Sept. 12, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
The No. 5 ranked Florida State football team completed its preparation for Saturday’s Atlantic Coast Conference game against Maryland with a spirited 15-session practice. The offense practiced in Doak Campbell Stadium while the defense practiced on the FSU practice fields. The Seminoles travel Friday to Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md. for the nationally televised game scheduled to begin at 7:45 p.m.
The afternoon began with both the offense and defense working on the practice fields on kick return and coverage. The squad then split up into offense and defense with the offense moving into the stadium. While in the stadium, the offense worked on their game plan for Maryland with simulated crowd noise played over the stadium loud speakers.
A sellout crowd is expected in Byrd Stadium for Saturday night’s contest.
“I think we have had a good preparation for them,” said head coach Bobby Bowden. “I think we are prepared. At least we have prepared as good as we can. I think they are physically ready to play and now it’s just a matter of being mentally sharp and not making those critical errors that get you beat. I’m anxious to play this ball game because it’s so much like it was last year when we went to North Carolina. I’m anxious to see if we have grown up any. We will learn something about our team. It’s very important that we improve.”
Bowden spoke highly of Ralph Friedgen’s Maryland team.
“Their defense is really playing good,” said Bowden. “It is going to be a tougher test on our offense this week than it has been. They’ve got two linebackers. One of them (E.J. Henderson) I’m sure is a first rounder and the other guy (Leon Joe) plays just like him.”
Last year against Maryland, Florida State broke open a 31-31 tie with three fourth quarter touchdown passes from Chris Rix to hand the Terps their only league loss (52-31) of the season. FSU leads the all-time series 12-0, which dates back to 1966. The Seminoles have won all 10 ACC meetings since joining the league in 1992. FSU has outscored Maryland by an average of 51.1 to 15.3 in those 10 ACC contests.