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FSU to consider change at QB

Bobby Bowden says a switch might come after Chris Rix's struggles and Adrian McPherson's TDs.

© St. Petersburg Times
published October 27, 2002

TALLAHASSEE -- For 55:40, a Chris Rix-led Florida State managed only 10 points.

When Adrian McPherson took over with 4:20 left, FSU had lost the game. But he led two touchdown drives (against a soft defense) and, in the process, started a quarterback controversy.

"I think we have to take a look (at our quarterback situation)," coach Bobby Bowden said. "The way McPherson came out ... and moved the football up and down the field, I'm sure I have to consider (a change)."

One of Rix's problems was dropped passes. Three by Robert Morgan, including one that could have been ruled a fumble, forced FSU to move flanker Anquan Boldin to Morgan's split-end spot.

"We were having problems communicating and with guys lining up correctly because they were in places they hadn't played before," Rix said. "It wasn't really anything they were doing defensively."

"We had some alignment problems early in the first half that made us looked confused," quarterbacks coach Daryl Dickey said. "It certainly didn't help the cause."

Rix's primary problem has and continues to stem from turnovers.

Against Notre Dame, his two third-quarter turnovers led to 10 points and turned a close game into a rout.

Rix had gone 49 passes without an interception, but when linebacker Courtney Watson snagged a low pass and returned it to the FSU 23, the mind-set on FSU's sideline changed.

"We were a little bit like, "Here we go again,' " center Antoine Mirambeau said.

The Irish, as they have done all season, took advantage, turning it into a Nicholas Setta 35-yard field goal.

On FSU's next series, Rix scrambled, was hit by safety Glenn Earl and fumbled. One play later, Ryan Grant plunged into the end zone for a 20-10 Irish lead.

"I take responsibility for those turnovers," Rix said. "They're on me."

Rix was praised for his performance against Miami not because he threw the ball over the field and scored touchdown after touchdown, but because of what he didn't do. He didn't turn it over. That allowed FSU to almost beat the defending national champions.

Rix threw another interception late, and McPherson took over on the next possession.

McPherson evaded the rush and found open receivers during his two drives.

He consistently rolled out to find an open receiver and moved FSU down the field with ease.

"I was just getting the ball to my guys," McPherson said. "That's my job. The bottom line is that I know my assignments and just got the ball were it is supposed to go."

His performance could earn him a start against Wake Forest on Saturday and at least will give Bowden and the rest of the coaching staff some long nights.

"We'll have to look at the film and evaluate it, but we might want to look at two quarterbacks next week," Bowden said.

"I don't know what we are going to do."

-- Information from other news organizations was used in this report.

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