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Quarter by Quarter: FSU vs. Maryland
It's FSU-Florida week! To celebrate FSU's run at a third straight state championship we are re-opening our 30-day free promotion for new subscribers. Get full coverage of this in-state rivalry, the ACC Championship game and tons of football recruiting coverage during this key stretch.
On to Charlotte. That's the result of 10th-ranked Florida State's 41-14 win over Maryland in College Park Saturday afternoon. Unlike past road games, the Seminoles (10-1, 7-1 ACC) came out firing Saturday and never looked back.
After losing the opening coin toss, Florida State started with the ball and went right down the field for a systematic 11 play, 62-yard touchhdon drive capped off by a five-yard Devonta Freeman touchdown run.
The Seminoles found themselves in point-blank range after the ensuing kickoff, a play in which Chad Abram forced a Levern Jacobs. Quarterback EJ Manuel hit tight end Nick O'Leary on the first play of the drive for a 10-yard touchdown.
Freeman had a career day running the ball, finishing with 148 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. The Seminoles ran for 237 yards in all.
Florida State moves on to face in-state rival Florida November 24 in Tallahassee and is set for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff.
The Skinny: Florida State got off to a furious start, slamming 14 points on Maryland in the first six minutes. The Seminoles opened the game with an 11 play, 61 yard scoring drive capped by Devonta Freeman's 5-yard touchdown run. After a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, FSU made the Terps pay on the next play with a 10-yard connection from EJ Manuel to Nick O'Leary.
Key Play: After taking the quick lead, FSU reserve fullback Chad Abram forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. Defensive end Toshmon Stevens recovered at the Maryland 10 and the 'Noles punched it in on the next play from Manuel to O'Leary to take the 14-0 lead.
Key player: Devonta Freeman was an absolute workhorse in the opening period, running tough and piling up 61 yards on nine carries and a touchdown.
Key Stat: After rushing for minus-15 yards against Virginia Tech last week, the worst rushing output since 1969, the Seminoles totaled 75 rushing yards on 15 carries in the first quarter. FSU outgained Maryland 111-18.
The Skinny: Maryland still has no answers for Florida State's offense. Maryland mustered 22 yards on the opening drive of the game, but since then, the Terps have just six yards on five combined drives.
The Seminoles scored 13 points in the second quarter on a pair of Dustin Hopkins field goals and a touchdown pass from EJ Manuel to Rashad Greene.
Key Play: EJ Manuel connected with Rashad Greene on a perfectly thrown 30-yard touchdown pass with 1:32 left in the second quarter to extend FSU's lead to 27-0. Manuel was slow to get up on the play after being hit hard once the ball was released. Manuel is 14-of-18 passing for 130 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.
Key player: Kicker Dustin Hopkins made history, breaking the NCAA career scoring mark for kickers with a 26-yard field goal in the second quarter. The kick gave him 442 career points. He added a 40-yard field goal later in the quarter to extend his career mark to 445 points.
Key Stat: The Seminoles have completely controlled the clock, possessing the ball for 20:08 of the first half.
The Skinny: The half got off to an ideal start for the Terrapins, as Maryland opened play with an eight-play, 81 yard touchdown drive. Quarterback Shawn Petty hit Kevin Dorsey for 33 yards and a score to make the game 33-7.
Freeman then took the game over, rushing for 22 yards on his first three carries of the half before hitting a 47-yarder up the middle, ending just shy of the end zone. Freeman would punch it in from two yards out to put FSU up 33-7 pending the PAT.
The fourth quarter saw some time for the Seminole reserves, and working behind backup quarterback Clint Trickett, sophomore James Wilder Jr. found paydirt with a physical 22-yard run to cap off the Seminole scoring.
With third-stringers in the game, Florida State fumbled the ball away in the game's final 40 seconds. Petty hit Dorsey again, this time from 42 yards, to end the scoring.
Key Play: The game wasn't up for grabs at the time, but Freeman's 47-yard run was a deal-sealer for Florida State. The sophomore scored one play later to end any hopes the Terrapins had coming out of the break.
Key player: Freeman takes home the second-half honors as he rushed five times for 71 yards and a score in just one quarter of work.
Key Stat: Florida State rushed 41 times Saturday for a total of 237 yards - good for a 5.8 per-carry clip.
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