Maryland Drops Heartbreaker to FSU

Nov. 21, 2009

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Freshman Lonnie Pryor ran for a pair of touchdowns, including a 1-yarder with 32 seconds left, and Florida State dealt Maryland a heart-breaking 29-26 defeat on Saturday.

The Terrapins were only a couple minutes away from their first win at Florida State, but the Seminoles made some key plays down the stretch.

Maryland's defense intercepted FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel three times, the last one by Cameron Chism with 2:57 left that seemed to shut the door on the Seminoles.

But holding a 26-22 lead, the Terps were unable to get a first down and freshman Greg Reid's 48-yard punt return gave the Seminoles the ball at the Maryland 44 with 1:35 left.

Reid was lucky to get his hands on the ball - Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen wanted Nick Ferrara's punt to sail out of bounds.

"The kid is a heckuva returner," Friedgen said. "Regardless, we have to go down there and cover."

The Seminoles were out of timeouts, but scrambles of 15 and 20 yards by Manuel set up a first-and-goal from the 9. One play later Pryor went over right tackle for the go-ahead score.

The Terps had one last chance from their own 25, but quarterback Jamarr Robinson, impressive in his second career start, had just 25 seconds to drive the team into field-goal range.

After three incompletions, Robinson hit Adrian Cannon in the left flat. Following multiple laterals, Ronnie Tyler was tackled at the end of the 33-yard play as time ran out.

Maryland rallied twice in the final quarter. Robinson, who was 20 of 27 for 213 yards, hit Cannon on a 20-yard touchdown to give the Terps a 19-14 lead with 12:40 left in the game.

The Seminoles answered four plays later when Bert Reed scored on a 42-yard reverse.

Davin Meggett's second touchdown of the game, a 9-yard run with 4:29 remaining, gave the Terrapins a 26-22 lead.

"We had a chance to finish the game," Maryland linebacker Alex Wujciak said.

Da'Rel Scott, back in the lineup after missing five weeks with a broken wrist, gave the Maryland running attack a spark. Scott had 83 yards on 19 carries and Meggett added 59 (on 13 carries) as the Terps posted a season-best 196 yards on the ground.

Manuel, who was making his first start at home since taking over for the injured Christian Ponder, completed 17 of 27 passes for 206 yards. He also ran for 49 yards.

Florida State led 14-6 late in the second quarter and looked to be on their way to a third touchdown when the game turned around dramatically.

Wujciak picked off a Manuel pass and rambled 82 yards to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Meggett as the Terrapins pulled within 14-13 seconds before the break.

Wujciak's pick was his second in three games and he set the Maryland single-season interception return yardage record (152) in the process. Joe Horning had 147 interception return yards in 1951.

Robinson led the Terps on five scoring drives in the game and accounted for 271 of the team's 409 total yards.

"He was poised, he made very good decisions," Friedgen said. "I was very impressed."

Material from the Associated Press contributed to this story