The Maryland Terps were in position to salvage some respectability with a road victory over Florida State today, but played it too safe at a critical juncture in the fourth quarter and ended up on the wrong end of a very painful finish.
The Terps score a touchdown to take a four-point lead with abouit four minutes left and made a big interception to get the ball right back at about midfield. If they had been able to get a first down or two, they might have been able to burn enough clock to hold on. Instead, they played if very conservative on the first two plays of the possession and ended up leaving the Seminoles with plenty of time to come back and score the winning touchdown.
It was just too early to get that defensive. The Seminoles had all their timeouts left at that point and -- with the first-down clock stops in the NCAA -- the Terps barely got any time off the clock.
It certainly didn't help that Maryland's attempt to pin Florida State deep evaporated in a flurry of missed tackles on the punt return that allowed the Seminoles to start with a very short field. It also didn't help when Maryland's three-man rush on that final drive could not contain quarterback E.J. Manuel, who broke off two big runs to set up the winning score.
Just been that kind of year.