Florida State, Freeman overrun Maryland

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- If the ACC ends up handing the conference championship trophy to the Florida State, the Seminoles will know a lot of that achievement was possible thanks to their ability to hand the ball to sophomore Devonta Freeman.
Freeman rushed for a career-high 148 yards and two touchdowns as Florida State ground out a 41-14 victory at Maryland on Saturday to win the ACC's Atlantic Division title for the second time in three years, and the third time since the league went to divisional play in 2005.
Freeman has taken over for the injured Chris Thompson and rushed for 70 or more yards in four of the last five games, all Seminole victories.
His efforts were part of a 237-yard steamrolling by the Seminoles on the ground against a Maryland defense ranked 19th in the nation.
"I just went out there and was like, 'I want the ball,'" Freeman. "I don't let any one man get me down. I just feel like I did my job."
Said coach Jimbo Fisher: "We just got back to fundamentals. Devonta practices hard. He runs hard. The thing about Devonta is that he has great balance and he plays with great leverage. He's a short guy, but not a little guy."
Freeman wasn't the only one who came up big for the 10th-ranked Seminoles (10-1, 7-1).
Quarterback E.J. Manuel completed 17-of-23 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the game early in the fourth quarter along with Freeman.
Maryland (4-7, 2-5) lost its fifth consecutive game, and fell out of bowl contention with one game remaining next week at North Carolina. The Terrapins, who won two games last year, have been stuck on four wins while watching the injuries and losses mount.
Florida State went 61 yards in 11 plays on the game's opening possession, with Freeman slamming over from five yards for the touchdown.
Maryland freshman Levern Jacobs fumbled the ball away on the ensuing kickoff and Manuel immediately found Nick O'Leary for a 10-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead only 12 seconds after Freeman's score.
Manuel hit Rashad Greene for a 30-yard touchdown just before halftime to make it 27-0.
The Terrapins could muster only 170 total yards and had only 27 in the first half, as Florida State's top-ranked defense took control.
Maryland hurt its chances with two turnovers that led directly to Seminole scores, including a fumble by quarterback Shawn Petty that led to a field goal and early 17-0 deficit.
"You can't give Florida State that many points early on," Maryland coach Randy Edsall said. "With what we have to try to do offensively, we can't play from behind like that. We can't shoot ourselves in the foot and turn the ball over."
Former scout team linebacker Petty made his third consecutive start at quarterback for the Terrapins, who have lost four other quarterbacks to season-ending injuries.
Petty completed 8-of-19 passes for 136 yards and both Terrapin touchdowns. He made a big play, scrambling to buy time and then finding Kevin Dorsey for a 33-yard touchdown early in the third quarter to cut Florida State's lead to 27-7.
Then Petty hit Dorsey again for a 42-yard touchdown with 25 seconds remaining in the game.
"There are a lot of young guys out there making plays with some older guys (like Dorsey)," Edsall said. "We have some talented players that can go out and put some points up on the board and take some pressure off the defense.
"It takes some time to build a football program, but all these young guys are getting experience and are going to be so much better and stronger next year."
NOTES: Florida State kicker Dustin Hopkins became the all-time leading kick scorer in FBS history when he hit a 26-yarder early in the second quarter. He passed Kyle Brotzman of Boise State, who had 439 points from 2007-10. Hopkins' total of 448 career points is fourth all-time among all scorers. ... The Terps, with their well-documented quarterback problems, also were without leading rusher Wes Brown, out for the season because of a shoulder injury. ... Maryland senior linebacker Kenneth Tate had three sacks, the first Terrapin to record that many in a game since 2002. ... The Seminoles close out the regular season hosting arch rival Florida next Saturday.

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