8:00 PM ET, November 20, 2010
Byrd Stadium, COLLEGE PARK, MD
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Christian Ponder threw for 170 yards and a touchdown, and Florida State (No. 25 BCS) 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 month.
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.
ACC Atlantic Title Scenarios
• The ACC Atlantic title is out of Florida State's hands after Saturday's win over Maryland.
• If North Carolina State beats Maryland next week, the Wolfpack wins the division.
• However, if Maryland is the victor, Florida State takes the Atlantic title.
-- ESPN Stats & Information
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 47.
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 black.
• Florida State is 19-2 all-time against Maryland.
• Danny O'Brien threw for 273 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
• Maryland lost at home for the first time this season.
-- ESPN Stats & Information
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 upright.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Nick Moody intercepted Danny O'Brien and returned it 96 yard to clinch it for the Noles.
Gameball goes to... RB Chris Thompson and WR Bert Reed, who combined to give the Noles enough offense.
Stat of the game... 19-2. The Seminoles have won 19 of the 21 games they have played against the Terrapins.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||4-14||5-16|
|4th Down Conversions||1-1||2-4|
|FG||09:21||Travis Baltz 31 Yd||0||3|
|TD||09:05||Chris Thompson 70 Yd Run (Dustin Hopkins Kick)||7||3|
|FG||05:07||Dustin Hopkins 37 Yd||10||3|
|TD||14:05||Will Yeatman 7 Yd Pass From Danny O'Brien (Travis Baltz Kick)||10||10|
|FG||02:27||Travis Baltz 32 Yd||10||13|
|FG||00:32||Dustin Hopkins 30 Yd||13||13|
|FG||05:27||Travis Baltz 32 Yd||13||16|
|TD||02:55||Bert Reed 44 Yd Pass From Christian Ponder (Dustin Hopkins Kick)||20||16|
|FG||04:37||Dustin Hopkins 34 Yd||23||16|
|TD||00:36||Nick Moody 96 Yd Interception Return (Dustin Hopkins Kick)||30||16|
With FSU's win, the ACC Atlantic is as follows: IF NC State beats Maryland, NC State wins Atlantic IF Maryland wins, FSU takes Atlantic.
ESPN Stats & Information