Road to Tampa Bay: Game 11 - Maryland

For the final conference game in NoleDigest's ‘Road to Tampa Bay' series, we take a look at the Maryland Terrapins. The Terps' have a sour taste in their mouth after FSU went into Byrd Stadium last season and handed them their worst loss of the season. This year, the game heads to Doak and Maryland has revenge on their minds.

Maryland will come in led by senior quarterback Chris Turner. For the majority of his career, Turner has been average at best. Turner has been inconsistent more often than not, and he is now without his top receiver from last season in Darrius Heyward-Bey. Sophomore Torrey Smith is a guy that some feel could be even better than Heyward-Bey in time as he is a more complete receiver.

Running back Da'Rel Scott is the best player currently on the Terp roster and is capable of going the distance every time he touches the ball. The problem with the Terp offense is that their front five are very suspect. With an iffy quarterback, it could put a ton of pressure on Scott and really limit this offense as a whole.

For Florida State to stop this offense, their defensive line simply needs to find the backfield early and often. By this time in the season, the Seminoles should know who their front four are and that group should be much improved from the start of the season. Sophomores Everett Dawkins and Moses McCray should be playing more like juniors and the seniors will be producing or they will be on the bench behind the young talent.

On defense, Maryland loses seven starters from a unit that didn't exactly instill fear in opposing offenses to begin with. They have a great linebacker in Alex Wujciak, but he can't make the stop on every play.

The defense will also be breaking in a new defensive coordinator in Don Brown, who is known for a blitz heavy scheme. With a young and undisciplined group, this defense could be giving up a lot of big plays.

If Christian Ponder makes the strides he is expected to, and his receivers can grow up by this time in the season, FSU could easily move the ball through the air in this one, as well as have a very productive rushing attack.

What Florida State must do to win: Play their game. This is going to be a game where Florida State is clearly the better team. They have to make sure they are focused on this game though, and not looking ahead to playing Florida the next week. If Florida State is focused, and brings their ‘B' game at worst, they should walk away with a W.

NoleDigest way too early prediction: Florida State shows up but plays sloppy early on allowing a big play or two on both sides of the ball for Maryland. The Tribe has their eyes set to playing nations #1 UF the next week, but is quickly brought back to Earth. I think this is a game that Maryland will come out and throw the first punch, but FSU wakes up and wins the game with relative ease in the second half.

FSU 30 Maryland 17

*FSU 9-2 (6-2 ACC)

Stay tuned to NoleDigest as our final installment of this series will look at the University of Florida in a rivalry game where FSU looks to break a 5 game losing streak.

*Based on NoleDigest way too early predictions.

Nole Digest Top Stories