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(Saturday, November 22nd)
Final Score: Florida State 37, (22) Maryland 3
College Park, MD (Sports Network) - Christian Ponder ran 14 times for 81 yards with a score and passed for 143 yards with a touchdown to lead Florida State to a 37-3 win over No. 22 Maryland at Byrd Stadium.
Ponder completed 19 of 24 passes for Florida State (8-3, 5-3 ACC) and Antone Smith rushed 13 times for 45 yards and a touchdown. The Seminoles will close out the regular season next weekend with a non-conference clash against national powerhouse Florida.
"That is just not satisfying at all. A 5-3 record, I just cannot accept that. When we get back to 6-0 or 7-0 then that will be better," Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said of his team's conference mark.
Maryland (7-4, 4-3) quarterback Chris Turner completed 16 of 30 passes for 149 yards and two interceptions. Running back Da'Rel Scott had 82 yards on 12 carries and Dan Gronkowski led the Terrapins with four receptions and 46 yards, but the defeat ruined Maryland's chance to make it to the ACC title game.
"We didn't play very well, obviously. I'm very disappointed in the game we played, especially when we had a lot at stake," said Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen. "It just boggles my mind how we played so poorly in such a big game. We're pretty much out of it, the way I see it."
A Boston College win over the visiting Terrapins next week, will give the Eagles the Atlantic Division title and a berth in the ACC championship game. If Maryland beats Boston College, the Seminoles will win the division.
Following a scoreless first-quarter, Florida State scored on a seven-yard touchdown pass from Ponder to Preston Parker with 14:51 remaining to give the Seminoles a 7-0 lead.
After an exchange of punts, FSU's Derek Nicholson recovered a Terrapin fumble and returned it 22 yards for a touchdown to give the Seminoles a 14-0 lead with 9:19 left in the half.
Florida State's third and final touchdown of the first half came on a one-yard run by Smith with 1:35 remaining as the Seminoles went into the locker room leading 21-0.
The teams exchanged field goals in the third quarter. Graham Gano of Florida State kicked a 22-yarder with 6:41 remaining. Maryland's lone score came on a 34-yarder by Obi Egekeze with 3:46 left. The Seminoles led 24-3 entering the fourth quarter.
Gano kicked a 34-yard field goal with 14:30 remaining in the game and Ponder got into the end zone on a one-yard plunge with 8:49 left as Florida State took a 34-3 advantage.
Gano closed the scoring on a 48-yard field goal with 5:19 left as the Seminoles finished the 37-3 road upset.
Florida State has won 17 of its 19 all-time meetings with Maryland...Parker had eight catches for 67 yards...Florida State outgained Maryland 332-252... The Seminoles forced four turnovers which produced 21 points...Florida State registered six sacks for 43 yards.
11/23 03:17:32 ET