Friedgen to students: Don't trash the campus

Coach wants players to retain confidence

Maryland notebook

College Football

October 24, 2001|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen is confident enough about his team's chances against No. 19 Florida State that he began yesterday's news conference by asking his school's students not to vandalize the campus Saturday night, saying, "It's time that we act like we know what it's like to win."

Friedgen said he expected the same level of confidence out of his 10th-ranked team, which is an eight-point underdog in Saturday's game in Tallahassee. Anyone not meeting his expectations could be left at home.

"If I see any hesitancy from anyone, they won't be on the plane," Friedgen said. "We've got to be on a mission."

The players seemed loose yesterday, with belief replacing hope one day after the 7-0 team was ranked No. 8 in the first Bowl Championship Series standings.

It's the first time the Terps have had the better ranking heading into a matchup with Florida State, which is unbeaten in the series with a 34-point average margin of victory over 11 games.

So Maryland - which lost last year's game, 59-7, in College Park - travels south with not just a mandate, but also a challenge in a quest for its first Atlantic Coast Conference title since 1985.

"Everyone looks at us as the underdog," said running back Marc Riley. His take on the Seminoles: "They're still the big dogs on the block."

The block has become far more dangerous for Florida State, which came into this season having lost only two league games in nine years and none at home. The aura of invincibility eroded some after a 41-9 loss to North Carolina last month.

Still, Friedgen anticipates another test for his team, to block out everything that comes with playing a game at 80,000-seat Doak Campbell Stadium and to try not to be intimidated.

"That's what they do. They intimidate," Friedgen said of the Seminoles' pre-game rituals. "The way they throw that spear at you."

Florida State QB twists

Once again, Maryland's defense is preparing to deal with two quarterbacks. In the past, North Carolina, Wake Forest and Virginia have alternated signal-callers - one being the drop-back passer, the other a running type.

This time, however, it appears that Florida State will use two quarterbacks who can run and throw, as freshman Adrian McPherson enters the mix in addition to redshirt freshman and starter Chris Rix.

McPherson was 7-for-11 for two touchdowns in the past two games. Rix was 11-for-21 with one touchdown and two interceptions in a win over Virginia.

"We have to work that much harder," Maryland defensive end Durrand Roundtree said. "That means the quarterbacks are going to be fresh. We know we have to get to the quarterback the first time, to make sure he doesn't scramble."

Et cetera

Cornerback Tony Okanlawon's status is still uncertain after he suffered a concussion against Duke. If he doesn't play, redshirt freshman Dennard Wilson will take his place. ... Receiver Daryl Whitmer, who injured a knee in the West Virginia game Sept. 29, is expected to return. ... Free safety Curtis Williams suffered a hamstring injury against Duke and is probable. ... Florida State defensive end Alonzo Jackson will play despite still being hampered by a sprained knee ligament.

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