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Despite Miami pain, Bowden says he's staying with Rix

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  • Despite Miami pain, Bowden says he's staying with Rix

    Sept. 13, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Chris Rix will remain Florida State's starting quarterback despite a dreadful performance in last week's loss at Miami.

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    Coach Bobby Bowden announced his decision at a booster luncheon on Monday.

    Rix, who is Bowden's first-ever four-year starter, became Division I-A's only quarterback to go 0-5 against the same school after failing to lead the offense to a touchdown in Friday night's loss at the Orange Bowl.

    "I thought about it all night and all the next day and all the next night and talked it over with our coaches and everything," Bowden said after practice Monday night. "We felt like he's really got the kids behind him.

    "Four years ago (the players) were not behind him. I think the wise thing to do is start him and see if he can't get back to his old self."

    Rix completed 12 of 28 passes for 108 yards, threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles, including a critical one in overtime in the 16-10 loss. He ranks 10th in the Atlantic Coast Conference's passing statistics with a 61.0 efficiency ranking.

    "It's way too early to panic," added Bowden, who has spent most of the past three autumns defending Rix, now 24-11 in four seasons leading the Seminoles, who dropped from No. 4 to 8 in the latest media poll. "It's not time."

    Bowden was quick to remind Florida State fans in the audience that the Seminoles ran the table in 1988 after losing their opener to Miami. Florida State finished No. 3 in the AP rankings that season.

    "We've been there before," Bowden said. "The only thing that game the other night proved was we're not going to have a perfect season."

    Bowden also has few alternatives as no other quarterback on the Seminoles roster has ever started a game or seen any significant playing time. Backup Wyatt Sexton was 3-of-5 for 45 yards in limited mop-up duty last season.

    However, Bowden conceded he had thought about playing the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Sexton, the top student on the team and the son of running backs coach Billy Sexton.

    Fabian Walker, who had backed up Rix the previous two seasons, transferred to Valdosta State over the summer. However, Bowden conceded he had thought about playing the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Sexton, a 4.0 student and the son of running backs coach Billy Sexton.

    "We definitely need to get him some action," Bowden said.

    Bowden hopes to redshirt freshman quarterbacks Xavier Lee and Drew Weatherford.

    Next up is Alabama-Birmingham, a team that crushed Baylor 56-14 in its opener and has Bowden more than a little worried.

    "It's a good time to play Florida State -- after Miami," Bowden said. "They're a team that can beat you."



    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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  • DJRamFan
    'Noles to start Weatherford over fellow freshman Lee at QB
    by DJRamFan
    Aug. 31, 2005
    CBS SportsLine.com wire reports




    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Redshirt freshman Drew Weatherford will start at quarterback for No. 14 Florida State in the season opener Monday against No. 9 Miami.

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    Weatherford beat out fellow redshirt freshman Xavier Lee for the job.

    "It looked from about the third scrimmage on that Drew would be the guy you'd start," Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said Wednesday. "He has all the tools to be an outstanding quarterback."

    Bowden said he considered Weatherford the starter and Lee, possibly, the closer.

    "I want both of them practicing with a number one mentality," Bowden said.

    The veteran coach said he expected Weatherford and Lee would battle throughout the season for playing time.

    "They will continue this competition," he said. "This is not a season-ending contest."


    Drew Weatherford will learn quickly what it's like playing top competition. (AP)
    The competition at quarterback came down to the two inexperienced passers when Wyatt Sexton was lost for the season to Lyme disease. Sexton started seven games a year ago.

    Weatherford played one play last season, spraining his ankle against North Carolina in the fourth game of the season. He had surgery on it this spring, but has been healthy throughout August.

    Lee has been troubled by a sore arm, but Bowden said Wednesday that Lee's arm is now fine.

    Miami coach Larry Coker said Wednesday his team is prepared to face either quarterback.

    "I think it's a good possibility we'll see both," Coker said.

    Miami will also go with a first-time starter in redshirt sophomore Kyle Wright.

    The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Weatherford threw for 401 yards in one scrimmage, connecting with a dozen different receivers.

    "I've been steady, consistent," Weatherford said about his practices and scrimmages during August. "I think that's what they want."

    The last time a Florida State quarterback debuted against Miami was 20 years ago when freshman Chip Ferguson made his first collegiate appearance in a 35-27 loss to the Hurricanes. Ferguson completed 14-of-28 passes for 158 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004-2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -09-01-2005, 06:31 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Red Dragons earn first win at Bob Boozer Field since 1995
    by DJRamFan
    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida State quarterback Drew Weatherford and Kyle Wright, his counterpart from Miami, are about to take center stage in one of college football's greatest rivalries.

    Both will be making his first career start Monday night when the ninth-ranked Hurricanes open the season against the 14th-ranked Seminoles.

    What a way to make a first impression.

    "We can't go in and make first-game mistakes that you'd get away with against a team of a lesser caliber," said Wright, a sophomore who played sparingly behind Brock Berlin last season.

    Wright took hold of the No. 1 spot in the spring and secured the starting job in the preseason. Ten of the last 11 Miami quarterbacks have won their first start. Ryan Clement's loss to Florida State in 1995 is the only blemish.

    Weatherford, meanwhile, didn't know until last week he'd be Florida State's starter.

    The job came open when Wyatt Sexton was sidelined for the season with Lyme disease, and Weatherford outplayed Xavier Lee to earn the nod for the opener.

    "I'm sure I'll make some plays a freshman will make," Weatherford said. "And I know I'll do some good things."

    Lee will likely get into the game, too, but how much will depend on how Weatherford plays.

    Florida State quarterbacks have won their first start 11 times in a row. The last to lose was Peter Tom Willis to Southern Mississippi in 1989.

    "Everybody keeps asking about Kyle and Weatherford," Miami assistant coach Art Kehoe said. "It's not so much who makes the big plays. It's who avoids the bad ones. That's the big deal."

    Lately, Florida State has been the team making the key mistakes in the rivalry, especially at quarterback. Miami has won six straight, including the last five with Chris Rix starting at QB for the Seminoles.

    A year ago, the Miami-Florida State game scheduled at the Orange Bowl was postponed four days because of Hurricane Frances.







    Now, a week after Katrina came ashore some 300 miles west, football goes on and school officials are hoping the attention on the game produces more help for the storm's victims. The two universities, ACC and NCAA are all foregoing their traditional advertisements during the ABC telecast to allow messages focused on relief efforts.

    It's the second straight year Miami and Florida State, which became Atlantic Coast Conference rivals last season when the Hurricanes moved into the league, have opened the season against each other.

    "The bad news is you've got to be in midseason form to compete against the people you're playing," lamented Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, who has had a handful of national title opportunities taken away by Miami over the years.
    ...
    -09-05-2005, 08:11 AM
  • DJRamFan
    Native Hoosier Hoeppner leaves Miami (Ohio) for Indiana
    by DJRamFan
    Dec. 17, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. --Miami of Ohio's Terry Hoeppner was hired as Indiana football coach Friday and vowed to take the Hoosiers to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1968.

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    Hoeppner, 48-23 in six seasons at Miami, takes over a team with 10 consecutive losing seasons.

    "Can we win here? There is no doubt about it," Hoeppner said. "We're going to build a championship football team here. That is no joke."

    Indiana fired Gerry DiNardo after ending a 3-8 season with a 63-24 loss to rival Purdue. DiNardo went 8-27 in three years.

    School president Adam Herbert said he expected Hoeppner to "reinvigorate" a football program that's also had a steep decline in attendance recently.

    Before introducing Hoeppner, athletic director Rick Greenspan placed a single rose inside a crystal bowl on the lectern. The message was clear.


    Terry Hoeppner promises <br>to take the Hoosiers to <br>the Rose Bowl. (AP)
    "If you're playing in the Big Ten and you don't aspire to this and set this as your goal, you're cheating yourselves," Hoeppner said. "We're going to take Indiana back to the Rose Bowl."

    Indiana has only been to that postseason game once and hasn't had a winning season since going 6-5 in 1994. Crowds averaged about 28,500 this season in 52,000-seat Memorial Stadium -- down from about 35,000 the year before.

    Hoeppner, 57, grew up in the northeastern Indiana town of Woodburn and coached high school football in Indiana before starting his college coaching career as defensive coordinator at Franklin College, his alma mater.

    He was an assistant at Miami of Ohio for 13 years before becoming head coach in 1999. His 2003 team, led by current Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, went 13-1 and was ranked 10th in the final Associated Press poll.

    Miami went 8-4 this year. Hoeppner will coach the RedHawks against Iowa State in the Independence Bowl on Dec. 28.

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -12-18-2004, 01:49 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Weatherford pulls ahead in battle to be Florida State's QB
    by DJRamFan
    Aug. 23, 2005
    CBS SportsLine.com wire reports




    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State quarterback Drew Weatherford took a big step toward becoming the starter with an impressive performance in the team's scrimmage while a sore shoulder forced Xavier Lee to cut his work short after just three passes.

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    The favorite entering fall practice, Lee had completed just four passes in the team's two previous scrimmages.

    "I'm just going to keep saying they're (both) No. 1, but you can see what's happening," Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said Tuesday. "You can see as good as I can what's happening. But to me they're both still No. 1."

    Weatherford completed 21-of-34 passes for 401 yards Tuesday and led the offense to a touchdown.

    "(Today) definitely gave me a lot more confidence and I am sure it does the same for our offensive line, receivers and backs," Weatherford said. "(It's good) to know that we don't have to rely on the run and that we can throw the ball and make plays that way as well."

    Pat Watkins did pick off Weatherford twice, returning the first for a 79-yard touchdown.

    "A guy needs some success and (Weatherford) had some today," Bowden said. "Both of them are getting better and better because they are so doggone young."

    Weatherford took most of the repetitions after Lee was sidelined with a sore shoulder eight snaps into the scrimmage. Lee finished 1-of-3 for eight yards.

    Lee, who has been bothered by his shoulder for the past few days, underwent an MRI earlier in the week that revealed no significant damage. It is uncertain whether Lee will participate in the final scrimmage Friday evening.

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004-2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -08-24-2005, 07:06 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Gators give Zook big win over FSU in final game
    by DJRamFan
    Nov. 20, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports
    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- This one was for The Zooker.

    Chris Leak threw a touchdown, Ciatrick Fason ran for a score, and Florida upset No. 10 Florida State 20-13 to win in Tallahassee for the first time since 1986.

    It also gave fired coach Ron Zook a victory in his final regular-season game.

    Condemned since the day he replaced Steve Spurrier in 2002, Zook finally did something the ol' ball coach didn't in his 12 glorious seasons with the Gators. He won at Florida State.

    The players carried Zook off the field, and the coach flashed a big smile that had been missing for much of his three seasons.

    "I congratulated them for a great job, a great effort," Zook said he told his players after the game. "I thanked them for just hanging in there and not quitting."

    The Gators (7-4) ended any legitimate chance the Seminoles had of earning a third straight Bowl Championship Series berth. Florida State (8-3) still could finish tied for the Atlantic Coast Conference title but probably would lose all tiebreaker scenarios because of its BCS ranking, which is expected to drop Monday.

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    Florida also spoiled a special night for longtime Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden. Before the game, the school named its playing surface "Bobby Bowden Field" and unveiled a 20-by-30 foot stained glass window at the stadium featuring Bowden's likeness.

    Spurrier --- 0-5-1 in six trips to Tallahassee -- must have loved the upset, too.

    The Gators threw with relative ease against Florida State's vaunted defense. Leak finished 19-for-39 for 231 yards with an interception.

    "He's very mature for a sophomore," Bowden said. "He plays like a senior. He did a great job."

    Fason's 8-yard touchdown run with 4:59 remaining put the Gators ahead for good.

    "I saw a lot of guys leaving everything on the field and we won it for Coach," Fason said. "I think this will help him in looking for a job."

    Zook's farewell fairy tale almost turned into a redemption story for Florida State, though.

    Embattled quarterback Chris Rix came off the bench and threw a touchdown pass with 8:30 to play that cut the lead to 13-10.

    He rolled right and heaved a pass into the end zone that Chauncey Stovall caught over Vernell Brown. The pass was reminiscent of Rix's 52-yard touchdown pass to P.K. Sam with 55 seconds remaining last season that gave the Seminoles a 38-34 win.

    Rix also drove the Seminoles to the 18-yard line in the waning seconds, but his last pass was intercepted by Jarvis Harris with 8 seconds to play. Rix finished 9-of-16 for 150 yards.

    "He brought us back and nearly pulled it...
    -11-21-2004, 05:03 PM
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