Slipping? Not Seminoles

When Maryland coach <b>Ralph Friedgen</b> pops in a video tape of FSU, he can only shake his head. "I see Florida State the same every year -- they have a lot of good players," Friedgen said. "They do a very good job of coaching them. I amazed the number of players they have and the number of players they play. I am wondering if they are on 85 scholarships like the rest of us." The two teams tangle Saturday in the Seminoles' home opener at Doak Campbell Stadium. Click here for much more.

When Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen pops in a video tape of Florida State, he can only shake his head in disbelief.

"I see Florida State the same every year -- they have a lot of good players," Friedgen said.

"They do a very good job of coaching them. I amazed the number of players they have and the number of players they play. I am wondering if they are on 85 scholarships like the rest of us. I see three and four deep playing. It's hard to pick out who the starter is because they play so many of them.

"And they are all pretty good and that's what's scary. I think they are still one of the premier programs in the country and I don't see them slipping at all."

Of course, Friedgen has changed the entire perception of the Terrapins' football program as well. They went through three coaches and experienced just one winning season in the 10 years prior to hiring Friedgen away from Georgia Tech in 2001.

"Maryland, to me, has always been a good job," said FSU coach Bobby Bowden, whose team faces the Terrapins in Saturday night's game at Doak Campbell Stadium.

"Because of its location. You're just around an area where there are so many people and a lot of players. What Ralph is doing is what should be done at Maryland. He's got to have the support of the university, which I think he has, and then can recruit, he can build things, which he has done."

The Terps (0-1) are looking to rebound from their season-opening defeat at Northern Illinois last Thursday. Bowden said there's a simple lesson to be learned from that loss, saying, "You know the first thought that came to mind? Don't play Louisville at Louisville. Don't play Northern Illinois at Northern Illinois. Alabama never went to Southern Miss."

Still, Maryland faces a difficult task -- it has never beaten the ‘Noles in 13 tries. In fact, the Seminoles have never scored less than 45 points at home against Maryland. The closest game came at College Park, Md., in 1968 when FSU prevailed 24-14.

Maryland also has several players expected to miss the game.

Leading the injured list is tailback Bruce Perry, the 2001 ACC offensive player of the year, who sustained a high ankle sprain during preseason. Wide receiver Steve Suter, who led the league in punt returns last year, is likely out with a hamstring injury. And starting quarterback Scott McBrien, who played with a groin injury against Northern Illinois, said the injury continues to bother him.

And, in case you are wondering, the last time FSU opened the season with two consecutive shutouts was 1980 --16-0 over Louisiana State and 52-0 over Louisville. The ‘Noles fell just shy of three straight goose-eggs, beating East Carolina 63-7 in the third game. In 1993, the Seminoles recorded three shutouts in their first five games and allowed one touchdown apiece in the other two.

QUICK HITTERS

Senior tailback Greg Jones needs 24 yards to become just the ninth Seminole running back to reach 2,000 career yards. Only three players - Warrick Dunn, Greg Allen and Travis Minor - have reached the 3,000 mark,

Junior quarterback Chris Rix ranks ninth in career completions with 300, seventh in passing yards with 4,650 and he can leapfrog Bill Cappleman and Jimmy Jordan with two TD passes into seventh place with 40. Former Seminole Casey Weldon ranks sixth with 41 scoring passes.

Freshman running back Lorenzo Booker, the ACC's Rookie of the Week, ranks in the league's top 10 in rushing and all-purpose yards after his first game. Booker produced 132 all-purpose yards with 87 rushing and another 45 on four catches. Another freshman, Chris Davis, produced 71 all-purpose yards despite losing six on his only rushing try.


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