Sept. 6, 2003
By BRENT KALLESTAD
Associated Press Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Greg Jones ran for two touchdowns and Chris Rix passed for two more Saturday night as No. 11 Florida State wiped out an early 10-point deficit and defeated Maryland 35-10.
Florida State (2-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) is now 14-0 against Maryland. The 35 points were the fewest Florida State has scored in seven home wins over Maryland.
Jones broke free for a 44-yard touchdown run with 11:29 left in the first half to give the Seminoles a 14-10 lead. On a third-and-two, the 240-pound Jones took a pitch, broke to the right sideline and outran Maryland's defenders.
The run pushed Jones past 2,000 yards for his career, making him only the ninth Florida State player to surpass that milestone.
The victory was coach Bobby Bowden's 334th, leaving him just three behind all-time leader Joe Paterno of Penn State among Division IA coaches. He also tied former Virginia coach George Welsh for the most ACC wins with 85.
Jones scored his second touchdown on a 1-yard run to culminate a 99-yard drive that gave the Seminoles a 21-10 lead with 5:38 left in the half. A 67-yard pass from Rix to P.K. Sam was the big play on the nine-play scoring drive.
Sam later caught a 34-yard touchdown pass that gave Florida State a 28-10 lead in the final seconds of the third quarter. Willie Reid's 2-yard TD run completed the scoring.
Maryland (0-2, 0-1 ACC) started fast but couldn't sustain anything offensively against Florida State's speedy defense, which hasn't allowed a touchdown this season.
The Terrapins managed only 197 total yards, and quarterback Scott McBrien, who spent most of his night scrambling under pressure, completed only 6 of 18 passes for 61 yards.
D'Qwell Jackson intercepted Rix on Florida State's first offensive play and ricocheted off two would-be Seminole tacklers to maintain his balance on a 58-yard scoring return that gave Maryland a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.
Jackson also blocked a field goal try by Florida State's Xavier Beitia when Maryland held an early 10-7 lead.
Maryland took a 10-0 lead on a 44-yard field goal by Nick Novak before Florida State scored on an 18-yard pass from Rix to Craphanso Thorpe.
In a schedule quirk, Florida State opens the season with three straight league games and already has a leg up on Maryland and North Carolina State - two teams thought to be ACC contenders this season. Wake Forest upset N.C. State 34-24 Saturday.