Terps Win ACC Championship and Face the Florida Gators in the Orange Bowl
The University of Maryland football team has been invited to be a participant in the 2001 FedEx Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla. The Terrapins, fresh off of their first Atlantic Coast Conference title since 1985, earned a spot in the BCS as the representative from the ACC with their 10-1 record and 7-1 ACC mark.
National Coach of the Year favorite Ralph Friedgen and the Terrapins wrapped up sole possession of the title with their season-ending 23-19 win at NC State. The victory came with the Terps trailing 9-3 at the half and after the Wolfpack had taken a 19-16 lead with just 3:59 left in the contest. Maryland's winning drive was a 10-play, 61-yard march which was orchestrated by Shaun Hill and ended with an eight-yard strike in the corner of the end zone to Guilian Gary with just :41 left.
The Terrapins are ranked No. 7 in the latest Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls. The Terps have been a constant in the national rankings since early October. The ranking is the Terrapins' highest since being ranked seventh at the start of the 1985 season and the third consecutive week they have been in the top 10 of both major polls.
Maryland moved up a spot in the latest Bowl Championship Series rankings, residing at No. 10. The Terps' highest ranking in the BCS was eighth which came in the rankings' first release.
On December 4, the committee of the FedEx Orange Bowl announced that Maryland would play in their January 2, 2002, bowl game. The trip will be the Terrapins first to a bowl game since the 1990 Independence Bowl and their first to the Orange Bowl since 1956. It will mark the University of Maryland's third showing in the Orange.