Florida St. 30, Maryland 16
Christian Ponder threw for 170 yards and a touchdown, and
Florida State beat Maryland 30-16 Saturday night to remain in the
hunt to play in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game.
Florida State (8-3, 6-2) has completed the ACC portion of its
schedule and can finish no worse than tied atop the Atlantic
Division. But if North Carolina State (8-3, 5-2) defeats Maryland
on Saturday, the Wolfpack would gain a share of first place and
would win the tiebreaker because of their 28-24 win over FSU last
The Terrapins (7-4, 4-3) were eliminated from contention.
Maryland, which became the last ACC team to lose at home this
season, needed to beat the Seminoles and Wolfpack to win the
division crown for the first time.
Down 23-16, Maryland drove to the Florida State 19 in the final
minute before Nick Moody intercepted a fourth-down pass by redshirt
freshman Danny O’Brien and took it 90 yards for the clinching score
with 36 seconds left.
The Seminoles took advantage of four Maryland turnovers,
including two interceptions and a fumble in the fourth quarter
after FSU took a 20-16 lead. The Terrapins came in with an ACC-low
eight turnovers in 10 games.
When Maryland and Florida State met under similar circumstances
at Byrd Stadium two years ago, the Seminoles rolled to a 37-3
victory. This game was decidedly different: Neither team led by
more than seven points until the closing seconds and the lead
changed hands three times.
But in the end, FSU again beat Maryland, for the 19th time in 21
games in his lopsided series.
Chris Thompson ran for 95 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown,
Ponder completed 16 of 26 passes and Bert Reed had six catches for
93 yards and a touchdown for the Seminoles.
Da’Rel Scott gained 84 yards rushing for the Terrapins and Davin
Meggett ran for 72 yards. O’Brien went 25 for 45 for 269 yards and
Maryland took a 16-13 lead in the third quarter on a 32-yard
field goal by Travis Baltz after Thompson lost a fumble at the FSU
Florida State answered with a 44-yard touchdown pass from Ponder
to Reed, who caught a short throw over the middle and weaved his
way through the Maryland secondary into the end zone.
Greg Reid then intercepted a pass by O’Brien at the Maryland 43.
The Seminoles ended up punting, but the kick hit Maryland’s Cameron
Chism and was recovered by FSU. That led by a field goal by Dustin
Hopkins for a 23-16 lead with 4:37 left.
The Terrapins wore black helmets for the first time this season,
along with black jerseys and pants with camouflage trim to support
the Wounded Warrior Project. Maryland fans were also dressed in
The crowd received an emotional boost when the Terrapins took a
3-0 lead on a 31-yard field goal by Baltz. On the first play after
the kickoff, however, Thompson burst through a hole on the left
side and sprinted 70 yards for a score.
O’Brien then lost a fumble when hit in the pocket by Brandon
Jenkins, setting up a field goal for a 10-3 FSU lead.
On the ensuing series, Reid leveled Scott as he was about to
catch a short pass. FSU’s Mike Harris gathered in the deflection
and took it to the end zone, but Reid was called for a hit to the
helmet, keeping the drive alive.
O’Brien ended the 80-yard march with a 7-yard TD pass to tight
end Will Yeatman.
After Hopkins missed a 37-yard field goal try, Maryland went up
13-10 when Baltz connected on a 32-yard attempt following an
interception by Kenny Tate.
Florida State faked a punt late in the half, which led to a
30-yard field goal by Hopkins that ricocheted off the left