Gators Got Game
Grossman came off the bench to throw for four touchdowns.
Florida's Heisman finalist QB Rex Grossman didn't start Wednesday's Orange Bowl, but it didn't matter. Grossman came off the bench to complete 20 of 28 passes for 245 and four touchdowns, leading the Gators to a 56-23 victory over Maryland. Florida receiver Taylor Jacobs was named MVP for his 10-catch, 170-yard, two-touchdown performance.
• Connolly: One-two punch | Graham the key
• Lopsided loss takes luster off Terps' season
• Fridge Fever takes over Maryland
|INDIVIDUAL STATISTICAL LEADERS|
|TEAM STATISTICAL COMPARISON|
| || 200.8 |
Passing completion %
"You Gator fans talk about tradition and SEC this and SEC that, but the fact of the matter is that UF and Maryland have the same number of National Championships -- 1. Spurrier loses the big game on an alarmingly regular basis."
2001 Between the Lines: Thinking big
Gene Wojciechowski felt sorry for Ralph Friedgen. The poor guy was convinced he could win at Maryland.
As the season draws to a close, it's time to look back at the highs and lows as well as salute the best coach and players in the ACC.
As the season draws to a close, it's time to look back at the highs and lows as well as salute the best coach and players in the SEC.
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WITH KIRK HERBSTREIT
To my surprise, Florida came into the Orange Bowl absolutely ready to play. After the loss to Tennessee at the end of the regular season, I wasn't sure if the Gators would play inspired football against Maryland, but they did indeed. Steve Spurrier and his staff deserve a lot of credit for motivating the Gators and getting them ready play like champions in a BCS bowl game.
Brock Berlin turned in an adequate performance, but Number 8 looked downright unfair. With 245 yards and four touchdowns, Rex Grossman clearly blocked out the distractions surrounding his being benched for missing curfew. Grossman was mentally and physically prepared to command his offense and he had one of his best games of the season in front of the Orange Bowl crowd.
Maryland was just too slow to matchup with the Gators Wednesday night. The blitzing defense that worked well for the Terps in the ACC championship backfired against Florida's sophisticated passing scheme. It is very important for the Terps to walk away from this season with their head held high, enjoying the success they achieved in their first season under Ralph Friedgen. They need to be ready to compete again come next August, so they can show the recruiting class and the country that this season was not a fluke.
Although Florida has a number of players returning next year, expect some of them to depart for the NFL. Regardless, Florida will be one of the top teams in the country in the preseason, led by Heisman front-runner Grossman.
|WHY TO WATCH|
|Maryland is the biggest Cinderella story in the nation this season, going from a 5-6 record in 2000 to 10-1 and a BCS berth. Florida is searching for a happy ending to a season that saw national championship dreams die in a loss to Tennessee.|
|WHO TO WATCH|
|Maryland's offense runs through Bruce Perry, who led the ACC with 1,242 rushing yards and scored 10 touchdowns. Florida wide receiver Jabar Gaffney has 28 TD catches in his first two seasons, the most in NCAA history.|
|92: Florida has outscored it's opponents by 92 points (131-39) in the first quarter this season.|
55: Florida quarterback Rex Grossman has 55 TD passes in his first two seasons, the most in NCAA history.
Coach Ralph Friedgen says he was embarrassed by the Terps' showing in the FedEx Orange Bowl on Jan. 2.
QB Rex Grossman makes a pretty fair backup. The Heisman Trophy runner-up emerged from the sideline and Steve
Spurrier's doghouse in the second quarter on Jan. 2, throwing
four touchdown passes in the Orange Bowl win.
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MARYLAND VS. FLORIDA