Instant analysis: Fla. State 41, Maryland 14
November, 17, 2012
By Heather Dinich | ESPN.com
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- This game went as many probably expected. Here's a quick look back at FSU's final and most important ACC win of the season:
It was over when: No. 10 Florida State walked into the stadium. In a matchup of the nation's No. 1 total defense against the nation's worst offense, the game played out on the field exactly as it looked on paper. FSU went 61 yards in 11 plays on the first drive of the game, which was capped by Devonta Freeman's 5-yard touchdown run. The Noles never looked back.
Game ball goes to: Freeman. He ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries for 9.3 yards per carry. Since taking over for injured starter Chris Thompson, Freeman has kept the Noles' ground game going. He finished the first half with 77 rushing yards. It's the fourth time in the past five games Freeman has had at least 70 rushing yards in a game.
Stat of the game: Florida State held Maryland to 27 yards (all through the air) in the first half, which was the fewest yards the defense has held an opposing offense to in the first half. Maryland did not gain a rushing yard on 12 carries in the first half, the second fewest in a half since FSU held Miami to minus-12 rushing yards in the second half earlier this season.
What it means: Florida State clinches at least a share of the Atlantic Division title and will play in the ACC title game in Charlotte, N.C., on Dec. 1. It will be Florida State's second appearance in the title game under coach Jimbo Fisher, as the Noles won the Atlantic Division in 2010.
Unsung hero of the game: Maryland linebacker Kenny Tate. He had three sacks for a total loss of 11 yards and finished with five tackles. He became the first Maryland player to have three sacks in a game since 2002, when Shawne Merriman did it against North Carolina. Merriman was at the game Saturday.