Florida State had a simple game plan against Maryland: get a win and get out of town healthy.
Well, the Seminoles' 48-10 victory was easy enough, but Thad Busby sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee late in the first half, which put the quarterback's playing status against top-ranked Florida in question.
"Busby scares me a little bit," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said.
"It feels all right," Busby said of his knee after the game. "I don't plan on sitting down. It's the biggest game of my career as a starter."
Injuries to Busby, defensive tackle Andre Wadsworth, linebacker Henri Crockett and cornerback James Colzie wasn't the only concern raised on this day. Maryland quarterback Brian Cummings surprisingly and ominously picked apart the FSU secondary in the opening series, capping a drive with a 31-yard touchdown.
"The defense came out sluggishly," defensive end Reinard Wilson said. "We gave up a couple of long passes. That isn't like us, to let a team go up and down the field."
For a change, the offense picked up the defense. Busby threw first-quarter touchdown passes to E. G. Green and Peter Warrick, and after a Maryland field goal, he drove FSU for another score. Busby had the Seminoles on the move again before he injured his knee late in the half.
Although his team led 24-10 at halftime, Bowden was not pleased, and he let his players know it. His impassioned talk apparently helped.
FSU limited the Terps to 34 yards in the second half and, once again, Dunn fueled the offense. He scored his second touchdown and would carry just enough to break Greg Allen's school rushing record before Bowden quickly pulled him.
"I don't think we can win next week," Bowden said, "if we don't play better."
And get healthier.