- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Maryland is trying to overcome its first adversity of the season after losing at No. 14 Florida State, the 15th-ranked Terrapins' first defeat of the Ralph Friedgen era after seven victories. The Terps are dealing with the effects of watching a tie game in the fourth quarter dissipate into a 52-31 win by the Seminoles.
"We were all in a little bit of a funk today," Friedgen said after practice yesterday. "…I think if we want to have a really special season, we really have to get refocused in these last three games, and get back to playing, and put that other one behind."
The Terps' next opponent by name alone does little to snap them to attention. Troy State (4-3) is in its first season of Division I-A, and figures to be a relatively easy game at Byrd Stadium. The bigger challenge is getting over the Florida State hangover.
"I probably went to sleep for about an hour, woke up and thought about it all day," said Maryland linebacker Mike Whaley, of what he did after arriving in College Park from Tallahassee, Fla., early Sunday morning. "I realized the opportunity was there, and we just didn't take advantage of it. If you dwell on it, it's just going to get you down even more."
Friedgen called many of his players Sunday to check on their state of mind. The Terps returned to practice Monday night.
"This is a hard week," Friedgen said. "We are coming off an emotional defeat. You want to sit back and feel sorry for yourself. You're not going to get a lot of sympathy from me."

Men of Troy
Few Terps knew what state Troy is in. Why would they? For the record, the Trojans reside in Alabama. The independent program has a bunch of Division I transfers, several from SEC schools, and junior college transfers.
Troy State drew attention with its 21-9 upset of Mississippi State on Oct. 13. The Trojans have taken on top teams, while getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in "guarantee" games they lost to top-ranked Miami 38-7, although it was tied midway through the second quarter, and fell to No. 2 Nebraska 42-14 in their season opener.
The win over Mississippi State came under bizarre circumstances. The game was delayed 70 minutes because of tornadoes in the area, and torrential rain storms aided the upset of the Bulldogs, who were already down after starting the season with a 1-3 record.
"They were ready to go into the tank," said Troy State coach Larry Blakeney, whose team has won three straight games against Mississippi State, Cal State Northridge and Southern Utah. "And when the game was over, I think they were in the tank full-fledged."

Turning the corners
Cornerback Dennard Wilson has begun moving past the nightmare of being regularly beat by speedy and athletic Florida State receivers in just the sophomore's second career start.
"He'll learn from this experience, and he'll be a better man for it," said Friedgen, who made a point of throwing against Wilson and fellow cornerback Curome Cox in Monday's practice, and said both were up to the challenge.
Wilson started for Tony Okanlawon, who has a "medical thing" according to Friedgen and is "day-to-day." Okanlawon practiced Monday, but did not attend yesterday.

Extra points
The Troy State game will be broadcast pay-per-view on Comcast Cable. The cost is $5, and proceeds will be donated to charity. …There has been no time set for the Clemson-Maryland game on Nov. 10. The game at Byrd Stadium will either be at 3:30 p.m. and broadcast on ABC, or at 7 p.m. and televised on ESPN2….
Terps punter Brooks Barnard was named ACC Specialist of the Week after having six punts for an average of 47.3 yards against Florida State. The junior is fifth in the nation with a 44.9-yard average.


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