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Posted at 1:24 AM ET, 11/21/2010

Florida State beats Maryland, 30-16

By Eric Prisbell

Here is my final game story that I just filed for the Web at 1:30 a.m.

By Eric Prisbell

Having scripted one of the nation’s more compelling redemptive stories, Coach Ralph Friedgen witnessed a week’s worth of buildup for Maryland’s most anticipated night of the season. And an impressive collection of rowdy fans flocked to Byrd Stadium hoping to catch a climatic scene in Maryland’s feel-good tale.

They saw a back-and-forth drama, only without the ending they wanted in a 30-16 loss to Florida State. On the game’s decisive play with 54 seconds remaining --- fourth and seven from the Florida State 19 --- Danny O’Brien, Maryland’s usually unflappable quarterback, felt pressure and couldn’t find a receiver, so he threw over the middle where he expected tight end Will Yeatman or receiver Adrian Cannon to be running crossing patterns. The pass sailed high and landed in the hands of safety Nick Moody, who returned it 96 yards for the game-sealing touchdown, deflating a raucous crowd one step at a time.

For the second time in three seasons, Maryland lost a high-stakes, late-November home game to Florida State. This year’s loss before a spirited crowd of 48,115 was closer than the 34-point defeat in 2008, but the consequence is the same: Maryland (7-4, 4-3 ACC) will not win the ACC’s Atlantic Division. Instead of playing in the Orange Bowl, as players long dreamed about, they will finish the season in a less glamorous bowl game, maybe in Nashville, Tenn., or Charlotte but more likely in Shreveport, La., or Washington, D.C.

The Terrapins will look to spoil North Carolina State’s division title hopes in Saturday’s regular season finale at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN2. If Maryland wins, Florida State (8-3, 6-2) wins the division. Whether Maryland is inspired to play after a game that was decided by a just a few plays remains to be seen.

That Maryland kept Saturday’s game competitive was an accomplishment in itself considering the state of an already depleted offensive line. The Terrapins lost center Bennett Fulper (hand) for part of the game, right guard Justin Lewis (knee) for most of the game, and replacement Max Garcia – a true freshman who was expected to redshirt --- late in the game with a lower extremity injury.

“The biggest thing that could not go wrong today went wrong,” Friedgen said at midnight. “And we had 400 (432) total yards with a makeshift offensive line. I’m pretty proud to be their coach.”

After living a charmed life for much of the season, the breaks went against the Terrapins. A late-game O’Brien pass intended for Cannon was ruled an interception by cornerback Greg Reid – and upheld by an official review – even though one replay angle clearly showed the ball hit the ground.

And a wobbly rugby style punt bounced off Cameron Chism’s back, giving the ball back to the Seminoles at the Maryland 17 with 6:11 left in the game. Florida State tacked on a 34-yard field goal to widen its lead to seven with under five minutes to play.

Maryland had one drive to tie or take the lead, and no one on its sideline doubted it would. James Franklin, Maryland’s offensive coordinator, asked players before the start of the drive: “What do you want to do when we score?” emphasizing the when and not the if they score. Players wanted to go for two to win the game. Friedgen, channeling his inner Les Miles, agreed.

“We already had talked about it: If we scored, we were going for two,” Friedgen said.

O’Brien, the cornerstone of the program, led Maryland on a 14-play, 57-yard drive to the Florida State 19. But after throwing two straight incompletions, O’Brien could not find an open receiver on fourth down. In all, O’Brien completed 24 of 45 passes for 269 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He was sacked twice.

“Toward the end of the game, they started to put more pressure on us and that really had an impact on our execution,” Franklin said. “The offensive line really fought hard, especially with some of the situations we were in.”

Florida State amassed 354 yards, but 114 came on two plays that Maryland’s defense will rue for some time. Running back Chris Thompson raced 70 yards for a first-quarter touchdown. And quarterback Christian Ponder completed a third-quarter pass over the middle to receiver Bert Reed, who weaved his way 44 yards for the go-ahead score and watched two defenders fall in his wake.

“That is going to happen,” Friedgen said. “They have tremendous athletes in space and I was worried about how we were going to hold up against that. We did a pretty good job for most of the game, but it just takes one play.”

Maryland safety Kenny Tate, who had one interception, said, “Just a couple plays it came down to that will make or break you.”

The first half saw an uncharacteristic fumble, just the third Maryland has lost all season. Attempting to pitch the ball to running back Davin Meggett, O’Brien was hit by end Brandon Jenkins and lost the ball. Linebacker Mister Alexander scooped it up.

“The tale tonight was turnovers,” Friedgen said. “We had not been doing that.”

Then came another ill-timed Maryland mistake, a personal foul called after Antwine Perez and Drew Gloster tackled Ponder on the sideline. That moved the ball to the Maryland 14, but the Terrapins stiffened and forced the Seminoles to settle for a 37-yard field goal.

A momentum-changing play came next. O’Brien threw a short pass that running back Da’Rel Scott had to reach for. Reid delivered a crushing hit, hitting Scott with part of his shoulder. Scott remained on the ground, the deflected ball was intercepted and returned for a touchdown and penalty flags littered the field. The personal foul enraged FSU Coach Jimbo Fisher and extended Maryland’s drive.

Doug Rhoads, the ACC’s coordinator of officials, was in the press box Saturday and said the call was correct because Scott was considered a defenseless player who was hit above his shoulders by any part of the defender’s body.

Despite offensive line issues, O’Brien capped the drive with a seven-yard touchdown pass to Yeatman, the first of his career, to tie the game at 10.

With a little more than a minute left in the first half, Florida State punter Shawn Powell successfully pulled off a fake punt, completing a shovel pass to cornerback Mike Harris, who sprinted down the left sideline, past A.J. Francis, for a 33-yard gain. Florida State tied the game with a 30-yard field goal before halftime.

It’s been a season defined by an improbable turnaround in College Park and a head coach who saved his job for the second consecutive season. But the Terrapins are not yet ready to finish off a quality team.

“This team is growing,” Friedgen said. “We’re getting better. We’re going to beat one of these teams one day. We are very close. I see it.”

By Eric Prisbell  | November 21, 2010; 1:24 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Next: Which bowl will land Maryland?

Comments

Same circus different clowns...o wait till next yr...o wait till 2012 o wait till 2013...

terps cannot beat teams with speed..just slow boys in a mans game...just like the announcers said...wojack is a throw back...slow and dumd

Posted by: carolina1 | November 21, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game and had a great time despite the loss. The atmosphere was electric.

Overall, I thought it was a very good effort by an overmatched Terps team. The defense was outstanding. Take away that 70 yard run, they did much better than I expected. Fl State has a lot of speed and an explosive offense. We held them in check. I'm starting to think that Brown is a very good coach, and maybe he should be the one with the hc in waiting contract.

Franklin is unfortunately another story. Some of the play calling was inexplicable. We have made big downfield plays all year long, and suddenly he is afraid to throw the ball more than 10 yards? How many screen passes can you throw in one game? Yes, we moved the ball with that strategy, but it got us 3 points in the 2nd half. you can't win that way. We had multiple 1-1 chances with our talented wideouts and did not take any shots. They won't all pan out, but Smith will catch or draw a penalty on about half the toss ups.

Despite those frustrations, I do believe this team is going to be very competitive next year and DO is going to get much better. If we can catch a break with OL injuries, we could be a force.

Side note: some of the worst officiating I can recall. Bad calls going against both sides. We did not lose because of them, but that was messy.

Posted by: srcog | November 21, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the bad calls!!!!How can we continue to pay these idiots 1600.00 oer game plus expenses...they should be fined for bad calls if they want to quit because of that so be it

the worsr replay call was the fumble..how did they miss that...the announcers went nuts and the fsu db just laughed..

pay for performance just like good businesses do

Posted by: carolina1 | November 21, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Darn right Don Brown should be the coach in waiting and not James Franklin. Don B is a winner. Some numbers that people don't realize (since they aren't at the FBS level).

- 25-6 and 2 NCAA Div. III playoff apps in three years as head coach at Plymouth (NH) State, a notoriously miserable football program.

- 27-20 with one A-10 title and a playoff appearance at Northeastern. Northeastern is a program that is so miserable, they dropped football last year.

- 48-25 in 6 years with 2 A-10 titles, multiple FCS playoff appearances and a National title appearance at UMass.

Total record, 100-51 as a head coach, made the post season at every school he has worked at.

Point is, he has won at every level and he will win in the FBS level if/when he gets a shot. The Terps need to keep him on staff for at least a few more years to solidify that defense. And then maybe have have him take over when Ralph retires.

Posted by: NewEnglandTerp | November 21, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Man, I know those jerseys were supposed to be a salute to the troops, but those may have been the worst-looking jerseys ever.

Posted by: TheManUpstairs | November 21, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Same ol'

Posted by: SirPelleas | November 21, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Terp fans, who suppost the HC are as naive as doormen. They have 7 wins (one vs. Navy and the other six vs. Morgan, FIU, Duke, BC, WF and UVA). What a disgrace. If you can't win 8 or 9 on that schedule, you are what you are, which is they suck.

Posted by: jwing14 | November 21, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I'm not one to blame the refs or officiating but we got hosed on the interception call in the fourth quarter after there was indisputable video evidence that the call should have been incomplete and fourth down. Punting to FSU and making them go the length of the field for that field goal instead of on a short field would have been a lot different and we could have had better field position for the final drive. I can't believe no one is talking about that when they were talking about the hit on Scott like it was such a controversial call. Does anyone agree with me?

By the way, I'm not saying we would have won but I think we would have had a better chance and could have had a shot at taking the lead instead of tying it up.

Posted by: DiehardTerp | November 21, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

BLACK OUTS SHOULD BE OFFICIALLY BANNED! By the way, since red is our primary color, why not do a "Red Alert"? Does anyone agree with me on this?

Posted by: DiehardTerp | November 21, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

DieheartTerp,,,I agree with ya!!Black out is a joke!!! AND PLEASE GET RID OF THAT SUPER JERK TERP WHO CARRIES A SIGN THAT SAYS "SHOW ME THE KEYS" that goes along with bb fans holding newspapers up!!!! red alert sounds great and in bb find some orginal theme...

Posted by: carolina1 | November 21, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Uhm, the newspaper thing goes back many of years ago so we won't be getting rid of that.

Posted by: DiehardTerp | November 21, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

The Terps lost a game that they should have won! And, then again, what's new?!

What is MOST disappointing is the offensive play calling and settling for 3 points (Field Goals) instead of finding way to score 7 (TDs, and the point after).

Our defense allows way too many yards, and big plays.

Our special team hasn't been on song either. With Torrey Smith hobbled with ankle and other injuries ... I am disappointed that we haven't found someone else to step up and take his place. Torrey needs to heal if we are going to be explosive in future games.

I love the way Kenny Tate plays. He is has great instincts, and I wouldn't be surprised if he played every Sunday in the NFL.

Our running game still needs a ton of work. Del Ray Scott has been a shadow of his fomerself. Megget and Adams are impressive ... and, we need to find packages that are effective for short yardage and move the chains for another set of fresh downs!

Let's hope we play with more passion, and intensity in next Saturday. Mistake free, and, hopefully a win!

Hope you all a GREAT Thanksgiving!

Cheers,
Mi6

Posted by: mi6-007 | November 21, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

The Terps lost a game that they should have won! And, then again, what's new?!

What is MOST disappointing is the offensive play calling and settling for 3 points (Field Goals) instead of finding way to score 7 (TDs, and the point after).

Our defense allows way too many yards, and big plays.

Our special team hasn't been on song either. With Torrey Smith hobbled with ankle and other injuries ... I am disappointed that we haven't found someone else to step up and take his place. Torrey needs to heal if we are going to be explosive in future games.

I love the way Kenny Tate plays. He is has great instincts, and I wouldn't be surprised if he played every Sunday in the NFL.

Our running game still needs a ton of work. Del Ray Scott has been a shadow of his fomerself. Megget and Adams are impressive ... and, we need to find packages that are effective for short yardage and move the chains for another set of fresh downs!

Let's hope we play with more passion, and intensity in next Saturday. Mistake free, and, hopefully a win!

Hope you all a GREAT Thanksgiving!

Cheers,
Mi6

Posted by: mi6-007 | November 21, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

eric,here is my receipe for the future.

offence:
o line stays heals
o line freshman/soph pickit up
running backs run with authority(ie adams)
wide receivers caught the ball(we have a future boomer e in obrien)
liitle more speed

Defence:

More speed at de position..more speed at linbackers...

give don brown the hero award for what he has done with what he has!!!! I would hate to play vs a don b defense with say bama talent!!

just my 2 cents..serious comments only

Posted by: carolina1 | November 22, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

carolina1, how can anyone be serious about your childish post? Spelling errors, typos and poorly constructed comments. Were you drunk or are you just stupid?

Posted by: petecard | November 22, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Carolina1

I like your ideas...maybe you should apply for HC...
you can just tell the backs to run with authority, the receivers to catch the ball and be speedier and the frosh and sophs to pick it up....sounds like a recipe for success to me

Posted by: TerpfanMA | November 22, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

This game really shows how far this team has come, not only from last year, but the 3-4 year lull Maryland has had recently. The Terps showed everything they had last night, and were a few bounces away from a Florida State team that is probably better than their record indicates--in fact I would be surprised if the Gators find themselves on the losing side next week for the first time in a while.

The Terps came with one of the most complete defensive performances of the season. They held a pretty high-octane offense with a pro-calibur QB in check for most of the game. There were 2 breakdowns, the long TD run the 1st quarter, which showed the talent of Thompson who broke through the line and never looked back with one of the fastest 70 yard runs I've ever seen, and the TD pass where the DB fell down and two other defensive players took poor angles to the receiver. That was it. They gave up some other plays here and there, but it was by far the most complete performance by a Maryland defense in years. In fact, the defense got a TD taken away from them by a bad call on the fumble that had to be reversed on replay---Chism had nothing but green in front of him when he broke out of the pack with the ball before the whistle blew.

The offense really did a fine job a against probably the best defense in the ACC. They amassed 435 yard and had one of the better rushing performances of the year against one of the best defensive fronts in the nation. Did Franklin throw too many wide receiver screens? Yeah, but this is the one loss this year where I don't think the play calling cost the game. There was a great mix of run and pass, and the playcalling did a great job of keeping the pass rush off DOB (only 2 sacks). DOB did a great job of managing the offense, and his play-fakes were amazing. The fumble was a strange play where it looked like it was an option, and DOB looked completely uncomfortable with the toss. The "real" interception was a QB trying to make something out of nothing, and unfortunately there was very little magic down the middle of the field against that defense. The other "interception" was a play that he tried to make on the run, and a throw he probably doesn't make in the future, he also wasn't helped by the receiver on the play.

The one bad coaching call came earler in the game when the Terps deceided to go for it on 4th and 18 around the FSU 40. I'm not sure what the staff was thinking on that, but you've got to give Baltz the chance to pin them deep (on the loud end of the stadium at that). I'd also say that DJ Adams didn't get enough touches in the red zone. They gave him two on the first red zone possession that ended in the TD, but he didn't see another carry after that.

Take away the 3 for the INT and fumbled punt and give the Terps 7 for the fumble recovery, and the Terps are kicking the winning field goal on that last drive instead of forcing the ball to score a TD leading to the pick-6.

Posted by: Russtinator | November 22, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Petecard, i was just going to ignore your comments however it warrants a comment..Look at the message not the spelling and grammer..have you ever heard of texting?? if you text and you are looking for spelling and grammer you are as frustated as your mother said you were..

get a life i sure hope you are not a terp grad..if you are are then you are probably one of the jerks who sings the song "you suck" which all the large boosters ( of which i am one) thinks is quite embarssing..

get a job which i am sure you do not have..I am retired fron Xerox at 55 so try to take your best shot..

Posted by: carolina1 | November 22, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Terpfanma..I guess the ma stands for for that northern state mass..Home of the bigot boston redsox losers boston celtis losers.

hc job nah do not want it however you probably oppose franklin because you are from that low life town

Posted by: carolina1 | November 22, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back to the board Carolina1. Glad you aren't as angry as you were last year.

Memo to Petecard, Carolina1 hates the Fridge even more than you do...so you two should play nice to each other and join forces.

Memo to Carolina1, some of us recall you referring to Da'Rel Scott as "Del-Ray Scott" last year...just like mi6-007 wrote on this thread. Gee, I wonder if that's you Carolina1...

That is all.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 22, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Barno, I realize that you are the guy in the section 25 or 26 (i do not keep year old emails) DID ANY OF YOU FOLKS RIDE THE BUS DOWN TO CHARLOTTESVILLE VA... If you did i meet you at the function friday night.( i was sitting with Eric Wilson)I am giving you more clues about who i am???

Yes i am a top terp who sits behind the bench for all the bb games down here. Petecard and materp just let me know if you made the trip...honestly i know you did not..donate 5500.00 a year or more and then youropinion will be heard by the terp club..

Ps..Debbie yow is now my neighbor here in cary nc...I play golf with Lee Fowler so it is a hoot to hear some great stories...

Another clue to my idenity ALL ACC Baseball player 73 and 74...

till the next humorous post...OMG I DID NOT SPELL CHECK...SORRY ENGLISH MAJOR PETECARD

Posted by: carolina1 | November 22, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Carolina1, tried as best I could to get memebers of my Terps crew to go to the UVA game...no takers tho.

I'm also right behind terps bench for fball/bball games, now I actually pretty curious if we've sat next to each other.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 22, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Sad to say, I missed this game for a road trip for Ravens vs Panthers..Biggest game at Byrd in the last two years, and no sell out... I'm sorry, but that is PATHETIC..Game we easily could have won.. The ACC has no dominate team, and we once again miss a great chance to steal a chance at a championship...Terps ticket office can offer all the cheap seats for this weeks game they want.. Looking at 35,000 this week if they're lucky...Tailgate starts at 9:30...

Posted by: frostanna | November 22, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Barno1.. Do you sit behind the bench for the road games vs duke and carolina? if so i will look for ya...If you sit behind the bech for the duke game then i am really impressed! why only "friends of Gary and building partners) get those seats...let me know if you are coming to the duke game and i will treat ya to a cool tavern hwere we meet before the game..

Posted by: carolina1 | November 22, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Carolina1 I don't typically sit there on road games. Last road game I attended was UVA earlier this year and sat in the middle of the UVA student section.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 26, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

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