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    Saturday, November 22, 2008

    Gano Could Be Game Winner On Saturday Night

    So who are the players to watch in the FSU-Maryland game?

    Here are my players to watch for Maryland on offense:

    Chris Turner- The Noles seem to bring out the best in opposing players. The defense will need to get to quarterback Chris Turner. For the season, Turner has thrown 9 TDs and has 6 picks. He will run but on the year has negative rushing yardage.

    Da'Rel Scott- If the Noles can limit running back Scott, they have a good shot at the win. That will not be easy. Scott has 858 yards rushing and 6 TDs. He is over the thousand yard mark in all purpose yards with 1,008 yards including 150 receiving yards.

    Darrius Heyward-Bey- He is the Terps' leading receiver and he has s-p-e-e-d. The FSU secondary will have to have a great game in order to contain him.

    Dan Gronkowski
    - He is Maryland's huge tight end. At 6-6 and 255 pounds, Gronkowski is known as a tight end with sure hands. He is the second leading receiver for Maryland with 25 catches for 241 yards and 3 TDs.

    Edwin Williams- He is the Terp's senior center on an offensive line that has experience. This will be a great test to see how FSU's defense can handle this tough offensive line. If Williams and the Maryland line prevail, it could be a long night for the Noles.

    On defense, here are my Maryland players to watch:

    Alex Wujciak– This 6-3/255 pound middle linebacker is the leading tackler for Maryland with 99 and 5 tackles for a loss. He also has recovered one fumble and has one pass break up.

    Moise Fokou – The 6-2/225 pound strong side linebacker leads the team in sacks with 5 and tackles for a loss with 8. On the year, he has 62 tackles.

    Dave Philistin
    - The 6-2/231 pound inside linebacker is Maryland's second leading tackler with 70 tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, and 1 1/2 sacks.

    Jeremy Navarre - The 6-3/280 pound senior defensive end anchors the defensive line having posted 52 tackles on the year. He also has 2 1/2 sacks and 3 pass break ups.

    Jamari McCollough
    - The 5-11 junior defensive back leads the team in interceptions with 4.

    Special teams:

    Obi Egekeze - The field goal kicker is 14 of 21 on the season. His longest field goal of the season is a 47-yarder. However, Egekeze has connected on 14 of his last 16 field goal attempts including game-winners vs. NC State and last Saturday's win versus the Tar Heels.

    Travis Baltz- The sophomore punter leads the ACC in punting averaging 43.16 yards a punt. Field position in the game will be a key.

    Torrey Smith
    - The freshman wide receiver is ranked #5 in the ACC in kickoff returns averaging almost 25 yards a return.

    For the Noles on offense, here are my players to watch:

    Christian Ponder
    - It will be critical for Ponder to manage the game and avoid mistakes. Against BC, he looked uncertain in his throws and had 3 picks in the game. He will have to put that game behind him and play smart and attempt to exploit the Terps' zone defense and a Maryland secondary that is not highly ranked in the ACC.

    D'Vontrey Richardson- Look for Richardson to play some and maybe even more if things start to go south for the Noles. Fisher has indicated that he would like to see him play more anyway.

    Antone Smith
    - For the season, Smith has 651 yards,13 TDs,and is averaging almost 5 yards a carry. Maryland's rushing defense is ranked #9 in the ACC allowing almost 145 yards a game. The Terps are giving up almost 4 yards a carry. Smith behind a work in progress offensive line will have to be able to run the ball and make the Noles muti-dimensional against the Terps.

    Jermaine Thomas
    - Thomas has rushed for 435 yards, 2 TDs, and averages almost 8 yards a carry. He will need to have a good game against Maryland as the Noles need to establish the run.

    Preston Parker- Preston Parker continues to be the go to guy for Ponder. That should not change against the Terps even with the other receivers back from suspension.

    On defense, Nole players to watch:

    Everette Brown- Defensive end Brown needs to put the BC game behind him and be a catalyst against the Terps. He is the sack leader for the Noles with 9 on the season. He also is the team leader with tackles for a loss with 16. It is important that he puts pressure on the Maryland QB and get some key sacks.

    Derek Nicholson- Linebacker Nicholson leads the team in tackles with 63 and is second on the team in tackles for a loss with 11 1/2. He like Brown will need to rebound and have a good game against Maryland.

    Jamie Robinson - Robinson will be replacing safety Darius McClure who is out with a torn cartilage.

    Kenny Ingram - He will be in Rolle's rover spot due to Rolle being in Alabama for the Rhodes scholarship interview.

    On special teams:

    Graham Gano- Gano could be the player that wins the game for the Noles. He is #1 in the ACC having made 18 out of 20 field goals for a 90% success rate. He has not only done an exceptional job in that area but also is doing the kickoff and punting duties. On kickoffs, he is averaging 64.7 yards a kick and has 5 touchbacks. He also is averaging 42.2 yards a punt. If the game comes down to a field goal, the Noles will be in good shape.

    Michael Ray Garvin- Garvin is ranked #1 in the ACC in kickoff returns and the speedster is averaging 32.23 yards on kick returns with 1 TD. Look for him to try and make something happen on Saturday night. He could be the spark that the Noles need.

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