Oct. 28, 2006
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) – Sam Hollenbach threw three touchdown passes, and Maryland held off injury-depleted Florida State 27-24 Saturday night to keep the Seminoles in the Atlantic Coast Conference cellar.
Maryland led 27-14 in the third quarter, but was not assured the victory until Jeremy Navarre blocked a 46-yard field goal try by Gary Cismesia with 42 seconds left. It was only the second time in 17 tries that the Terrapins (6-2, 3-1) beat the Seminoles (4-4, 2-4).
Maryland won despite making only three first downs in the second half.
After the game, thousands of fans rushed the field to celebrate the win, which made the Terrapins eligible to receive a bowl bid.
Florida State sophomore quarterback Drew Weatherford was a late scratch with tendinitis in his right foot, ending a run of 20 successive starts. He was replaced by sophomore Xavier Lee, who came in with 55 career passes compared to 676 by Weatherford.
Making his first career start, Lee went 22-for-36 for 286 yards and two touchdowns.
Florida State has lost six of its last eight regular-season ACC games and is alone in last place in the league’s Atlantic Division.
The short-handed Seminoles closed to 27-24 with 8:49 left when Cismesia kicked a 24-yard field goal after Lee completed a 55-yard pass to Chris Davis.
Florida State then forced a punt and took over at its own 15 with 5:30 to go.
It was a daunting situation, but Lee showed plenty of poise by repeatedly finding the open receiver during the final drive. He also received some aid from the Terps, who jumped offside on a fourth-and-1 from the FSU 46.
The Seminoles got to the Maryland 16, but a sack and an incomplete pass preceded the ill-fated field goal try by Cismesia.
A brisk wind with gusts of up to 40 mph played havoc with the kicking game – only one of the five punts in the first half traveled more than 38 yards.
On the opening drive of the third quarter, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden decided against punting into the wind on a fourth-and-1 at midfield.
Fullback Joe Surratt was stuffed by Navarre, and a personal foul against the Seminoles gave Maryland a first down on the FSU 33. On third down, Hollenbach threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Darrius Heyward-Bey.
It turned out to be the Terrapins’ final score. Lee then directed an 80-yard drive into the wind, capping the march with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Davis.
Hollenbach finished 9-for-16 for 113 yards. He threw two touchdown passes in the first half to stake the Terrapins to a 20-14 lead.
Maryland took advantage of a turnover to go up 7-0 in the first quarter. After FSU receiver Greg Carr lost a fumble, Hollenbach capped a 48-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Dan Gronkowski.
After Antone Smith scored on a 9-yard run for FSU, Dan Ennis put Maryland back in front with a field goal. The Terrapins then forced a punt, and Danny Oquendo returned the kick 35 yards, setting up a 5-yard touchdown catch by Heyward-Bey for a 17-7 lead.
A 28-yard punt gave Maryland the ball at the Florida State 49, and the Terrapins converted the fine field position into another field goal.
The Seminoles then closed to 20-14 when Carr made a leaping catch in the end zone with 53 seconds left in the half.