ACC: Pack-Terps-112710

Torrey Smith talks about his future

November, 27, 2010
11/27/10
10:27
PM ET
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- It was senior day in College Park, but Maryland may have also seen the last of junior receiver Torrey Smith in Byrd Stadium. He certainly played like it was his last game, as the Terps' top offensive option will consider leaving school early for the NFL draft.

"It's something that obviously I have to investigate," Smith said. "I'll talk to (Ralph) Friedgen, Kevin Glover, see what happens. Just because you play well doesn't mean you can go. I have to weigh my options. I love being here. I wouldn't have chose any other school if I could. Everything has worked out great for me here. I definitely would love to be here for another year, but I have to weigh my options. I graduate in December. I've got a single mother. She's got some things going on at home. Things aren't the best. Whatever is the best situation for me to do, obviously I'll take that route."

Maryland couldn't have defeated NC State without Smith. He set career highs in receptions (14), receiving yards (224) and receiving touchdowns (4). He had a school-record four receiving touchdowns and had the third-most yards in a game in school history. He became just the second player in school history to have more than 1,000 receiving yards in a season (1,045), and he's now the school's career leader in all-purpose yards with 5,183.

Maryland quarterback Danny O'Brien said he'll do his part to keep Smith in College Park.

"I'm going to work him, definitely," O'Brien said with a laugh. "Torrey, he'll make the right decision for himself and his family. But I'm definitely going to be a little bit of a persuader in the sense I want him back. He knows that. He's going to do what's good for himself and his family."

Terps help FSU into title game

November, 27, 2010
11/27/10
10:06
PM ET
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- There was little fanfare here in Byrd Stadium, as the Terps finally earned a marquee win over a ranked opponent and spoiled NC State’s chances at playing in the Dec. 4 Dr. Pepper ACC Championship Game.

[+] EnlargeMaryland's Danny O'Brien
Mitch Stringer/US PRESSWIREDanny O'Brien passed for 417 yards and four touchdowns in Maryland's victory over NC State.
It was Senior Day in College Park. There were record-setting performances and career days by rookie quarterback Danny O'Brien and standout receiver Torrey Smith. There were plenty of reasons to celebrate.

But the real party was going on in Tallahassee.

As Maryland was pushing NC State around en route to a 38-31 win, Florida State was simultaneously dismantling its biggest rival, Florida, in a convincing 31-7 win. It was a monumental victory for the Seminoles, and it was made even bigger with NC State’s loss. Not only did Florida State knock off the Gators for the first time since 2003, it is now guaranteed a trip to the ACC championship game.

NC State tight end George Bryan said he probably won’t be watching.

“Just because I know we had a chance to be there,” he said.

That chance slipped away on Saturday along with NC State’s 14-point lead, as the Wolfpack dropped passes -- including two in the end zone -- turned it over twice, and couldn’t stop Smith, who finished with a school-record four touchdown receptions.

“We’ve come so far,” defensive tackle J.R. Sweezy said. “We were picked to be last in the ACC this year. We were right on the bridge of going to the ACC championship. It hasn’t been done in a long time in Raleigh. We were excited. We wanted it. But we didn’t get it. We’re just going to get back to work, and work for it next year.”

It was only fitting that Florida State won the Atlantic Division with a little help from Maryland, as nobody in the division has separated itself as a great team. Unlike Coastal Division champ Virginia Tech, nobody in the Atlantic Division has been consistently good enough to reach the top of the standings on its own.

With its 6-2 record in conference play in Jimbo Fisher’s first season, there was a lot for the Seminoles to be proud of, but they lost back-to-back heartbreakers to NC State and North Carolina. Maryland was two wins away from playing in the ACC championship game but lost that opportunity with its loss to Florida State last weekend.

In retrospect, the loss that did the Wolfpack in was the 14-13 loss at Clemson -- a divisional game it should have won, but instead blew a 10-0 lead and scored just 13 points in five trips to the red zone.

NC State beat itself again on Saturday.

Bryan and Owen Spencer both dropped potential touchdown passes. A pass intended for T.J. Graham bounced off of his hands and into Maryland safety Eric Franklin’s grasp. The Terps blocked a field goal, and Maryland’s offensive line gave O'Brien all day to find Smith. O'Brien was sacked just twice and threw the ball 47 times.

Still, NC State coach Tom O'Brien said this season wasn't about missed opportunities, rather it was about a successful season the program can build on.

“They felt really crushed,” he said of his players in the locker room. “I don’t think they have comprehended what a great year they really had. To come and get to this point when you look at eight wins or nine wins, when you look at our school, it hasn’t been done too many times. It’s a good start; now we can be better. I told the seniors we are going to find a way to win our ninth game.”

Unfortunately for those seniors, the ninth game won’t be a championship game.

“It’s just a tough way to end a heck of a season and what could have been a chance to keep going,” O’Brien said. “But it didn’t turn out the way we would have liked.”

It did in Tallahassee.

Video: Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen

November, 27, 2010
11/27/10
9:02
PM ET


Ralph Friedgen talks about his team’s win over NC State.

Final: Maryland 38, NC State 31

November, 27, 2010
11/27/10
7:28
PM ET
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- It was NC State's game to lose, and the Wolfpack lost it.

With the Atlantic Division on the line, NC State failed to show up. With nothing but pride on the line, Maryland came to play and finally got its first marquee win of the season against a ranked opponent. The result here leaves Florida State as the Atlantic Division champion. FSU will play Virginia Tech in the Dec. 4 Dr. Pepper ACC Championship game.

I'm heading down to interviews now. Check back for more on this game, as well as the late ACC games.

video

Torrey Smith does it again

November, 27, 2010
11/27/10
6:58
PM ET
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland has no running game and it doesn't need one. Not in this game. Not with Torrey Smith. It took one play, 10 seconds and 71 yards for Smith and the Terps to put this game out of reach and officially suck the life out of NC State. Smith's 71-yard touchdown reception put the Terps up 38-17. He got flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after he dunked the ball over the goal post, but after the day he's had here, it's hard to blame him for a little celebration.

Smith's four touchdown receptions here today are a school record. He has 13 catches for 216 yards and four touchdowns. He's the reason it doesn't matter that Maryland has minus-12 rushing yards in this game and still leads 38-17. Smith is Maryland's offense in this game, and NC State hasn't been able to stop him or pressure quarterback Danny O'Brien into missing his target.

Maryland's D makes big stops

November, 27, 2010
11/27/10
6:50
PM ET
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland's defense has risen to the occasion.

With NC State on the eight yard line, the Terps flushed quarterback Russell Wilson out of the pocket and Drew Gloster wrapped him up and sacked him for a loss of 21 yards as he threw a desperation incomplete pass. That drive changed the game, and took NC State out of it when the Wolfpack needed points the most.

Pack can't stop Torrey Smith

November, 27, 2010
11/27/10
6:33
PM ET
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Torrey Smith is one of the best wide receivers in the ACC, and NC State's defense is making sure you know it today.

Smith has a career-high 12 receptions for 145 yards and three touchdowns. His latest touchdown -- a 12-yard reception from Danny O'Brien -- gave the Terps a 31-17 lead. He's been making plays all over the field, and his three touchdown catches are the first by a Maryland player since Vernon Davis in 2004. Smith also set the record in this game for career all-purpose yards.

Is this Smith's last game in Byrd Stadium? The junior is certainly playing like it is.

Last chance for NC State

November, 27, 2010
11/27/10
6:23
PM ET
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- NC State is trailing Maryland 24-17 heading into the final quarter of its regular season. Whether it extends its season by one more game depends on whether the Pack can fluster Maryland quarterback Danny O'Brien into some mistakes, cover Torrey Smith, and if the offense can finally get something going.

Maryland's defense deserves credit here in the second half, but NC State hasn't done much to help itself in this game with two turnovers and several dropped passes -- including one by tight end George Bryan in the end zone. The Atlantic Division title is on the line here, but NC State has yet to play like it.

FSU looking like champs so far

November, 27, 2010
11/27/10
6:04
PM ET
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- It's still early in this game, but given how NC State's offense has struggled in the second half, and how FSU quarterback Christian Ponder is undoing the Gators in Tallahassee, the Seminoles are the only Atlantic Division team playing like champs today.

Maybe Byrd Stadium just has that effect on contenders. It happened to Clemson last year. Florida State hardly looked dominant against the Terps here last week. And now it's NC State's turn. The Wolfpack trails 24-14 here in the third quarter.

Wolfpack receivers dropping the ball

November, 27, 2010
11/27/10
5:49
PM ET
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- NC State's receivers have been dropping the ball in this game. Literally. Owen Spencer and Jay Smith have both dropped passes, and the first-half interception that led to the game-tying touchdown bounced off the hands of an NC State receiver. Russell Wilson is making the throws, but he needs some help on the other end in this half.

Mustafa Greene injured

November, 27, 2010
11/27/10
5:40
PM ET
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The official word here is that NC State running back Mustafa Greene is out for the rest of the game with a neck strain. The Pack were struggling to run the ball with Greene, but he'll definitely be missed in the second half. He's a fan favorite and has shown some potential this season. He took a big hit from Cameron Chism that resulted in a 15-yard penalty in the first half.

Halftime: Maryland 17, NC State 14

November, 27, 2010
11/27/10
5:26
PM ET
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- NC State's chances at winning the Atlantic Division took a hit in the first half. Here's a quick recap:

Turning point: Maryland had just missed a field goal and NC State seemed to have the momentum, but that quickly changed in the second quarter when quarterback Russell Wilson threw a costly interception. Eric Franklin got the pick and returned it 27 yards to the NC State 3-yard line. Maryland tied the game at 14 on the following possession.
Best player of the half: Maryland quarterback Danny O'Brien. He's the rookie of the two quarterbacks, but he's also made fewer mistakes and kept the Terps in this game. O'Brien has completed 20 of 30 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown.
Stat of the half: The teams have combined for 24 yards rushing. NC State has 39 (Wilson has 25 of them), and Maryland has minus-15. Both quarterbacks have been sacked twice. Davin Meggett is Maryland's leading rusher with six yards.

Can't contain Russell Wilson for long

November, 27, 2010
11/27/10
5:10
PM ET
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland linebacker David Mackall sacked NC State quarterback Russell Wilson for a loss of eight yards. It was a huge play, as the Pack was driving with just under two minutes to play in the half, and it halted NC State's momentum.

But only briefly.

Wilson responded with a 14-yard run, and got the first down with his feet on the following play. Maryland's defense has done a good job of putting pressure on Wilson in the second quarter, but containing him for an entire game is a different story.

Defenses the difference

November, 27, 2010
11/27/10
4:59
PM ET
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Both defenses are now putting the pressure on. The bone-jarring hit that Cameron Chism laid on Mustafa Greene knocked Greene out of the game with a head injury. His status is expected to be updated at halftime.

This quarter has been highlighted by sacks, forced fumbles, and now a game-changing interception by Maryland backup safety Eric Franklin. Maryland has been one of the best turnover teams in the country this year, and NC State fans will remember Russell Wilson's costly interception at East Carolina this year.

In each of NC State's losses this season, turnovers have been a factor. This game is no exception, as the Terps were able to convert that turnover into a game-tying touchdown. The game is 14-14 with 2:25 left in the half.

Terps not done yet

November, 27, 2010
11/27/10
4:26
PM ET
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- One of the biggest questions heading into today's game was whether or not Maryland would play inspired after losing its chance at the Atlantic Division title last week. Well, after a slow start, the Terps have made it interesting here in the second quarter. Quarterback Danny O'Brien is looking sharp and his 35-yard pass to Torrey Smith on third-and-10 extended a scoring drive. The Terps now trail, 14-7, but they proved on that last drive that they haven't packed it in for this season, and they, too, are capable of making some big plays.

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