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Noles Heavy Favorites Against Maryland

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (CBSMiami) – Playing this year's Florida State Seminoles team can be tough enough if you have a completely healthy roster. But Maryland heads into Saturday's game with a linebacker at quarterback and multiple players sidelined with injuries.

Florida State will be playing to clinch a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game on Saturday and looking to rebound from a game that was way too close against Virginia Tech last Thursday.

Maryland has been outscored 118-58 over the last four games, all losses, including giving up 78 points in the last two weeks alone. Freshman linebacker Shawn Petty is the team's starting quarterback after every scholarship quarterback went down with injuries.

Petty has already lost four fumbles and thrown an interception in his two starts. Now, he faces a Seminoles defense ranked fourth in the nation in points allowed and is number one in overall yards allowed (total defense).

The Noles come into the game as a 31-point favorite against the Terps who are 4-6 on the season and have won just six games in the past two years. FSU has never struggled against Maryland, owning a 20-2 series lead, but the Noles want a W to send them to the title game.

"The key is for us is to see how important Maryland is and to focus on Maryland and not the championship," Fisher told the Associated Press. "It's hard because that's what you want — to be a conference champion and to go to the national title game and BCS. Your first objective is to win the conference."

Maryland's defense is no slouch in its own right though. The Terps rank 16th in the country in total defense giving up just 315.1 yards per game. But, during Maryland's last three games, the defense has been giving up more points each week, culminating with a 45-10 blowout against Clemson last week.

On the other side of the ball, Florida State's offense has scored at least 28 points in every game this season except for the Noles' lone loss to North Carolina State on October 16. The Noles struggled last week against Virginia Tech, but when it counted most, the offense hit a big play and walked out with a win.

For the season, FSU is averaging 43.1 points per game and roughly 5.62 yards per carry. The Noles are also flat out deadly in the Red Zone. FSU converts red zone opportunities at a 91.2 percent clip in 2012.

FSU vs. Maryland will kick off at noon Saturday and can be seen on ESPNU.


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