Terps block, then party

Navarre deflects late FG attempt

students celebrate bowl eligibility

Maryland 27 Florida State 24

October 29, 2006|By Heather A. Dinich | Heather A. Dinich,Sun reporter

COLLEGE PARK -- As defensive end Jeremy Navarre's fingertips felt the football last night in the fourth quarter at Byrd Stadium, the direction of two football programs spiraled in opposite directions.

For Florida State, it was a downward slide for a storied program that is in the midst of its worst season since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1992. For Maryland, it marked a turning point for a program now eligible to return to the postseason for the first time in three seasons.

Maryland@Clemson Saturday, noon, ESPN2, 1300 AM, 105.7 FM

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A summary of Maryland's 27-24 victory over Florida State:

What went right / / For three quarters, the Terps picked apart one of the top defenses in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and when it sputtered and stuttered in the fourth quarter, the defense made the critical stops.

What went wrong / / Maryland's defense allowed 458 total yards against a Florida State offense playing with its backup quarterback.

Defining moment / / On third-and-goal with about nine minutes left in the game, Maryland senior cornerback Josh Wilson broke up a pass in the end zone and prevented Florida State's potential game-winning touchdown, as the Seminoles resorted to a 24-yard field goal and trailed 27-24.

What it means / / Maryland became bowl-eligible for the first time in three seasons, and beat Florida State for only the second time in 17 tries.

Up next / / The Terps (6-2, 3-1 ACC) will travel to Clemson, S.C., on Saturday for an Atlantic Division matchup with the Tigers (7-2, 4-2).

[Heather A. Dinich]

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