Fifth-ranked Florida State was in the process of completing another comeback on the road, and Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen could think of only one course of action.
"I was praying hard," he said. "Our kids played with so much heart, it would have been a shame to lose this game."
The Terrapins held on, and thousands among the sellout crowd of 52,203 charged onto the field Saturday night immediately after the highly improbable 20-17 upset at College Park, Md.
Florida State, which fell to 6-2 overall and 4-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, came in with a six-game winning streak and a perfect 14-0 record against Maryland (4-4, 2-3), which had scored a total of 17 points in losing three straight conference games.
But the Terrapins got 333 passing yards from maligned quarterback Joel Statham and a solid performance from the defense in defeating a top-10 team for the first time since 1990.
"Nothing lasts forever. You get 14 wins in a row, and it happens when you least expect it," Seminole Coach Bobby Bowden said.
Florida State trailed, 20-10, before Bowden summoned former starting quarterback Chris Rix at the start of the fourth quarter. On his second series, Rix moved Florida State to the 35 before a 52-yard field-goal try by Xavier Beitia hit the left post.
On his next drive, Rix threw his first touchdown pass of the season, a 16-yarder to Chauncey Stovall with 7:43 left that made it 20-17.
After a Maryland punt, Rix got the Seminoles in position for another field-goal attempt by Beitia, who was wide left on 45-yard try with 4:45 to go -- his third miss of the game.
"We missed enough field goals to win it," Bowden said.
"They made the big plays and we didn't. That was the difference."
Rix got one final chance two minutes later, but his fourth-down pass from the Seminole 27 soared over the head of Lome Sam with 1:38 to go.
At game's end, Terrapin fans rushed the field and embraced the players -- but spared the goal posts, which were guarded by police officers.
"To beat the No. 5 team in the nation should be a benchmark for this program," Friedgen said. "I think we can make tremendous strides from this win."
Maryland had never come closer than 14 points against the Seminoles.
Down 13-3 at halftime, the Seminoles sliced into the deficit when Antonio Cromartie returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown with 12:58 left in the third quarter.
But Statham answered with a third-down screen pass to Josh Allen, who weaved his way for a 72-yard score and a 10-point cushion.
Clemson 26, North Carolina State 20 -- The Tigers (4-4, 3-3) forced six turnovers and made one last defensive stand in the waning moments to defeat the Wolfpack (4-4, 3-3) at Clemson, S.C.
North Carolina State drove to the Clemson 12 with eight seconds left, but on fourth and 10, Jay Davis threw his fifth interception of the game, this one to defensive end Charles Bennett, as time ran out.
Jad Dean's made all four of his field-goal attempts for Clemson.
Wake Forest 24, Duke 22 -- Chris Barclay rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown to lift the Demon Deacons (4-4, 1-4) over the Blue Devils (1-7, 0-5) at Winston-Salem, N.C.
Ben Mauk also had a touchdown pass for Wake Forest, which defeated Duke for the fifth time in a row.