Correcting Mistakes

Maryland has spent the past several days trying to get over its humbling season-opening loss to Northern Illinois. Florida State, meanwhile, is looking to build on its victory at North Carolina. Seminole linebacker <b>Kendyll Pope</b> says the focus is correcting mistakes and preparing for the big-play ability of the Terrapins. Plus, Pope was not pleased with his tackling against the Tar Heels. "I know I missed at least three tackles myself," Pope said. "We missed out on our goal."

Kendyll Pope is well aware of Maryland's big-play ability.

Sure, Florida State leads the all-times series with the Terps 13-0 with an average margin victory of 32.2 points.

And Maryland, of course, is coming off a stunning overtime defeat against Northern Illinois last Thursday. The 20-13 overtime defeat dropped the Terps completely out of the Top 25 poll for the first time since last November.

Pope says that matters little as the Seminoles (1-0) look to build on their season-opening victory (37-0) over North Carolina.

"It was a good first game but we still have to get better," Pope said following the Seminoles' Tuesday practice.

"As a whole, we played good but in certain areas there were some long drives where we didn't play well. But I feel like to get a shutout and not to play your best, that's something good to build on, knowing we still have a lot of things to work on and get better and better each Saturday. We have a big test (against Maryland)."

FSU tossed its first season-opening victory since 1993 and swarmed UNC quarterback Darian Durant, limiting the reigning ACC passing champion to 145 yards and one interception on a 18-of-31 performance. UNC also was limited to just to 72 net rushing yards.

The Terps, meanwhile, are looking to regain their footing.

Playing with a groin injury, Maryland quarterback Scott McBride went 12-for-24 for 110 yards with an interception against Northern Illinois. The Terrapins probably could have won if not for several dropped passes and four crucial penalties in the fourth quarter.

Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said running back Bruce Perry (high ankle sprain) and receiver Steve Suter (hamstring) have been practicing this week, but listed both as doubtful for the Seminoles.

FSU, of course, has tweaked the defensive scheme for its linebackers under first-year coach Kevin Steele. While the Seminoles didn't show many blitz packages against the Tar Heels, that could change Saturday. FSU's depth also was on display as eight linebackers saw action.

"It worked out real good," Pope said of the defensive changes.

"Throughout the whole game (Saturday) there was hardly any deep balls thrown at us. The scheme is to make everyone throw it quickly, those short five-yard passes here and there. As long as we aren't getting deep balls on us, or getting beat wide. … the object is to come out hot so we can cause turnovers and a lot of quick passes."

Pope, however, was disappointed with his effort in one particular area.

"I know myself I missed at least three tackles myself," Pope said.

"I wasn't happy about that. We missed out on our goal. We only had 11 missed tackles. Our goal is to have 10 or under. We were one tackle away from reaching that goal. Overall, it's just a lot of minor things we need to correct, like on some reads and being in the right gap. Things like that. But that's what we were doing out there today, trying to correct our mistakes. We need to keep getting better."


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