Maryland moved to 4-4 (2-3 ACC) on the season with tonight's 20-17 upset victory over No. 5 Florida State (6-2, 4-2 ACC). The Terps defeated the Seminoles for the first time ever in a series that dates to 1966, and handed FSU its second conference loss for only the second time (2001, 2004) since joining the ACC in 1992.
The Terrapins enter elite company with the victory, as the win marks only the eighth by an ACC team over the Seminoles since FSU joined the league in 1992. The Terps join Virginia (1995), NC State (1998, 2001, 2002), North Carolina (2001), Clemson (2003) and Miami (2004) as ACC victors over the Seminoles.
The Terps' win over the No. 5/5 Seminoles marks Maryland's first victory over a Top 5 opponent since Oct. 29, 1983, when the Terps downed No. 3 North Carolina, 28-26, at Byrd Stadium. The Terps' last Top 10 win was a 35-30 victory on Nov. 17, 1990, at Virginia.
Head coach Ralph Friedgen brought his Terps back home to Byrd Stadium in style, snapping a three-game losing streak with the win to move his home record to 22-3. Friedgen is now 31-1 when leading at halftime (13-3 tonight).
Junior linebacker D'Qwell Jackson's 11 tackles once again anchored a superior performance by the Terrapin defense, which allowed Florida State only 50 rushing yards and 17 points -- the lowest in the series. Williams Kershaw and Omarr Savage recorded solo sacks to help the Terps to four overall for a total of 26 yards.
Terrapin sophomore quarterback Joel Statham put forth a superlative offensive effort, completing 21-of-40 passes for 333 yards and one touchdown. His one-yard plunge in the second quarter gave Maryland a 13-3 lead and was his first career rushing touchdown -- and only the second rushing touchdown of the year allowed by the Seminoles.
Statham's 333 passing yards were the most by a Maryland quarterback against Florida State since 1995, when Scott Milanovich threw for 380 in a 59-17 loss in Tallahassee. His 333 yards were the most against the Seminoles since Nov. 15, 2003, when NC State's Philip Rivers passed for 422 (28-of-38) in a 50-44 double-overtime FSU victory.
With Nick Novak's first quarter field goal, Maryland scored first against the Seminoles for the third time in the last four meetings with FSU.
Senior Ray Custis' interception off of a Domonique Foxworth tip in the first quarter was his third career interception and second this season. It also marked the first interception by Maryland since the Duke game (game four).
Josh Allen's 72-yard catch-and-run in the third quarter was the longest play this season for Maryland. It was also a career-long reception for Allen, his second career receiving touchdown and his first of this season.
Today's attendance of 52,203 marked the eighth-largest crowd in Byrd Stadium history. With one home game left in 2004, the Terps are averaging 52,047 fans per game this season.
Next week's opponent, Virginia, was idle this week.