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Florida St. rallies for 34-24 win
By BRENT KALLESTAD, Associated Press Writer
Published September 9, 2007
TALLAHASSEE -- Major college football's winningest coach, Florida State's Bobby Bowden, isn't fussy about style points anymore.
"I'll just take a win," Bowden said after the Seminoles 34-24 come-from-behind victory Saturday over a scrappy UAB team hoping to avoid its eighth straight loss.
Drew Weatherford threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns as Florida State rallied from an early two-touchdown deficit to put away the Blazers.
"They just came in here and took it to us and kept fighting," said Bowden, who has 367 career wins, two more than Penn State's Joe Paterno.
It was a much-needed win for the Seminoles, who fell out of the Top 25 after losing Monday at Clemson, and are now just 9-11 in their last 20 games dating back to the last five games of the 2005 season.
Weatherford hit a streaking Richard Goodman in stride for a 50-yard touchdown on the final play of the third period that gave the Seminoles a 31-24 lead and Gary Cismesia's 40-yard field goal two minutes later finally gave Florida State some breathing room at 34-24.
"We finally figured it out," said Weatherford said. "We responded very well."
Florida State didn't get its first lead, 24-17, until late in the third quarter on Marcus Sim's 1-yard TD run, but UAB countered on Joseph Webb's one-handed catch on a 16-yard pass from Sam Hunt to tie the game at 24.
Tight end Charlie Graham and wideout Greg Carr also caught TD passes for Florida State (1-1, 0-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), which totaled 520 yards offense.
Although the offensive statistics were virtually even at the half, UAB held a 17-10 lead on the strength of Will Dunbar's 21-yard interception return touchdown just five minutes into the game that made it 10-0.
"I was a little antsy in the pocket in the beginning," Weatherford said. "That was an ill-advised throw."
After a 28-yard field goal by Cismesia, Hunt's 4-yard scoring scramble early in the second quarter boosted UAB into its 17-3 lead.
"It's a game we were in," UAB coach Neil Callaway said. "We had a chance."
UAB (0-2) has not won since a 35-29 win over Memphis last Oct. 7.
Florida State lost starting tailback Antone Smith with a concussion midway through the third period and his status for next Saturday's game at Colorado was not immediately known. Smith gained 62 yards on 19 carries before leaving and backup Jamaal Edwards added 45 on a dozen tries.
Florida State's Preston Parker totaled 172 all-purpose yards, including 89 yards receiving and another 74 yards on punt returns.
Hunt completed 17 of 35 for 226 yards for UAB and Webb finished with 6 receptions for 89 yards.