On his second series, Rix moved FSU to the 35 before a 52-yard field goal try by Xavier Beitia hit the left crossbar.
On his next drive, Rix threw his first touchdown pass of the season, a 16-yard jump ball to Chauncey Stovall with 7:43 remaining that made it 20-17.
After a Maryland punt, Rix got the Seminoles in position for another field goal attempt by Beitia, who was wide left on 45-yard field goal try with 4:45 left.
Rix got one final chance two minutes later, but his fourth-down pass from the FSU 27 sailed incomplete with 1:38 to go, setting off a wild celebration among the sellout crowd of 52,203 and ending the Seminoles' national title hopes once again.
FSU tried to regroup at home Saturday against Duke. And, of course, many wonder if there will be a quarterback controversy this week.
Sophomore Wyat Sexton, who had replaced an injured Rix in the season's second game against Clemson and held off the senior with a solid effort in four consecutive victories as the team's stater, struggled against the Terps.
"They really weren't presenting anything that we weren't expecting," Sexton said.
"We just couldn't make the big play. We knew coming in it was going to be that type of game, where we were going to have opportunities down the field to make the plays. We just weren't able to make it happen today."
"I really can't explain that," Sexton said.
"We've always gotten off to a slow start on the road and that carried over to this week once again."
Sexton also said he didn't argue with the move to replace him with Rix in the fourth quarter.
"I didn't know that was coming but I wasn't completely against it because we really just couldn't get anything going and I thought Chris potentially could make some more plays because they were getting good pressure on me and I don't have the 4.4, 4.5 speed to get out and make plays on the edge," Sexton said.
"So I understood it."
Sexton also said he didn't know if he would remain the starter when the Seminoles returned to practice on Monday night.
"No. I don't know," Sexton said.
Rix, meanwhile, was happy to get another chance to direct the Seminoles' offense but was disappointed in the final result.
"Every football player wants to play obviously," Rix said.
"I've always trusted in coach Bowden and the rest of the coaches and I was very thankful to get back out there and help the team. Unfortunately, we came up short. But you definitely want to be in there playing."
Like Sexton, Rix also doesn't know what's going to happen concerning his status next week.
"I have no idea," he said.
"I've said to you guys before, it's out of my hands and it's up to coach Bowden and the rest of the staff. Whatever decision they make I will respect and support 100 percent. I will definitely compete on Monday like I have been and prepare myself to play next week."