It's goal to go for No. 22 UM

Terps would win ACC's Atlantic Division by beating Florida State on Saturday

Maryland Rewind

November 17, 2008|By Jeff Barker | Jeff Barker,jeff.barker@baltsun.com

COLLEGE PARK - In early October, Maryland ended its season-long habit of breaking practice huddles with the cry of "ACC champions!" The players decided they didn't want to get ahead of themselves.

Now, with two games to go and a berth in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game within reach, the 22nd-ranked Terps might be ready to revisit their decision.

"Believing they can accomplish this is starting to become a reality now," coach Ralph Friedgen said yesterday after reviewing Saturday's 17-15 win over North Carolina. "I don't know if they had believed this as much as I did."

Maryland (7-3, 4-2 ACC) would capture the ACC's Atlantic Division title with a victory over visiting Florida State (7-3, 4-3 ACC) on Saturday night, followed by a win over Boston College. The Terps could clinch the division as early as next week with a victory over Florida State and a Boston College loss to Wake Forest.

Since Maryland is playing at night, the Terps can follow the Boston College game if they choose - it starts at 3:30 p.m. - before taking the field themselves.

"Since we're playing at night, I think our kids are going to watch that regardless of what I tell them," Friedgen said. "We still have to win. That's what we need to focus on."

Maryland, 6-0 at Byrd Stadium, will be trying for its first perfect home record since 2003.

The Terps will enter the game again as a ranked team, having dropped out of the rankings after losing 23-13 to Virginia Tech on Nov. 6. The Terps are the only team in the nation to have beaten four ranked opponents this season.

Maryland beat North Carolina largely because, according to Friedgen, the veteran offensive line had its best game of the season. The line had struggled at Virginia Tech, a game in which Maryland netted minus-12 rushing yards.

"I think it was obvious we were able to get push on their down linemen," offensive coordinator James Franklin said.

NOTE: : Da'Rel Scott, playing with a special pad to protect his injured left shoulder, rushed for 129 yards. His season total of 858 is the most for a Terp since Lance Ball's 903 in 2005.

Replay

On fourth-and-five from the North Carolina 32, quarterback Chris Turner ran 9 yards for a first down to set up the go-ahead field goal in the final moments. Said Turner, who rarely runs: "The clock was ticking down in my head."

Erase

Reserve quarterback Josh Portis, who did not play in the Virginia Tech game, missed an open Darrius Heyward-Bey in the second quarter and fumbled on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Fast forward

The Terps (7-3, 4-2 ACC) host Florida State (7-3, 4-3 ACC) on Saturday in the biggest game of the season to date.

FLORIDA STATE (7-3, 4-3 ACC) @NO. 22 TERPS (7-3, 4-2)

Saturday, 7:45 p.m.

TV: ESPN

Radio: 105.7 FM, 1300 AM

Line: Terps by 1

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