ACC Title Berth?
Coming off yet another quality win, the 22nd-ranked Terrapins look to move closer to a berth in the ACC title game as they host the inconsistent Seminoles on Saturday night.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Maryland –1.5 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 61% of bets for this game have been placed on Florida State +1.5 (View College Football bet percentages).
Maryland (7-3, 4-2), the only team in the nation this season with four wins over ranked opponents, moved back into the Top 25 after defeating then-No. 17 North Carolina 17-15 last Saturday night.
Florida State (7-3, 4-3), meanwhile, fell out of the poll after losing 27-17 to Boston College that same day. Dropping out of the Top 25 may end up working in the Seminoles' favor this week, with the Terrapins having won a team-record six in a row against ranked teams.
"I'd like to tell you it's great coaching, but it's really kids who rise to the occasion," Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said of a streak that began last year with victories over Rutgers and Boston College.
The Terrapins' latest victory put them on course for a chance to win the ACC championship for the first time since 2001. If Maryland beats Florida State and Boston College in its final two games, it will earn a berth in the conference title game.
Maryland is 3-3 against non-ranked teams and 0-3 in night games, but 6-0 at home.
Chris Turner's steady play has a played a large role in the Terrapins' success at Byrd Stadium, completing 61.3 percent of his passes for 967 yards and six touchdowns while getting picked off twice there.
Against a solid North Carolina defense, Turner helped Maryland mount a 19-play drive to set up the game-winning field goal by Obi Egekeze with 1:42 remaining.
Turner was 16-for-31 for 141 yards and no touchdowns, but he was outstanding on the final drive. Not only did the complete three passes to convert third-down plays, but he also scrambled for a 9-yard gain on fourth-and-5 from the Carolina 32 to keep the drive alive.
Turner was helped by a strong running game, with Da'Rel Scott finishing with 129 yards and a score and backup Davin Meggett contributing 86 yards and a TD. The Terrapins were held to minus-12 yards on the ground one week earlier in a loss to Virginia Tech.
Scott, in his first year as a starter, is one of Maryland's top threats on offense, leading the team with 897 rushing yards and six TDs.
Florida State, meanwhile, is hoping to have three of its top receivers - Taiwan Easterling, Bert Reed and Corey Surrency - along with fellow wideouts Cameron Wade and Richard Goodman back for this game after being suspended last week for due to a fight on campus with members of a fraternity.
Now, Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden hopes that one or more of those receivers will not show up on an arrest report expected from school police this week when they complete their investigation.
"Hopefully the distractions are gone," Bowden said.
Despite being short-handed on offense, Bowden wasn't making any excuses for the team's second loss in three games. Quarterback Christian Ponder was under duress against the Eagles, and wouldn't have had much time to utilize Easterling, Reed or Surrency even if they did play.
Ponder was intercepted three times for the second time this season. He'll be making his first start against Maryland, an opponent Florida State has to beat in order to have a chance to win the ACC Atlantic Division.
The Seminoles conclude the regular season against No. 3 Florida.
"If you ever want to play your best, it would be this weekend," Bowden said.
Florida State leads the all-time series with Maryland 16-2.
Top Betting Trends:
All games in this series since 1992
FLORIDA ST is 10-6 against the spread versus MARYLAND since 1992
FLORIDA ST is 14-2 straight up against MARYLAND since 1992
4 of 7 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL since 1992
Games over the last 3 seasons
MARYLAND is 1-1 against the spread versus FLORIDA ST over the last 3 seasons
MARYLAND is 1-1 straight up against FLORIDA ST over the last 3 seasons
1 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
All games played at MARYLAND since 1992
MARYLAND is 5-2 against the spread versus FLORIDA ST since 1992
FLORIDA ST is 5-2 straight up against MARYLAND since 1992
2 of 3 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL since 1992
Games played at MARYLAND over the last 3 seasons.
MARYLAND is 1-0 against the spread versus FLORIDA ST over the last 3 seasons
MARYLAND is 1-0 straight up against FLORIDA ST over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
Key Player Injuries
[DT] Emmanuel Dunbar is expected to miss entire season. - Back - 09/19/08
(!) [RB] Antone Smith limited last game, probable - Ribs - 11/02/08
[RB] Tavares Pressley is expected to miss the season. - Knee - 08/29/08
[FB] Joe Surratt has been dismissed from the team - None - 10/12/08
[WR] Corey Surrency missed last game, upgraded to probable. - Suspension S
[WR] Bert Reed is expected to miss. - Suspension - 11/06/08
[OG] Will Furlong is out 6-8 weeks. - Foot - 10/21/08
[OL] Evan Bellamy is expected to miss entire season. - Blood Clot - 07/17/
[DE] Justin Mincey missed last game %27?%27 - Knee - 11/01/08
[DB] Nolan Carroll injured last game %27?%27 - Leg - 11/06/08
[DB] Kevin Barnes is out for the season. - Shoulder - 10/21/08
[DB] Richard Taylor out for the season - Knee - 09/21/08
[RB] Cory Jackson missed last game %27?%27 - Leg - 11/06/08
[WR] Kevin Dorsey is expected to miss entire season - Foot - 09/05/08
Did you like this article? Subscribe to our College Football news feed for the fastest updates delivered right to you - Click here to Subscribe
Posted: 11/18/08 4:15 AM ET