MARYLAND vs. FLORIDA STATE
WHEN: 7:45 p.m. WHERE: Byrd Stadium, College Park (51,500). FORECAST: Clear, mid-30s.
TV: ESPN. RADIO: WJZ (105.7 FM), WJFK (106.7 FM), WFMD (930 AM), WJZ (1300 AM), WPTX (1690 AM).
RECORDS: Terrapins (7-3, 4-2 ACC); Seminoles (7-3, 4-3 ACC).
COACHES: Ralph Friedgen (63-34, eighth year); Bobby Bowden (307-90-4, 33rd year).
WHEN THE TERRAPINS HAVE THE BALL: Maryland's running game got back on track against North Carolina last week, when Da'Rel Scott and Davin Meggett finished with a combined 215 yards. The offensive line played its best game of the season. The challenge grows this week against Florida State, which has the nation's fifth-ranked defense. The Seminoles lead the nation in tackles for loss and have allowed third-down conversions just 22.2 percent of the time. Defensive end Everette Brown is tied for ninth nationally in sacks.
WHEN THE SEMINOLES HAVE THE BALL: Maryland's reshuffled defensive line helped limit North Carolina to 75 rushing yards. Tonight the Terrapins will face a Florida State team that, in conference games, ranks first in the ACC in total offense and second in rushing offense. FSU has scored more touchdowns (40) in 10 games this season than it did during the entire 2007 season. At one point this season, FSU went 28 straight series without a three-and-out. Running back Antone Smith leads the ACC in scoring among non-kickers. Christian Ponder recorded the second-highest rushing total by a Florida State quarterback with his 144 yards against Miami.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Graham Gano's streak of 18 consecutive field goals ended in the Seminoles' loss to Boston College. He has made five field goals from 50 or more yards and his only two misses this year were from 50 and 52 yards. Florida State's Michael Ray leads the nation in kickoff return average. After missing his first five field goals this season, Maryland's Obi Egekeze has made two game-winning kicks in the last month.
COACHING: Ralph Friedgen has been in this situation before: With a chance to win the Atlantic Division in 2006, Maryland lost to Wake Forest. Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden has lost the last two times he has visited Byrd Stadium (2004, 2006). The Seminoles' performance tonight and next week against Florida could play a role in whether Bowden decides to return next season.
-- Eric Prisbell