Maryland football: Diggs leaving for NFL, Craddock named best placekicker

The Maryland Terrapins football team finished the season on a down note, but, by its standards, still had a successful first season in the Big Ten conference.

Maryland (7-5, 4-4 Big Ten) fell to Stanford (8-5, 5-4 Pac-12) 45-21 in the Foster Farms Bowl on Dec. 30 at the new Levi’s Stadium in suburban Santa Clara, California, just about 11 miles from the Stanford campus. That came just over a month after the

Terrapins lost at home to Rut- gers 41-38 in the regular season fi- nale. Cardinal Kevin Hogan threw for 189 yards and two touchdowns, and added 50 yards rushing. Run- ning back Remound Wright added 49 yards and three touchdowns rushing as Stanford set a school record for most points in a bowl game. In their final games for the Terrapins, sixth-year senior quarterback C.J. Brown threw for 205 yards, ran for a touch- down, and was intercepted once, and wide receiver Stefon Diggs caught 10 passes for 138 yards.

Terps running back Wes Brown scored on a one-yard touchdown run to tie the game at seven early in the second quarter, but it was all Stanford after that. The Cardinal finished the first half by scoring touchdowns on three straight drives to take a 28-7 halftime lead. Stanford would score two more touchdowns to take a 42-7 lead early in the fourth quarter before cornerback Will Likely ran back a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.

Just four days after the Foster Farms Bowl, Diggs announced that he’d be entering the NFL Draft in May. Diggs had 62 catches for 792 yards and five touchdowns this season. His best game was against Iowa on Oct. 18, when he caught nine passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. He’s projected to be picked in the middle rounds of the draft.

Senior placekicker Brad Craddock was named the winner of the Lou Groza Award as the nation’s top kicker at the College Football Awards Show on Dec. 11. Craddock, an Australian whose nickname is “Automatic Craddock,” made 18 of 19 field goal attempts, and all 44 of his extra-point attempts during the 2014 season. One of the few highlights from Maryland’s Oct. 4 loss at home to Ohio State was when Craddock nailed a school-record 57-yard field goal.

He set a school record by making 24 straight field goals, and tied the Big Ten record for most consecutive field goals, which he now shares with former Ohio State and current Cincinnati Bengals kicker Mike Nugent. Craddock was also the winner of the Kicker of the Year Award for the Big Ten, and was selected to the Football Writers Association of America All-America First Team, as well as the Associated Press’ All-America Second Team.

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