Sellout expected for Fla. State game

The Baltimore Sun

COLLEGE PARK - Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen has been calling all season for more Terrapins fans to come to Byrd and make noise.

It looks like Friedgen will get his wish against Florida State tomorrow night at Byrd Stadium.

Maryland athletic officials expect a sellout. There were about 1,000 tickets remaining yesterday afternoon, and tickets have been selling at a rate of about 300 to 400 per day.

Florida State fans have purchased about 2,800 tickets, a strong showing for a visiting team.

Friedgen has been trying to encourage student support by holding open practices before games.

When Friedgen arrived at Maryland, he said he was told not to expect much from Terps students in the way of support. "I was told before I came here that that was a problem," he said.

But he said the team has a number of established traditions with the student body - such as Terps players racing toward the student section before home games and leaping into the stands.

Open running lanes?

Florida State enters tomorrow night's game as the Atlantic Coast Conference leader in total defense. So how did Boston College manage to rush for 176 yards in its 27-17 victory over the Seminoles on Saturday? Montel Harris had 121 of those yards.

"They have those big, physical blockers," Florida State coach Bobby Bowden told local media this week. "They handled us up front, not every play because we made some plays, too, but they could stick on their blocks and that kid [Harris] could run and find a hole."

The Terrapins also have a large offensive line. Maryland's Da'Rel Scott is second in the ACC in rushing and needs 142 yards to surpass 1,000 for the season.

Bowl possibilities

It's not too early for Maryland fans to begin looking at which bowl games the Terps might be invited to if they don't advance to and win the ACC championship game Dec. 6 in Tampa, Fla.

Here is a breakdown of possible games:

* The Orange Bowl gets the ACC champ.

* The Chick-fil-A Bowl gets its pick of the rest. Then comes the Gator, followed by the Champs Sports.

* After that, the Music City, Meineke and Emerald bowls make bids for the ACC teams they want. Music City and Meineke are at the top of the pecking order.

* Then comes the Humanitarian Bowl and the brand-new EagleBank Bowl.

Maryland players and coaches have been aiming all season for a slot in the Orange Bowl.

One concern - a minor one - relates to Maryland fans' willingness to travel if the Terps are in the conference championship game and the Orange Bowl. The athletic department wonders whether Terrapins fans would commit to going to Florida twice in such a short period of time.

Some Terps fans believe the conference championship should be closer to home - perhaps in North Carolina.

FLORIDA STATE (7-3, 4-3 ACC) @NO. 22 TERPS (7-3, 4-2)

Tomorrow, 7:45 p.m.


Radio: 105.7 FM, 1300 AM

Line: Florida State by 1

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