COLLEGE PARK -- It was an NFL-caliber pass and catch from Maryland senior quarterback Caleb Rowe to freshman tight end Avery Edwards early in the third quarter of Saturday's game against South Florida.
USF linebacker Nigel Harris ran stride-for-stride with Edwards into the end zone and Rowe somehow tucked a 12-yard dart between the defender's outstretched arms and his tight end pulled it in for first first career college touchdown and a 28-10 lead.
And then some spirit, some emotion, some power possessed Edwards and he paired that NFL-caliber catch with an NFL-caliber celebration. He spiked the football and the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty flags flew.
"I've never actually spiked the ball in a game," he recalled postgame with a tinge of remorse. Just a tinge. "So I guess I had been watching a little bit too much TV and [New England Patriots tight end Rob] Gronkowski.
"It was a good feeling until I ran over to Coach Edsall, then I think I kind of realized that it was probably not the best thing I could have done."
Edwards says Edsall had as much to say to him about the celebration as he did the catch when he got back to the sidelines. The technical term is "coaching a guy up," apparently.
"I mean, holy crap," the head coach told the media with playful surprise after his team's 35-17 win. "That was a shocker. The official said to me he almost didn't throw his flag because he hadn't seen that in so long."
In the fourth quarter, the freshman caught his second touchdown pass of the game -- a 22-yarder on a well-designed 3rd-and-15 play just outside the red zone. Edwards promptly found a referee and handed him the football without issue.
But if it turns out that a youthful on-field mistake like that spike is the trade-off for a player with a skillset like the one Edwards has, Edsall will take it.
He has the versatility to be split out wide while showing Saturday that he can make plays in traffic. His two touchdown catches Saturday were good for double the total number of catches by all Maryland tight ends combined during the entire 2014 season.
And it appears that he's just getting started.