Florida State hoping QB Weatherford can get Noles back on track

Updated: October 22, 2007, 9:42 PM ET
Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- After nearly a month on the bench, Drew Weatherford will return as Florida State's starting quarterback for Saturday's homecoming game against Duke.

Just as he did last season, Weatherford will take over for Xavier Lee, coach Bobby Bowden said on Monday. Lee replaced Weatherford on Sept. 29.

This marks Weatherford's third chance at nailing down the starting job.

"We tried to analyzed this thing. The best game Lee has had was against Alabama when he came in off the bench," coach Bobby Bowden said. "We feel like we are just better off going with Drew."

And for the second time in his career, Lee has been yanked -- this time after poor finishes in consecutive losses to North Carolina State and Miami the last two weeks.

In Saturday's 37-29 loss to Miami, Lee was intercepted twice and had two fumbles. One of the fumbles was recovered by the Hurricanes for a key late-game touchdown. He completed 14 of 32 passes for 208 yards.

"It's always the quarterback that gets changed," offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher said Monday. "We have to find a way to get it done."

Florida State (4-3, 1-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) has lost 10 of its last 14 league games after losing its second straight Saturday and faces a demanding November schedule with road games at (No. 2 BCS, No. 2 AP ) Boston College, (No. 8 BCS, No. 8 AP) Virginia Tech and (No. 11 BCS, No. 9 AP) Florida.

Duke (1-6, 0-4 ACC) has lost 21 straight ACC games since a win over Clemson late in the 2004 season.

Weatherford, who is 17-10 in his career as a starter, has completed 54 percent of his passes this season for 642 yards and four touchdowns with one interception.

"Obviously I am glad to be back on the field, but we have to start playing better," Weatherford said. "[Fisher] told me that I was going to be the guy. He told me at this point, it's not about who is starting, it is about winning games."

Lee, 2-4 as a starter, completed 53.2 percent of his passes for 972 yards and five touchdowns and five interceptions this season.

Neither junior quarterback was immediately available Monday for comment on the latest switch.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press