With its matchup with Maryland today, Florida State clinched its spot in this year’s Atlantic Coast Conference championship game with a 41-14 victory over the Terrapins.
Devonta Freeman has 77 yards after the first half of play. He finished with 148 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
On the opening drive, FSU displayed the up-tempo offense many were expecting. The drive was run-heavy, as Devonta Freeman had early success and punched it in with a physical carry to give FSU a quick 7-0 lead.
Freeman finished the day with 16 carries for 148 yards and two touchdowns.
Chad Abram then made a big play on special teams, jarring the ball loose from the Maryland return man with a hard hit. FSU recovered and then capitalized, as Manuel tossed his first touchdown pass of the day to Nick O’Leary to give the Seminoles a 14-0 lead.
FSU then forced another turnover later in the first quarter, as Tank Carradine fell on a fumble to give the Seminoles the ball inside Maryland territory.
The Seminoles didn’t turn this turnover into six, but it did allow for Dustin Hopkins to hit a 26 yard field goal and become the highest scoring kicker in NCAA history, while extending FSU’s lead to 17-0. Hopkins now stands with a total of 448 career points.
On the Seminoles’ following drive, Manuel and the offense was stalled once again, but Hopkins again converted the field goal attempt to increase FSU’s lead to 20-0, this time hitting from 40 yards out.
FSU wasn’t done scoring yet, as Manuel and the offense made one last drive in the final minutes before the half to put seven more points on the board. Manuel found Greene deep for a 30 yard touchdown pass to give the Seminoles a 27-0 lead heading into halftime.
Shawn Petty and the Maryland offense struggled to find a rhythm all game, only netting 128 yards.
However, Maryland came out on the opening drive of the second half on a mission, as Petty engineered his offense down the field to give the Terrapins their first points of the day, tossing a 33 yard touchdown pass to Kevin Dorsey.
After a relatively cold start to the half, FSU’s offense picked it up as the third quarter winded down. Freeman broke a 47 yard run and was tripped up inside the five, but the sophomore punched it in on the very big play to increase FSU’s lead, 34-7.
Many thought Manuel would no longer be in the contest at this point, but he took the field again in the fourth quarter, when he tossed his lone interception of the day while looking deep over the middle.
Clint Trickett made his entrance on the following drive. His first pass attempt was complete to Willie Haulstead, to give the Seminoles a third down conversion. Manuel finished his day having completed 17-of-23 passes for 144 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
On the same drive, James Wilder would eventually break a tackle and carry it in from 22 yards out to extend FSU’s lead to 41-7.
However, Maryland had one final score left in the tank after Chad Abram fumbled on what should have been the final drive of the game. Petty tossed a 42 yard bomb, right over Ronald Darby’s head, for six.
The final score read FSU 41, UMD 14.
Florida State now turns to Florida for its season finale next week at 3:30 p.m. in Doak Campbell.
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