for this game

Dominant defensive effort helps Florida State down Maryland

Nov 23, 2008 - 6:08 AM COLLEGE PARK, Maryland (Ticker) -- By the time Rhodes Scholar Myron Rolle arrived, his defensive teammates were helping Florida State move one step closer to earning a spot in the ACC title game.

Derek Nicholson returned a fumble for a touchdown and the Seminoles forced four turnovers in an impressive 37-3 rout of No. 23 Maryland on Saturday.

Christian Ponder threw for a touchdown and ran for another for the Seminoles (8-3, 5-3 ACC Atlantic), who welcomed back Rolle, an All-American safety who was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship earlier Saturday in Birmingham, Alabama.

"A lot of emotions," Rolle said. "I'm very very excited, very happy. ... This is even better. A great win to cap off a memorable day."

Rolle was in contact with his teammates prior to the game.

"They were texting me all day," he said. "I'm glad they came out and played well while I wasn't here."

"When we found out that he won Rhodes Scholarship, it was like we got one win already," Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said.

An NFL prospect who has aspirations of becoming a doctor, Rolle became the first high-profile athlete to earn the honor in nearly 25 years. Rhodes Scholars are given a two-year scholarship to England's Oxford University.

Rolle was escorted by police and arrived in the second quarter with Florida State holding a commanding 21-0 lead. The junior quickly changed and warmed up on the sideline before entering the contest with under two minutes left in the first half.

Rolle will have a difficult choice to make regarding his future.

"I will sit down with my family and decide what my future is," said Rolle, who is looked upon as a potential first-round NFL draft pick.

He didn't need to do much with the game already in hand. In a performance Rolle would be proud of, Florida State's defense recorded six sacks and scored 21 points off the four turnovers. Everette Brown was a huge difference maker, recording 3 1/2 sacks and a forced fumble.

"We did a better job tonight of attacking, playing Florida State football," Brown said. "Tonight we just wanted to make sure we attacked and controlled the line of scrimmage up front."

In a bit of irony, Rolle and the Seminoles now need help from the Terrapins to reach the ACC championship game.

A Maryland win over Boston College (8-3, 4-3) next week would give Florida State a berth in the ACC title game and a chance at a BCS bowl.

"That could always happen," Bowden said. "They could get fired up next week. You never know."

The Seminoles were dominant from the start in this one.

Nicholson's fumble return made it 14-0, and Antone Smith scored from 1 yard out with 1:35 left in the first half to make it 21-0.

Obi Egekeze kicked a 34-yard field goal for Maryland (7-4, 4-3), which could have earned a spot in the conference championship by winning its final two games.

"It just boggles my mind," Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said. "We just didn't have it."

The Terrapins are 4-0 against top-25 opponents, but fell to just 3-4 vs. unranked teams.

"I just don't understand how we can play so well one week and so poorly the next," Friedgen said. "When you have that many seniors, a chance to play in the Orange Bowl and in Tampa (for the ACC title), it's just disappointing."








  • NCAAF FINAL
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA ST 0 21 3 13 37
    MARYLAND (23) 0 0 3 0 3 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: FLORIDA ST - TD, PRESTON PARKER 7 YD PASS FROM
    CHRISTIAN PONDER (GRAHAM GANO
    KICK), 0:09. FLORIDA ST 7-0
    FLORIDA ST - TD, DEREK NICHOLSON 22 YD FUMBLE
    RETURN (GRAHAM GANO KICK),
    5:41. FLO

    Nov 22 10:52 PM


  • NCAAF
    FLORIDA ST 37
    MARYLAND (23) 3 2:43 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Florida State 37, Maryland(23) 3  4th - 2:43Nov 22 10:42 PM
  • 29
    roots
    Sweetness34 Added 5 roots

    Florida State 24, Maryland(23) 3  4th - 14:55Nov 22 10:33 PM


  • NCAAF END, 3RD QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA ST 0 21 3 24
    MARYLAND (23) 0 0 3 3 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: FLORIDA ST - TD, PRESTON PARKER 7 YD PASS FROM
    CHRISTIAN PONDER (GRAHAM GANO
    KICK), 0:09. FLORIDA ST 7-0
    FLORIDA ST - TD, DEREK NICHOLSON 22 YD FUMBLE
    RETURN (GRAHAM GANO K

    Florida State 24, Maryland(23) 3  End of 3rdNov 22 10:06 PM


  • NCAAF HALFTIME
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA ST 0 21 21
    MARYLAND (23) 0 0 0 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NONE
    2ND QUARTER: FLORIDA ST - TD, PRESTON PARKER 7 YD PASS FROM
    CHRISTIAN PONDER (GRAHAM GANO
    KICK), 0:09. FLORIDA ST 7-0
    FLORIDA ST - TD, DEREK NICHOLSON 22 YD FUMBLE
    RETURN (GRAHAM GANO KICK),
    5

    Florida State 21, Maryland(23) 0  HalfNov 22 9:16 PM
  • 24
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 24 roots (Upset)

    Florida State 21, Maryland(23) 0  HalfNov 22 9:16 PM


  • NCAAF
    FLORIDA ST 14
    MARYLAND (23) 0 6:59 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Florida State 14, Maryland(23) 0  2nd - 6:59Nov 22 8:50 PM


  • NCAAF
    FLORIDA ST 7
    MARYLAND (23) 0 10:09 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Florida State 7, Maryland(23) 0  2nd - 10:09Nov 22 8:37 PM


  • NCAAF END, 1ST QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA ST 0 0
    MARYLAND (23) 0 0 END, 1ST QTR

    Nov 22 8:21 PM