1) 200 is the magic number. Florida State's offense has won every game this season when they are able to rush for 200 yards or more. Every game that the Seminoles have lost they have failed to get to that magic number of 200 yards on the ground. Maryland is giving up about 144 yards on the ground. The Noles will need Antone, Jermaine, Marcus and Christian to protect the ball and run physical.
2) Stop Da'Rel Scott. Scott has two of the top four single-game rushing performances in the ACC this season (197 vs. Delaware; 163 vs. NC State). He's on pace for 1,000 yards and right now has 858 yards. Maryland's offense goes as far as Scott takes them. The defense must be up for this challenge.
3) Create turnovers. It won't be easy for the defense against the Terrapins. Maryland QB Chris Turner has just one interception in his last 188 pass attempts, dating back to the fourth quarter of the Eastern Michigan game (9/20). Florida State forced Boston College into three turnovers and will need a similar performance if the Noles' want to come away with a victory.
4) Attack Maryland's secondary. The Terrapins lost arguably their top defensive back Kevin Barnes for the season. Maryland likes to play a zone with some man to man coverage. With Florida State finally playing with all of their receivers it will be interesting to see if Christian tests the secondary early and often.
Darius Heyward- Bey. He is a player that the Seminole defense must know where he's at all times. Heyward-Bey is a former track star who has turned himself into a complete football player. Heyward-Bey has caught at least one pass in 32 of the last 35 contests dating back to the 2006 season. In addition, his 15.4 career yards per catch average ranks ninth nationally among active players. Heyward-Bey, on the watch list for the Maxwell and Biletnikoff Awards, currently leads the team and ranks seventh in the ACC in receiving yards (53.9 ypg). He also leads the team in receptions, is tied for the team lead with six touchdowns and stands third in all-purpose yards (73.6 ypg).
-Rolle and Rhodes. Florida State junior will try to bring home two victories for FSU off and on the field. If any player or person has the mental fortitude to pull this feat off on Saturday its #3. His teammates and coaches all came together yesterday in a circle and prayed for him.
-Maryland undefeated at home this season? The confines of Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium have proven friendly indeed for the Terps of late. Maryland now has won seven consecutive home games, including all six this season, having not lost in College Park for more than a year (last home loss: Oct. 27, 2007 vs. Clemson). During the Ralph Friedgen era, the Terps have won 39 of 50 home games.
-Welcome back Fab 3. Florida State's offense is definitely a better and more explosive offense when Corey Surrency, Bert Reed, and Taiwan Easterling are in the lineup. These players allow FSU to do many more things in the passing game and on special teams.
-A Trickett Type. True freshman Andrew Datko looks like he will be playing in tomorrow night's game. Datko suffered an injury limiting him earlier this week but he's a tough kid that plays for a tough coach.
The weather. Coach Andrews was quoted as saying that the team can't worry about something they can not control (weather). It's supposed to be anywhere between 30 and 40 degrees. Will the Noles be able to play through the weather? We'll see tonight at 7:45 pm.