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WVU coach: Maryland WR Stefon Diggs a Tavon Austin 'clone'

Nick Wass / Associated Press
Maryland WR Stefon Diggs had three catches for 113 yards and two TDs vs. West Virginia last year.

Dana Holgorsen knows wide receivers, having worked with Wes Welker, Danny Amendola and Michael Crabtree at Texas Tech, Justin Blackmon at Oklahoma State and Tavon Austin at West Virginia. With that background, the Mountaineers head coach is well aware of how dangerous Maryland sophomore Stefon Diggs can be, calling him an Austin "clone" ahead of Saturday's game against the Terrapins.

"They're both from Baltimore," Holgorsen told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette. "[Diggs] has proven to have big-play potential. He's probably a little better at downfield play than Tavon."

Diggs sliced through the WVU secondary for 113 receiving yards and two touchdowns on only three catches last season, a hint of the defensive meltdown that was to come.

"He was probably one of the most talented receivers I went against last year, makes a lot of plays in different ways for that team," WVU safety Kris Joseph told NFL Draft 365 in July at Big 12 media days. "He's a real player."

Joseph expected dramatic improvement on defense, saying that "there's not going to be as many deep balls [allowed] as there was last year." Through three games that prediction looks to be on track. West Virginia has allowed a total of just 410 passing yards and two touchdowns, while intercepting three passes.

But William & Mary wide receiver Tre McBride had three receptions for 108 yards against WVU in the season opener. The 6-0, 195-pound Diggs is on another level, ranking sixth in the FBS with 387 receiving yards and averaging 24.2 yards per catch.

"We haven't seen the throwing threat that we're going to see this week," Holgorsen said. "They've got big-play potential. This will be a different challenge for us. I'm excited to see how our guys react to it."

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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