- The Washington Times - Friday, September 29, 2000

FLORIDA ST. 59, MARYLAND 7

Add Maryland's scalp to Florida State's extensive collection.

The Seminoles' defense starteda 59-7 mauling of the Terps last night at Byrd Stadium. And the offense followed suit as quarterback Chris Weinke threw three touchdowns passes in second-ranked Florida State's romp before a near sellout crowd of 47,044.

Maryland (2-2, 0-1 ACC) had only one first down in the opening half as it was continually stuffed at the line of scrimmage and wasn't fast enough to turn the corners. Other than a 74-yard touchdown run by tailback LaMont Jordan when Maryland already trailed 25-0 in the second quarter, the Terps had 31 yards of offense in the first half.

Defending national champion Florida State (5-0, 3-0) is well into another title run as it prepares to visit 10th-ranked Miami next week. Heisman Trophy candidate Weinke completed 11 of 15 passes for 234 yards before leaving in the third quarter with a sprained left foot.

"We wanted to set the tempo early tonight," said Weinke, who became the Seminoles leader for career touchdown passes with 58 as Florida State accumulated 613 yards of offense. "We wanted to score on our first drive and we did that."

Florida State had 288 yards in the first half on the way to a 32-7 lead. The Seminoles had more than twice as many offensive plays (47-23), thanks to a precision offense to go along with their dominant defense. Fullback William McCray had two short touchdown runs as Maryland allowed 59 points for the first time since surrendering the same number to the Seminoles in 1995.

This was Maryland's worst loss since a 70-7 drubbing by Penn State in 1993.

The Seminoles were successful in bottling up Jordan, other than his touchdown run. Their defense physically neutralized the middle and used speed to stop him from turning the corner. Jordan finished with 114 yards on seven carries.

Florida State now has a 65-2 record in the ACC since joining the conference in 1992, and is 11-0 all-time against Maryland.

It appeared the Terps might make things interesting after stopping the Seminoles, thanks to a sack by Aaron Thompson, at Maryland's 35-yard with Florida State leading 10-0. However, punter Keith Cottrell kicked the ball out of bounds at the Maryland 1-yard line.

Three plays later, Calvin McCall fumbled the ball out of the back of the end zone while being hit by defensive menace Jamal Reynolds for a safety to put Florida State ahead 12-0 early in the second quarter.

The Seminoles also scored on the first play after receiving a free kick. Weinke hit Robert Morgan on a 56-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline, lifting it over cornerback Curome Cox's head. Morgan made the catch in stride at the 10-yard-line and glided into the end zone as the visitors went ahead 19-0.

The only ray of light for the Terps came on the 74-yard TD by Jordan, who followed Matt Kalapinski's block through a nice hole in the left side of the line as Maryland cut its deficit to 25-7. It was the Terps' only first down in the half.

The Seminoles had set the tone defensively by forcing a three-and-out drive by the Terps on the first possession of the game. The telling play was on a second-down option play to Jordan, who was immediately tackled by three defenders for a 3-yard loss.

Florida State wasted little time scoring after getting the ball. McCray crashed in for a 1-yard touchdown run to close an 8-play, 59-yard drive. Weinke took advantage of Maryland' defense sitting back in deep coverage by dumping off short passes that resulted in significant gains. The quarterback completed all three of his passes in the series for 36 yards, the biggest a delayed screen from Weinke to Morgan for 15.

After another three-and-out series by the Terps, the Seminoles took a 10-0 lead on a 44-yard field goal by freshman kicker Matt Munyon.

Florida State built its lead to 25-0 after Chris Hope intercepted a ball that Maryland quarterback McCall threw into traffic. The Seminoles took over at Maryland's 30, and cashed in on McCray's 3-yard touchdown run before missing the extra point.

The Terps responded with Jordan's long run, as the senior tailback became the first Maryland player to rush for 3,500 yards in a career. The 74-yard blast was the second longest run of his career.

However, the Terps' success was short lived as Florida State took the kickoff and drove 79 yards on 14 plays for another touchdown. The score came on a 2-yard touchdown pass on a timing pattern in the end zone to Atrews Bell as the Seminoles led 32-7 at the half.

Notes A moment of silence was observed before the game for Jerry Claiborne, who died of heart attack on Sunday. Claiborne had a 77-37-3 record at Maryland between 1971-81 before leaving to coach at Kentucky… .

The last time Maryland allowed a safety was Oct. 3, 1998, also by the Seminoles. The crowd was the largest at Byrd Stadium since Sept. 16, 1995, when the Terps played West Virginia… .

Florida State offensive coordinator Brad Richt is the brother-in-law of Washington Redskins quarterback Brad Johnson. Johnson, a Seminole alumnus, married Nicki Richt last summer.

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