Fla. State sticks with Rix

backup QB deemed subpar

UM's Jackson expecting to play

Gore return hailed

ACC notebook

College Football

September 16, 2004|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

Florida State quarterback Chris Rix took a beating from Miami's defense during the Seminoles' overtime loss to the Hurricanes last Friday, and as a result, he has been getting pounded in the media and by the fans.

Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden said, however, that he's not ready to change quarterbacks despite giving the matter serious thought this week. Rix, a fifth-year senior, completed just 12 of 28 passes for 108 yards, lost two fumbles, threw two interceptions and became the first Division I-A quarterback to lose five games to the same opponent.

Despite that, Rix will get the nod against Alabama-Birmingham on Saturday. Bowden said sophomore backup Wyatt Sexton hasn't proven in practice he would be an upgrade.

"If you'd have asked me right after the game if I would have been forced to make a decision, I probably would have said we're going to work with the other guy," Bowden said yesterday. "But what can I make that statement based on? I have to base it on practice, and [Sexton] is still lacking in areas that may not solve those problems."

Rix has had an inconsistent career at Florida State and frustrated Bowden against Miami by repeating mistakes he made three years ago.

"He's dipped back a little bit - not a whole lot, but I was hoping he could pick up where he left off [last year] and build on it," Bowden said. "He took a couple good shots and lost his confidence. He did not make his reads and did not do the things he's supposed to do. ... But he's a quarterback who has [24] wins under his belt, so you can't just throw that away."

Terps injury report

Maryland middle linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, who missed the second half of the Terps' victory over Temple with a hyper-extended left elbow, said he expects to play Saturday against West Virginia.

"It's doing all right now," Jackson said. "I've just got to get some swelling down to help the mobility. For the most part, it's good."

Around the conference

Miami: Hurricanes coach Larry Coker has been thrilled to have running back Frank Gore healthy this season. Gore, who has torn an anterior cruciate ligament twice at Miami, ran 18 times for 89 yards against the Seminoles and scored the winning touchdown in overtime.

"It's just really impressive," Coker said. "When you're that caliber of player, it's very difficult to come back to where you were."

Virginia: Don't go to sleep on punts or kickoffs against the Cavaliers.

Marquis Weeks returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score against North Carolina last week, and Alvin Pearman returned one 93 yards before getting pushed out at the 1-yard line.

Virginia is even letting Ahmad Brooks, its best linebacker, return kicks. In the opener against Temple, Brooks had a 40-yard return.

"We've put an emphasis on it," said Cavaliers coach Al Groh. "It's really becoming sort of a cool thing on our team to be on some of these return teams, so we're hoping that continues throughout the year."

N.C. State: With strength of schedule no longer a factor in determining the Bowl Conference Series rankings, Wolfpack coach Chuck Amato said you might see fewer and fewer out-of-conference games such as the one his team is playing this week, on the road against No. 9 Ohio State.

"We only had eight teams in the league back when we scheduled this game," Amato said. "We have a lot of Goliaths in this league now."

Virginia Tech: Like his friend Ralph Friedgen, Hokies coach Frank Beamer has been relying on youth to get the job done his season. Six of Virginia Tech's nine touchdowns against Western Michigan were scored by freshmen.

Georgia Tech: Running back P.J. Daniels, a former walk-on who led the ACC in rushing last year, has picked up where he left off. Daniels rushed for 103 yards against Clemson, and has 272 in two games.

"When he got his opportunity," said coach Chan Gailey, "he made the most of it. That's what college football is all about."

Wake Forest: It was a heck of a week for Demon Deacons quarterback Cory Randolph, who became only the third ACC player to throw for at least 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in the same game. Randolph finished with 451 total yards, 344 through the air and 107 on the ground, against East Carolina.

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