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QB controversy? Give Bowden few minutes

BRIAN LANDMAN
Published October 31, 2004

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Florida State coach Bobby Bowden didn't play along when asked after Saturday's game if there is a quarterback controversy brewing in Tallahassee.

"The game's been over 10 minutes; I've got three or four more days to let you all worry about that," he said.

But he did say he would look at the position "real hard."

Bowden pulled redshirt sophomore Wyatt Sexton at the start of the fourth quarter for fifth-year senior Chris Rix, who sprained his right ankle in the Clemson game on Sept. 25 and hadn't started or played much since.

Sexton completed just 14-of-30 for 164 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. In his three road starts (Syracuse, Wake Forest and Maryland), he completed 46-of-95 (48 percent) for 527 yards, two scores and five interceptions.

He is 40-of-57 (70 percent) for 468 yards and four touchdowns and just one interception in his two home starts.

Rix, however, didn't look like an All-American. He was 8-of-21 for 140 yards and one touchdown against the Terrapins. "We had people open and he (Rix) missed them, probably from not playing," Bowden said. "Probably if he had been playing a lot more, he might could have made some of those plays. He's always played well against Maryland, but Wyatt was doing the same thing."

ACTION JACKSON: Maryland middle linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, a former Seminole High star, had another big game against FSU.

The ACC's leading tackler and one of the Terrapins' captains was credited with 11 total tackles, including a half-sack, and broke up a pass. Last year in Tallahassee, he returned an interception for a touchdown.

"We lost E.J. Henderson two years ago and I don't think we've missed a beat with D'Qwell," Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said in the days leading up to Saturday's game. "He might be more athletic than E.J. He's not as big, but he certainly has the instincts that E.J. had in getting to the football and he's a really, really good pass defender also."

WELCOME BACK: FSU senior defensive end Eric Moore, who hadn't started since spraining his left ankle Oct. 2 against North Carolina, returned to the starting lineup and was credited with three tackles. Defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley, the former Chamberlain standout who hadn't played since the UNC game after spraining his left ankle, returned as a starter but saw limited action.

FSU INJURIES: Senior linebacker Ray Piquion injured his left knee while tackling tailback Sammy Maldonado midway through the third quarter. He left the game with a brace and on crutches. Sophomore middle linebacker Buster Davis had his left arm in a sling after the game. There was no word on his status.

HOMECOMING OF SORTS: FSU junior punter Chris Hall calls Centreville, Va., which is about 40 miles from the Maryland campus, home. He procured 15 tickets for family and friends, then went out and averaged 41.8 yards on six punts, including three that were inside the 20.

LIKE HOME: An unofficial pep band of 105 former Marching Chiefs who live in the area performed during pregame warmups.

FAMILIAR FACE: Former FSU standout receiver Javon Walker was on the sideline. He and the Green Bay Packers are in the area for Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins.
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