November 17, 2012

Insider Report: Hopkins kicks into record book

Defensive line dominates

As expected the Maryland offense struggled to get much going against the stout Seminoles’ defense. The Terrapins finished with just 170 yards of total offense in the game, and just 34 yards rushing.

Fill-in quarterback Shawn Petty made some plays with his arm, finishing the game 8 of 19 for 136 yards and two touchdowns, but he was harassed throughout the game as he was sacked five times.

“He felt it on those hits out there,” said defensive tackle Demonte McAllister, who had a sack in the game. “We was just prepared to give him everything we’ve got. We knew what he was going to do and soon as he got the ball we were going to hit him.”

Defensive ends Cornellius Carradine and Bjoern Werner with 1.5 sacks each. Both spent much of the game in the Terrapins’ backfield, as Werner has three tackles for loss, and Carradine had two.

The defense took advantage of an early 14-0 lead provided by the offense and special teams units and was able to get after Petty who was forced to throw more down two scores. Maryland had just 27 yards of total offense in the first half.

FSU’s defense drew the ire of Jimbo Fisher early in the second half, as Maryland cut the lead to 27-7 on a nine-play, 81-yard touchdown drive to start the half.

“I think they dominated the first half,” Fisher said. “(The start of the second half) was a little focus issue, you’ve got to learn to focus the whole time, but our defense was dominant. We knew they’d have trouble throwing the football and we’d be able to crunch the box and create some things. They were able to get that last play, but they played really good football. They’re a great defense and have been all year.”

After the score, Maryland mustered just 40 yards total on its next four possessions, before scoring on a 42-yard pass from Petty after an FSU fumble with just 25 seconds left in the game.

“We played pretty good except that one drive when they scored,” Werner said. “We were slouching around a little bit, but we picked it up pretty good. It was just good defense.”

Manuel tweaks his ankle

At the end of the first half, Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel was visibly in pain for his final two snaps of the half. With less than two minutes left in the half, Manuel was flushed from the pocket to his left and linebacker Kenneth Tate came down on his ankle after a two-yard gain.

The fifth-year senior was slow to get up, but on the next play he connected with Rashad Greene for a 30-yard touchdown before limping of the field.

“I feel fine,” Manuel said. “I have a little ankle tweak, but I’ve had it before. Roll your ankle in basketball and things like that you keep playing through it. I’ll be fine.”

Manuel stayed in the game as the FSU signal caller for the first three possessions of he second half before giving way to Clint Trickett after a fourth quarter interception. Manuel finished the game 17 of 23 for 144 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He was sacked three times and pressured much of the afternoon.

“He just had a little twinge on his ankle,” Fisher said. “He just tweaked his ankle"I think it was on that touchdown pass if I’m not mistaken"stayed in there though. Boy I tell you what that guy stands in there on that blitz, and those guys are hard to find that can stand there and take those shots in the chops and let it go.”

Manuel said he feels fine and the injury is not expected to affect his status next week against Florida.

“You’ve got to be tough and make a play,” Manuel said. “Nobody cares about an ankle being hurt.”

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