Florida State leaves Maryland gasping, 69-21 Record-setting rout for Ward, Seminoles

November 08, 1992|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Staff Writer

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Next up, Clemson.

What about yesterday's game? Forget it. It was a game in which all the players from both Florida State and Maryland earned varsity letters. Florida State even played a guy named Dante Snodgrass, though he wasn't on the roster.

It was that kind of day for No. 6 Florida State. A record-setting day. The Seminoles had 858 yards of total offense, a school and Atlantic Coast Conference record. The Seminoles gained 9 yards per rush and had 40 first downs, both ACC records. Florida State scored on its first nine possessions as punter John Wimberly took the day off, and quarterback Charlie Ward passed for a career-high 395 yards, including touchdown passes of 19, 35, 21 and 6 yards.

And he left the game with 8:22 left in the third quarter.

Get the picture?

It was ugly, as in Florida State 69, Maryland 21, at Doak-Campbell Stadium. It was the most points scored against Maryland since 1913, when Navy beat the Terps, 76-0, and the largest margin of defeat for Maryland since losing, 48-0, to Penn State in 1969.

Next up, Clemson, Saturday in the season finale at Byrd Stadium.

"Basically, you burn the game film of this and start thinking about next week," said Dan Prunzik, Maryland's senior slot receiver. "There's nothing you can say about it. They had almost 1,000 yards. Hopefully, we learn from our mistakes and play Clemson tough."

Maryland senior linebacker Mike Jarmolowich said: "This was worse than expected. I thought coming in that we'd be in this game, but it was over after the first quarter. All you can do is forget about it."

Some Terps will; some of them won't.

Quite a few Maryland players thought Florida State (8-1 overall, 8-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) ran up the score.

The Seminoles had a 28-7 lead with 9:03 left in the second quarter and a 42-7 lead at the half.

But Ward started the first two series of the second half, not getting replaced until he directed the Seminoles to the Maryland 28 three plays into the second series.

"Yeah, they were still airing it out and running reverses on us, even with the big lead," said Jarmolowich. "It was their homecoming. It was showtime."

LTC Steve Ingram, Maryland's sophomore offensive tackle, said: "What goes around, comes around. I won't forget this. I've got two more shots at these guys."

The Terps (2-8, 1-6) came into the game hoping the Seminoles would overlook them after Florida State had clinched the ACC title by beating Georgia Tech and Virginia in consecutive weeks.

But Florida State coach Bobby Bowden wasn't about to let that happen. He opened the game with a no-huddle, shotgun offense. He peppered Maryland's secondary with passes into the flats and 15-yard outs.

And when Ward wasn't throwing, he was killing the Terps with his scrambling. Ward ran three times in the opening series, for 13, 20 and 8 yards, the last rush for a touchdown that gave the Seminoles a 7-0 lead with 8:37 left in the first period.

Maryland answered on John Kaleo's 23-yard scoring pass to Richie Harris to tie it -- briefly. On the Seminoles' next drive, eight plays and 57 yards, Ward completed passes of 9, 21 and 9 yards before running back William Floyd dived over from the 1 to put Florida State ahead 14-7 with 3:13 left in the quarter.

In the next two possessions, Ward had touchdown passes of 19 and 35 yards to Kevin Knox and Kez McCorvey, respectively, both on post patterns to break the game open, 28-7.

"I tried to get as many players in the offense as possible, and I think if he [Duffner] were in my situation, he wouldn't just lay down and die either," said Bowden.

"We really put everything together today," he said. "They just couldn't catch Charlie. We were so hot. If we could do it like this every Saturday, nobody would beat us. I don't know if this was just a one-day thing or not. I hope it was one of those 'to be continued' things."

Florida State's offense was its best defense. Maryland had some success offensively, gaining 436 total yards, but the Terps' run-and-shoot never got in rhythm because the Seminoles' offense was so dominating.

And there was Florida State's speed. Maryland never controlled the Seminoles' offense on the perimeter. And the Terps' outside passing attack was closed off by Florida State's speed, too.

"We finally threw the ball well, ran the ball well and caught the ball well. And we did it all day," said Bowden. "We were just too much for Maryland. We've got too much speed for them. Their coach will solve that problem though. I'm sure he'll go out and get some speed."

Duffner was taking notes.

"I don't know if he ran up the score, I was more concerned about our offense and defense," said Duffner. "We got whipped today, plain and simple. Florida State's a very good football team, and it showed today."

"We have to work if we want to be able to play at this level, and now we know what it takes in order to compete with the big boys," Duffner said. "This is motivation for our future."

It's one of the few times this team actually looks forward to playing Clemson.

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