Seminole Shellacking; Florida St. Drills Terps Early in rout.(SPORTS)

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 15, 2002 | Go to article overview

Seminole Shellacking; Florida St. Drills Terps Early in rout.(SPORTS)


Byline: Jon Siegel, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Maryland linebacker E.J. Henderson spoke last week about how Florida State needed to come in and "spank" the Terrapins to live up to its trash-talking predictions. The Seminoles were not shy about letting anyone know they would reclaim their ACC supremacy after the Terps ended their nine-year run of league championships last season.

The bullies are back, and the Seminoles' war chant was clearly heard in the final minutes of what was left of a capacity crowd at Byrd Stadium. As Florida State celebrated, Maryland was licking its wounds after getting whipped 37-10 last night.

Fifth-ranked Florida State led 30-0 at halftime before 51,758, the sixth largest crowd in stadium history. Maryland turned the ball over four times, and Florida State quarterback Chris Rix took full advantage, finishing with 227 yards and two touchdowns.

"Turnovers said everything I can say," said Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen, whose club has six overall. "You turn the ball over as many times as we did and you couldn't beat the Sisters of the Poor. And we weren't playing the Sisters of the Poor."

The Terps (1-2, 0-1 ACC) were left shell-shocked after getting trounced for the second time in three weeks, starting with a 22-0 loss to Notre Dame in their opener. Meanwhile, Florida State (3-0, 2-0) is again the ACC's juggernaut and is eyeing the national title.

"They had something that we wanted," said receiver Anquan Boldin, who finished with five catches for 91 yards and a touchdown. "They won the ACC championship last year and we wanted to come out tonight and take that back."

The Terps also might have suffered a serious injury as starting right tackle Matt Crawford went down holding his right knee in the third quarter. The exact status was uncertain last night.

Rix completed seven of 12 passes for 183 yards in the first half, with touchdown passes to Boldin and Talman Gardner. Gardner had a scoring reception of 56 yards, and had four catches for 109 yards - his second consecutive big game against Maryland. The senior had three touchdowns in the Seminoles' 52-31 victory last season.

"We knew they were going to attack us," Terps safety Madieu Williams said. "We just didn't finish plays. Both guys [on touchdown passes] were in position to make plays. It was just who wanted it the most, and their guys got it."

Maryland's destruction began after tailback Mario Merrills' fumble led to Florida State's first touchdown. Teammate Downs' fumble late in the half gave the Seminoles a chance to make it 30-0 at halftime.

Maryland finally scored on a 44-yard field goal by Nick Novak in the third quarter to make it 30-3. The Terps touchdown came after Williams recovered a Seminoles' fumbled punt at Florida State's 18. Downs' 6-yard scoring run made it 30-10.

The Seminoles turned a 6-0 lead into a blowout in the second quarter by scoring three touchdowns off Maryland turnovers and kicking a field goal on a drive that started at their 1. Terps quarterback McBrien had two first-half interceptions.

Florida State pounced after the Merrills fumble. The freshman tailback was stripped by Travis Johnson, and teammate Kyler Hall recovered at Maryland's 46. On third-and-nine, Rix hit Gardner for a 26-yard gain. On the next play, Rix hung a ball deep in the end zone and Boldin showed his athleticism by making the catch and getting one foot in bounds for a 19-yard touchdown. …

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