September 5, 2007

Terps-FIU notebook

Florida International is supposed to be a tune-up before Maryland gets into the heart of a schedule that features seven bowl teams from a season ago and four teams currently ranked in the top 25.

But for several Terrapins, there is one overlooked perk to playing the Panthers - the opportunity to compete in the storied Orange Bowl.

No one is looking more forward to Saturday's game than Keon Lattimore, who grew up watching older brother Ray Lewis and the Miami Hurricanes in the Orange Bowl. Lattimore has vivid childhood memories of watching games in a stadium that has hosted some of the sport's most memorable contests, including the Terps' rally from a 31-0 halftime deficit to defeat Miami in 1984.

"I'm excited," Lattimore said. "This will be my first time playing in the Orange Bowl, a stadium I'm very familiar with. It's going to be a great moment for me. From my brother's freshman year to the time he got drafted (I watched games there)."

Lattimore estimated he has seen between 18 and 20 games in the venerable stadium, the most memorable being Miami's 24-17 loss to Nebraska in the 1994 Orange Bowl with the national championship at stake.

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