COLLEGE PARK - Maryland players emerged from the locker room slowly after the game.
Quarterback Chris Turner said he was "kind of in shock."
After their three previous losses, the Terps still had their primary goals in front of them - a berth in the ACC championship game followed by a spot in the Orange Bowl.
The Terps, who close the regular season at Boston College on Saturday, are left with less ambitious goals. They'll try to position themselves for a desirable bowl game. They'll also be reaching for an eighth win to bolster the reputation of the team and the coaches in the eyes of alumni and fans.
Is that enough motivation for Maryland? The Terps will be playing a Boston College team that can clinch the ACC's Atlantic Division with a win.
"I really think there's a lot to play for," Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said yesterday. "If we were to win Saturday, we would tie for division champ. I think that has an impact on what bowl you go to. You'd have a chance to go to a pretty good bowl."
Terps players tried to put the best face on Saturday night's loss, played in front of a sellout crowd in the final Byrd Stadium game for 30 seniors.
Friedgen embraced the seniors under the goal posts during the pre-game ceremony.
"They [the seniors] have another game to go to try to get some retribution," said Turner, a junior. "Eight wins is still a very good season."
Edwin Williams, a senior center who has started 36 straight games, said: "It's very depressing, but I think as time goes on I'll understand that's just how it goes. You really just have to think about the good times."
The ACC champion plays in the Orange Bowl, and the Chick-fil-A Bowl gets its pick of the rest of the conference teams. Then comes the Gator Bowl, followed by the Champs Sports Bowl. After that, the Music City, Meineke and Emerald bowls make bids for the ACC teams they want. The Terps lost to Oregon State in last year's Emerald Bowl.
NOTE: : Torrey Smith broke Josh Wilson's season kickoff return record of 847 yards. Smith has 860 yards.
Da'Rel Scott ran 41 yards to the Florida State 16 to set up a third-quarter field goal - one of the few times Maryland fans had reason to cheer.
On consecutive second-quarter plays, Turner was slammed to the turf on a late hit, sacked and intercepted.. He was under pressure much of the night.
The Terps travel to Boston College (8-3, 4-3 ACC) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. After their 24-21 win at Wake Forest, the Eagles can capture the ACC's Atlantic Division with a win.
MARYLAND (7-4, 4-3) @ No. 20 BC (8-3, 4-3)
Time: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
TV: Chs. 2, 7
Radio: 105.7 FM, 1300 AM
Line: BC by 6 1/2