, technique and some other things in terms of route running and all that,'' Edsall said. "But I think the thing I didn't realize is how far along he is in terms of understanding and his knowledge of the game.
"If you take a look at the [touchdown catch], I mean how many guys are going to realize that it's one-on-one coverage, the ball is thrown not to me, but over to a guy next to me, and all I'm going to do is play to the whistle and run to the ball because the ball might be tipped, and then I catch it? There's a lot of guys that wouldn't have that instinct that have been playing for a long time.
"The athleticism, the dynamic plays, I kind of expected he could do those things. But I didn't expect the experience, the knowledge of some of the things he can see that he's doing. I think it's rare to have a guy do some of the things we've seen him do out there.''
That's probably something West Virginia hasn't seen this season. But as Holgorsen pointed out, his defense had better get used to it, starting today.
"Everybody else on our schedule is going to have a quick-twitch return guy that can make plays and is problematic because of talent and all the rest,'' Holgorsen said. "We faced a guy that was just like it in the bowl game last year [Clemson's Sammy Watkins]. They're called good players and there are more than just Tavon Austin and Stefon Diggs across the country, I can assure you that."
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.