- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 16, 2010

COLLEGE PARK, MD. (AP) - Maryland has already qualified for a bowl bid and clinched a winning season, no small feat for a team that went 2-10 last year.

Despite having done all that, the Terrapins are unified in this singular thought: Why stop there?

By winning its final two regular-season games, at home against Florida State and North Carolina State, Maryland will earn a berth in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game.

“We still have a lot to prove,” standout wide receiver Torrey Smith said Tuesday. “We have a great record and we know we’re going to a bowl game. But we want more than that.”

Maryland (7-3, 4-2) is 4-0 at home and has won three of four overall, including a 42-23 bashing of Virginia on the road last Saturday. Although the Terrapins have already made a mockery of the preseason poll of ACC media members in which they were picked to finish last, that’s not enough.

“We’ve accomplished a lot, but we’re not writing this season off as a success at all,” redshirt freshman quarterback Danny O'Brien said. “We’ve got a lot more to go; there’s still up to four games to be played. So we’re not resting on what we’ve done. We’re in a good position now and we’ve got to take advantage of this because you don’t know if it’s going to come around again.”

Before Monday’s practice, coach Ralph Friedgen explained to the players the importance of Saturday’s matchup against Florida State (7-3, 5-2). It was pretty much a waste of time.

“They had a lot of energy,” he said. “I didn’t really have to say a lot of motivate them.”

Beating the Seminoles has never been easy for Maryland. FSU holds an 18-2 lead in the series and has won three straight, including a 37-3 embarrassment in College Park two years ago.

The Terrapins are convinced that this time, things will be different.

“This is a new team. New attitude, new everything,” senior linebacker Alex Wujciak said. “Coming off a 2-10 season, you’ve got to change a lot of things. Definitely, our attitude is one of those things that’s changed.”

So has the quarterback. O'Brien has been stunningly effective in his first college season, throwing 16 touchdown passes and only four interceptions. Over the last four games, he’s tossed 10 TD passes and been picked off only once.

The stakes will be raised significantly Saturday, and O'Brien can’t wait to get on the field.

“This is why I came to Maryland, to play in big games like this,” he said. “It’s what you ask for. It’s what you want to do. We’ve got a lot of big-time players are we’re ready to go.”

The goal is to get to the title game, but the Terrapins are already in a win-or-else mode.

“It’s a like a two-game playoff right now,” safety Antwine Perez said. “If we lose, we go home.”

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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