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Seminoles cruise in College Park with 41-14 rout

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Seminoles cruise in College Park with 41-14 rout

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Devonta Freeman ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns, Florida State's top-ranked defense lived up to its billing and the No. 10 Seminoles rolled past Maryland 41-14 Saturday to earn a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.

Florida State (10-1, 7-1) led 27-0 at halftime and cruised to its fifth straight victory. The Seminoles clinched the league's Atlantic Division title for the second time in three years and will play for its 13th ACC crown on Dec. 1.

EJ Manuel completed 17 of 23 passes for 144 yards and two scores to supplement a running game that gained 237 yards. In their previous game at Virginia Tech, the Seminoles were held to minus-15 yards rushing.

Operating against an injury-plagued Maryland team using a linebacker at quarterback, Florida State allowed 27 yards and three first downs before halftime and ended up giving up 170 yards -- well below their nation's best average of 242.9 per game.

Were it not for a 42-yard touchdown pass from Shawn Petty to Kevin Dorsey with 25 seconds left, the Seminoles would have held the opposition under 10 points for the sixth time in 11 games.

The defeat formally ended any chance Maryland had of becoming bowl eligible. The Terrapins (4-7, 2-5) have dropped five straight, the last three by a collective 119-37 score.

Maryland's skid coincides with the loss of its top four quarterbacks with season-ending injuries. Making his third straight start, Petty went 8 for 19 for 136 yards and two touchdowns but lost a fumble.

Any reasonable hope the Terrapins had of pulling off an upset vanished after the Seminoles scored two touchdowns in a 12-second span to take a 14-0 lead with less than six minutes elapsed.

Maryland won the toss, deferred and promptly yielded an 11-play, 61-yard drive that ended with a 5-yard run by Freeman. Levern Jacobs fumbled the subsequent kickoff, FSU recovered at the 10 and Manuel threw a first-down touchdown pass to tight end Nick O'Leary.

Late in the first quarter, Petty botched a handoff and the Seminoles recovered the fumble at the Maryland 32.

After 15 minutes, the Seminoles had a 111-18 advantage in total yardage. On the second play of the second quarter, Dustin Hopkins kicked a 26-yard field goal to make it 17-0 and set a Football Bowl Subdivision record for career points by a kicker (442). He added six more points to extend the mark to 448.

Florida State's next drive began with a 21-yard pass from Manuel to O'Leary and ended with a 40-yard field goal. Late in the half, Manuel directed a 70-yard march that ended with his 30-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Greene.

In the third quarter, Petty threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Dorsey on a fourth-down play. It was the final home game for Dorsey and 16 other Maryland seniors, all of whom never got the satisfaction of defeating a top-10 team.

Florida State went up 34-7 late in the third quarter. After Freeman ran for 47 yards on a third-and-1, he scored on the next play from the 2.

With Manuel and Freeman watching from the sideline, the Seminoles added a fourth-quarter touchdown on a 22-yard run by James Wilder Jr. 

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Career night propels Melo Trimble to another Big Ten Player of the Week award

Career night propels Melo Trimble to another Big Ten Player of the Week award

Melo Trimble is the straw that stirs the No. 24 Maryland Terrapins' drink, and during the team's most important week of the regular season, we saw just how important he is.

The junior guard scored a career-high 32 points in a pivotal road victory against a NCAA Tournament-bound Northwestern team, and followed it up with 27 points in a tough road loss against then No. 11 Wisconsin.

The two-game performance was enough for the Big Ten to award Trimble with Player of the Week honors, the fourth time he has received the award.

Trimble made 12 of his 17 field goal attempts against the Wildcats, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. He also contributed three assists and grabbed four rebounds. Against Wisconsin, he scored the bulk of his 27 points in the second half, but struggled from the free throw line, making just 5 of his 10 attempts.

Against the Wildcats, Trimble carried the load, putting the team on his back, and it was more than enough.

He attempted to do the same against the Badgers, but needed some extra help. That's where the Terps have struggled this season. Freshman Justin Jackson, Kevin Huerter and Anthony Cowan have the ability to do so, but they are still just freshman, meaning consistent output on the road late in the season is far from a guarantee.

But one thing is for sure, Melo Trimble continues to prove that he is the type of player that can single-handily carry a team to the NCAA Tournament's second weekend.

The Big Ten knows this, and it won't be long before the rest of the country does too.

RELATED: TERPS CONTINUE TO SLIDE DOWN AP TOP 25 POLL

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Terps' Top 25 slide continues following matinee loss at Wisconsin

Terps' Top 25 slide continues following matinee loss at Wisconsin

The Maryland Terrapins finished their toughest week of Big Ten play with a 1-1 split, defeating the surprisingly strong Northwestern Wildcats 74-64, before falling to the No. 11 Wisconsin Badgers in Madison on Sunday, 71-60.

The loss was the Terps' third in five games since rising to as high as the No. 17 team in the AP Top 25 poll.

But with just four games left on the regular season schedule, Maryland finds itself barely holding on to a spot in the polls, coming in at No. 24 this week, one spot lower than last week.

Junior guard Melo Trimble continues to stir the drink for the Terps, but the lack of scoring options hurt the Terps in the second half against a deep, talented Wisconsin team.

Trimble scored 27 points against the Badgers, which came on the heels of his career-high 32 points against the Wildcats. But Justin Jackson, Anthony Cowan and Kevin Huerter, the Terps' next three top scorers, combined for just 16 points against Wisconsin.

Up next for Maryland is a home game against a desperate Minnesota team looking for a quality win to boost their tournament resume.

After the Wednesday night home game against the Golden Gophers, the Terps will host Iowa, another potential bubble team, on Saturday night. 

LATEST ASSOCIATE PRESS TOP 25 POLL

Rank. Team (1st Place Votes), Record. Previous Rank
1. Gonzaga (59), 28-0. 1
2. Villanova (5), 26-2. 2
3. Kansas (1), 24-3. 3
4. Arizona, 25-3. 5
5. UCLA, 24-3. 6
6. Oregon, 24-4. 7
7. Louisville, 22-5. 8
8. North Carolina, 23-5. 10
9. Baylor, 22-5. 4
10. Duke, 22-5. 12
11. Kentucky, 22-5. 13
12. West Virginia, 21-6. 9
13. Florida, 22-5. 15
14. Purdue, 22-5. 16
15. Cincinnati, 24-3. 18
16. Wisconsin, 22-5. 11
17. SMU, 24-4. 19
18. Virginia, 18-8. 14
19. Florida State, 21-6. 17
20. Saint Mary's, 24-3. 22
21. Notre Dame, 21-7. 25
22. Butler, 21-6. 24
23. Creighton, 22-5. 20
24. Maryland, 22-5. 23
25. Wichita State, 25-4. NR