Fla. State airs out Terps, 49-10; 6 Weinke TD passes spur third loss in row

THE BALTIMORE SUN

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- It was tough for LaMont Jordan to admit that Florida State was one of the all-time great teams in the history of collegiate football.

Especially after the unbeaten and top-ranked Seminoles had just crushed Maryland, 49-10, yesterday in front of a festive crowd of 80,340 at Doak Campbell Stadium and a regional ABC television audience.

There was still a lot of pride churning around inside Jordan, Maryland's All-America candidate.

But he said, "Yes, they are one of the greatest teams ever. They have so much talent and team speed throughout the offense and defense. And they have a tremendous coaching staff. It all adds up to an impressive package."

Florida State (10-0 overall, 8-0 in Atlantic Coast Conference) extended its NCAA Division 1-A home winning streak to 29 straight since being tied by Florida in 1994 and the Seminoles have not been beaten at home in 46 consecutive games, which is also an NCAA Division 1-A record.

Florida State is also headed for the Bowl Championship Series and a chance to play for another national championship.

It was not the kind of afternoon Jordan and the Terps (5-5, 2-5) had planned. Instead it was a career day for Seminoles quarterback Chris Weinke, who threw for six touchdowns, three to Peter Warrick.

Maryland has lost three straight games and four of its last five since starting 4-1. But the amazing thing is the Terps could still have a winning season and qualify for a bowl by beating Virginia at home Saturday.

The only solace yesterday for Maryland was another impressive rushing effort by Jordan, who racked up 169 yards on 27 carries. Jordan was still running relentlessly late in the game even though the outcome had long been decided.

"I wanted to show my teammates that I wasn't giving up no matter what the score was," said Jordan, who is now just 33 yards short of Charlie Wysocki's single-season school rushing record of 1,359. "It's never easy to get beat badly like this, but we have to get over it and get ready for Virginia. We can still get out of this with a winning record."

Maryland's fate yesterday was probably sealed with four minutes left in the first quarter when strong-armed freshman quarterback Latrez Harrison left the game with a high ankle sprain.

Harrison had shown a lot of athletic ability and mobility in the early going, running away time after time from a heavy Seminoles rush. The 6-foot-3, 218-pound Harrison had kept Maryland within striking distance, down only 7-0, in the early going and it looked as if he could keep the game interesting.

But Florida State got to Harrison enough times to injure him and force third-string quarterback Trey Evans into the game. (No. 1 quarterback Calvin McCall tore a knee ligament last week against N.C. State.)

That proved to be disastrous as Evans threw two interceptions in the second quarter and four in the game, allowing the Seminoles to showcase all their offensive talent with a lot more ease.

Florida State turned the two picks off Evans in the second quarter into touchdowns and blocked a Brooks Barnard punt to set up a third touchdown in the second quarter for a 28-3 halftime lead.

Weinke tossed four touchdown passes in the first half and added two more in the second half for a career single-game high.

Weinke completed 23 of 33 for 304 yards and was intercepted once.

But Weinke was still overshadowed by Warrick, who caught nine passes for 134 yards and three touchdowns.

Warrick became the ACC's all-time leader in receiving yards yesterday, raising his total to 3,427. Former N.C. State great Torry Holt is second with 3,379.

Warrick was unstoppable when the game was still on the line in the first quarter, running through a retreating Maryland secondary for six receptions for 75 yards.

It was Warrick who caught four passes at the start of the game to bail the Seminoles out of a hole on their 1-yard line.

Florida State did the Terps a big favor on the opening kickoff, when Anquan Boldin tripped coming out of the end zone and fell at the 1.

If looked as if Maryland might gain some early momentum at that point by getting good field position. But Weinke and Warrick led their team to the Maryland 48-yard line before Florida State had to punt.

That escape put the Seminoles right back in control of the game and they drove 87 yards in seven plays for a touchdown the next time they had the ball.

Warrick had made a statement early that he is still one of the most dangerous receivers in the country.

"I did not come back this year for records," said Warrick. "But it is an honor to be named among the top people in the ACC like Torry Holt. I came back to play football for Florida State and to try to win a national championship. We've got ourselves in position to do that so far and that's what I'm happy about."

Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said, "I thought we played well and did a lot of things right. We were fresh from the week off and it showed. This is the kind of effort I've been waiting for."

Maryland coach Ron Vanderlinden was once again disappointed with the performance by his secondary and his team's inability to throw the football.

But he also hinted that the Seminoles were attempting to run up the score.

"It was interesting that they put their first defense in there at the end. It was tough to play the best team in college football with our third-string quarterback."

Jermaine Arrington's 77-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter set up Maryland's only touchdown, a 1-yard pass from Evans to tight end Eric James. The Terrapins also scored on Brian Kopka's 38-yard field goal in the opening minute of the second quarter.

NOTE: Former Dunbar High standout Tommy Polley, who entered the game as the leading Florida State tackler from his weak-side linebacker position, had 11 tackles yesterday to lead the team. Polley didn't start yesterday because it was Senior Day and that honor went to backup Bobby Rhodes. Bowden's teams are 107-13-1 this decade and 57-1-1 at home. FSU next meets archrival Florida. "If you don't win that game everybody forgets about the first 10 wins," Weinke said. Yesterday's was the fifth largest crowd in Campbell Stadium history. Since joining the ACC in 1992, Florida State has won six league titles outright, shared two and stands 62-2 in conference play.

Next for Maryland

Opponent: Virginia

Site: Byrd Stadium, College Park

When: Saturday, noon

Record: 6-4

Yesterday: Beat Buffalo, 50-21.

ACC standings

Conference Overall

W L Pct W L Pct

Fla. State 8 0 1.000 10 0 1.000

Ga. Tech 5 2 .714 7 2 .778

Clemson 5 3 .625 5 5 .500

Virginia 4 3 .571 6 4 .600

Duke 3 4 .429 3 7 .300

N.C. State 3 5 .375 6 5 .545

Maryland 2 5 .286 5 5 .500

W. Forest 2 5 .286 5 5 .500

N. Carolina 1 6 .143 2 8 .200

Yesterday's results

Florida State 49, Maryland 10

Clemson 45, Georgia Tech 42

Duke 48, Wake Forest 35

Virginia 50, Buffalo 21

Saturday's games

Virginia at Maryland, noon

Duke at North Carolina, noon

Ga. Tech at Wake Forest, noon

N.C. State at East Carolina, noon

Clemson at S. Carolina, 1 p.m.

Fla. State at Florida, 3: 30 p.m.

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