Heading into their regular-season finale Saturday night againstNorth Carolina State, the Terrapins (9-1, 6-1 ACC) have forced aremarkable 32 turnovers. The figure ranks second in the nation andis almost as stunning as the team's turnaround under its first-yearcoach.
"Some of the breaks we have gotten we have created," saidFriedgen, who has Maryland in the Top 10 for the first time since1985. "We have 23 interceptions. Some people go four years withoutthat many interceptions. It seems like when things are going rightfor you everything goes right."
Maryland is four interceptions shy of the Atlantic CoastConference record of 27 set by Virginia in 1994.
The turnover game should be something interesting to watch asthe Terrapins try to win the ACC title outright and snap FloridaState's nine-year reign.
The Wolfpack (6-3, 4-3) are 11th in the nation in turnovermargin, coughing the ball up just 11 times in nine games. Andquarterback Philip Rivers has thrown just 16 picks in 740 careerattempts.
"That quarterback is very accurate and very dangerous,"Friedgen said of Rivers, who has thrown for 2,090 yards and 14touchdowns in 2001.
Wolfpack coach Chuck Amato, whose team upset Florida State lastweek, said another big-time game will be good for his team.
"This team has done something that no other ACC team has everdone, and that's win a game against Florida State at Doak CampbellStadium," Amato said. "We get another opportunity this week to dosomething we can be proud of and that's beat the co-champions ofthe ACC. I'd rather it be this way, playing another nationallyranked team right away."
Many N.C. State players still are upset about blowing a 21-6halftime lead at Maryland last season, losing 35-28 in overtime.
"We really felt we had that game under control," Wolfpackrunning back Ray Robinson said. "But things didn't go our way.That was a real disappointing loss there. That took a lot out ofus."
After starting 3-3 this year, the Wolfpack have won threestraight and could end up in the Gator Bowl with wins over Marylandand Ohio.
"We don't have any time to celebrate right now," Amato said."We have to find ways to come down some. Three weeks ago, everyonewas writing this team off. Now we're bowl eligible and we have achance to get seven or eight wins."
N.C. State All-American linebacker Levar Fisher is gearing upfor Maryland's best shot.
Friedgen "must be a great coach. He's said a lot of things tothose guys they must believe in," Fisher said. "They feel they'reunbeatable right now. They're going to come down here motivated andthey're going to be ready. So are we."
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