Oct. 23, 2001
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
The 19th-ranked Florida State football team practiced 22 periods in shells Tuesday afternoon as they continue to work towards Saturday’s ACC showdown with No. 10 Maryland. This is the first time in the history of the series that the Terrapins have entered the game with a national ranking and excluding conference openers it will also mark the first occasion on which an undefeated ACC team has come to Doak Campbell Stadium since a 6-0 Georgia Tech squad came to Tallahassee in 1998. The Yellow Jackets ended up losing 34-7 to the Seminoles. That year was also the last time any conference opponent came within two games of challenging FSU for the ACC crown.
“I think you are going to see other teams challenging for the ACC Championship more and more,” said head coach Bobby Bowden. “We saw that happen with North Carolina in 1997 when a lot of people picked them to win the conference and we were able to beat them. Same thing happened with Clemson last year. We’re going to see more of that.
“This year that team is Maryland. They have most of their starters back and then they get a new head coach who brings in a new level of enthusiasm. They start to win and winning starts to raise their confidence level. They will come in here a very confident ball club.”
Florida State has never lost to Maryland, they have never lost to an ACC opponent in Tallahassee since joining the conference and the Seminoles have lost just three ACC games since starting to play football in the ACC in 1992. This year though, Florida State is 3-1 in the ACC while the Terps are a perfect 5-0. The Seminoles can’t afford to drop a game to Maryland if they want at least a share of their 10th straight title.
Florida State has posted a 9-2-1 record against top 10 teams at Doak since the 1990 season and the Seminoles also seem to be getting their high-powered offense going once again, which should help them continue that trend. Over the last two games against Miami and Virginia, FSU has rushed for 517 yards while averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Florida State is now 18th in the nation in scoring offense and in nine games against Maryland, the Seminoles have averaged 385 yards through the air and 197 on the ground.
“We’re going to see a little bit of a different defense this week,” said Bowden. “I think Miami and Virginia both gave us the short runs and dared us to execute well enough to beat them. This week, we’ll see a team that will put people up on the line to stop the run and make our quarterback throw.”
Saturday’s game will be regionally televised by ABC and is slated for a 3:38 p.m. kickoff. Brad Nessler and Bob Griese will call the game and live stat coverage will be provided on seminoles.com.
INJURY REPORT: Craphonso Thorpe (right hip contusion), Ray Piquion (intestinal virus), Eric Moore (left knee contusion). Eric Shelton, Greg Jones and OJ Jackson were all held out of practice Tuesday and Alonzo Jackson was limited to non-contact drills.