Bowden knows focus, if not Terps No. 1 Seminoles await No. 2 Irish

November 04, 1993|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- Forget the Florida State players. Even their coach is overlooking this week's opponent and thinking about the Seminoles' showdown at Notre Dame on Nov. 13.

"It's hard to answer whether those boys are staying focused on this week's game," Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden said yesterday during the weekly Atlantic Coast Conference coaches' teleconference. "You must keep your mind on uh . . . uh . . . uh . . . uh . . . who are we playing this week? Maryland."

Bowden recognized his faux pas and immediately added, "Oh, no, we're going to get beat now," but he would have difficulty finding someone else to make the same prediction. Florida State (8-0) has been No. 1 in the nation since the preseason, and its visit to Byrd Stadium to play the struggling Terps (1-7) is a classic mismatch.

Florida State leads the nation in scoring offense (43.8 points per game) and scoring defense (4.8). Maryland is on an NCAA record pace for defensive futility, and the Terps have scored a total of seven points in three of their past four games. The numbers should add up to Florida State's 16th straight win, which would better the ACC record of 15 set by Maryland in 1975 and 1976.

Bowden could be excused for discussing his strategy of substituting during blowouts, a timely topic considering quarterback Charlie Ward's sore ribs. Ward was injured in the first half of last week's 54-0 whipping of Wake Forest.

"My policy is that the first team plays the first series of the second half," Bowden said. "Two years ago I took the first-team backfield out of a game because we were leading 28-0 after the first quarter. They came back and said "that's not fair," because some of them were competing for rushing, passing titles."

Lewis will miss FSU

Despite Bowden's claim that "We're going into this game in the worst shape we've been in all year," Florida State trails Maryland in one category: injuries.

As expected, Terps coach Mark Duffner said yesterday that Jermaine Lewis will not play against the Seminoles. Duffner said that "it appears there's no break," in the left shoulder Lewis injured at Clemson. With 52 catches (No. 4 in Maryland history) for 957 yards (No. 2) and seven touchdowns (No. 3), Lewis is the leading wide receiver and top deep threat in the ACC.

Quarterback Scott Milanovich, who sustained a bruised left shoulder and bone chips in two fingers on his right (throwing) hand, threw yesterday for the first time since since being injured at Clemson. His backup, Kevin Foley, appears to be available, after missing Clemson with an injured left knee. Left guard Jade Dubis (sprained right ankle) missed practice Monday and Tuesday, but worked out yesterday.

A recurring back injury will keep out defensive tackle Madison Bradley for the second straight week, but the defensive line will be strengthened by the return of Sharrod Mack, who's back after one-game suspension, and Mark Sturdivant. He hasn't played since he broke his right ankle in the season opener.

The career of fellow captain Chad Wiestling, meanwhile, is over. The senior linebacker missed four games after knee surgery and attempted a brief, ineffective comeback against Clemson.

Miscellaneous

Once again, Ken Lytle (1-for-6 on field goals) and John Milligan (0-for-2) are competing for the kicking job. . . . As of yesterday afternoon, approximately 2,500 tickets remained for the game. . . . WJLA (Channel 7) in Washington will pick up the Jefferson Pilot telecast in progress, at 1 p.m. . . . After Saturday's game, the men's basketball team will hold a Red-White scrimmage in Cole Field House at 3:30 p.m.

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