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PREVIEW Orange Bowl

Published: Tue, January 1, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.

Who: No. 6 Maryland (10-1) vs. No. 5 Florida (9-2).

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday.


Coaches: Ralph Friedgen (10-1 in first year at Maryland) and Steve Spurrier (121-27-1 in 12th year).

Bowl records: Maryland is 6-9-2. Florida is 13-15.

Last bowl appearance: Maryland tied Louisiana Tech, 34-34, in the 1990 Independence Bowl. Florida lost to Miami, 37-20, in last year's Sugar Bowl.

Series history: Florida leads, 11-6. Florida won, 15-10, in 1981.

Last game: Maryland won at N.C. State, 23-19, on Nov. 17. Florida lost at home to Tennessee, 34-32, on Dec. 1.

Game facts: Terps make first major bowl appearance since 1977. Friedgen engineered turnaround with QB Shaun Hill (2,689 total offense, 13 TD passes, 9 ints., 7 TD runs), RB Bruce Perry (led ACC with 1,242 rushing, 10 TDs), opportunistic defense (7th in nation with 34 turnovers forced) led by LB E.J. Henderson (150 tackles, 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 blocked kicks, led ACC with 28 tackles for loss,), S Tony Jackson (6 ints.). Blitzes must pressure Grossman (led SEC with 3,896 passing, 34 TDs, 12 ints.) or he'll pick apart secondary with WRs Jabar Gaffney, Reche Caldwell, Taylor Jacobs (combined 170 catches, 17.4 per catch, 30 TDs). RB Earnest Graham (650 rushing, 9 TDs) returns from ankle problem. Gators are 9-0 when he plays, 0-2 when he doesn't. Defense (5th in nation in scoring, 14.1) must atone for giving up 226 rushing to Tennessee's Travis Stephens in crushing loss.

-- Scripps Howard


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