Nov. 11, 1999
By BRENT KALLESTAD
Associated Press Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – There may not be a good time to play at Florida
State, but Maryland seems to be headed south at a particularly bad time.
Hit with a series of late-season injuries, the Terrapins could be in real
trouble Saturday when they try for their first win against the Seminoles.
For starters, Florida State hasn’t lost at home since 1991 and no Atlantic
Coast Conference team has won a league game in Tallahassee. In the matchups
since Florida State came to the ACC in 1992, its average victory margin over
Maryland has been 35.3 points.
“It’s very challenging for any football team,” concedes Maryland coach Ron
Vanderlinden, who is also forced to go with a new quarterback Saturday against
the ferocious Florida State defense.
Freshman quarterback Latrez Harrison has appeared in eight of Maryland’s
games, but tried just 13 passes. Starter Calvin McCall was knocked out with a
knee injury in last week’s loss to North Carolina State.
Florida State coach Bobby Bowden remembers Harrison from a summer camp a few
“As far as tools are concerned, I remember him as a young man with a lot of
talent,” Bowden said. “I’ve got guys with talent here too, but it takes two
or three years to learn to play quarterback.”
The top-ranked Seminoles (9-0, 7-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) have won all
nine of the previous meetings between the schools and are coming off an open
date about as healthy as they’ve been all year.
And Bowden thinks they’ve finally gotten over the distractions, including
the arrest of All-American receiver and onetime Heisman-hopeful Peter Warrick,
that kept his club off balance for most of October.
“I wish we could pick up where we left off before all the distractions hit
us,” Bowden said. “I’d be very happy. We had that good seven minutes against
North Carolina and that good first half against Duke and then we’ve just been
up and down. I’m anxious to see what happens these next two ball games.”
Florida State already has clinched its eighth straight ACC title and will be
trying to wrap up its sixth perfect league. But they first have to get by No. 4
Florida on Nov. 20.
Maryland (5-4, 2-4) has struggled recently, losing four of its last six
games. The Terps need to beat either Florida State or Virginia for their first
winning season since 1995.
And Vanderlinden is still unsettled in the secondary going up against
Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke, the league’s most productive passer who
is averaging 281.8 yards a game passing.
“We’re still in the process of finding the right combinations,”
Vanderlinden said. “And we haven’t had the pass rush up front that really
helps the secondary.”
Maryland tailback LaMont Jordan, who ranks second in the ACC in rushing with
an average of 128.6 yards a game, was held to 49 yards last year in the Florida
State game. Florida State’s defense leads the ACC in rushing defense, giving up
97.4 yards a game.