Bowden: 'Noles loss a team effort

Updated: November 11, 2003, 1:30 AM ET
Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State junior quarterback Chris Rix will keep his starting role Saturday when the Seminoles (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 13 AP) host North Carolina State, offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden said Monday.

Bowden reiterated the stance his father, head coach Bobby Bowden, took Sunday following the Seminoles' 26-10 loss to Clemson.

"I just don't think we are getting into a change yet," Jeff Bowden said.

Against Clemson, Rix was intercepted twice and a lost fumble before being pulled for Fabian Walker in the fourth quarter with the Seminoles trailing 23-3.

Walker, whose lone start came in January's Sugar Bowl loss to Georgia, had the Seminoles' only touchdown, a 71-yard pass to Chauncey Stovall. He finished 11-of-21 for 164 yards, all career highs.

However, the younger Bowden said Walker's performance wasn't enough to dethrone the embattled Rix, who was benched for four games last season after poor play.

He said Saturday's loss, which knocked the Seminoles out of the national title picture, couldn't be blamed on any one player.

"I don't think that thought is in anybody's mind right now unless (the media) or somebody wants to place blame," Bowden said. "You can't do it. ... We picked Saturday to play about as bad as we could have played across the board."

Before Monday's practice Bobby Bowden held a team meeting to reaffirm Florida State's goals. Bowden said foremost that his team must forget the loss and focus on NC State. A win Saturday would give the Seminoles the ACC title and the conference's guaranteed BCS bowl bid.

"Winning your conference is just so darn important nowadays because it is locked into the BCS, so that's why I met them just to make sure everyone understood," Bowden said.

The Seminoles were without starting fullback B.J. Dean (knee sprain) and linebackers Michael Boulware and Allen Augustin (left ankle sprains) in Monday's practice. The status of all three for Saturday is unclear.


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press