6:30 PM ET, September 18, 2004
Doak Campbell Stadium, TALLAHASSEE, FL
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Bobby Bowden couldn't get excited about Florida State's first win of the season. Not after last week's dramatic heartbreaker.
"It was kind of a boring game to me," the coach said Saturday night after the Seminoles (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today; No. 8 AP) claimed a 34-7 victory over UAB. "It wasn't Miami."
Leon Washington ran for 104 yards and a touchdown and Florida State sacked Darrell Hackney eight times to rebound from last week's disappointing 16-10 loss at Miami.
"It's a lot easier when the offense puts some points on the board," Florida State safety Pat Watkins said. "We went out and dominated start to finish and it showed up on the scoreboard."
B.J. Dean, James Coleman and Chris Rix scored on 1-yard runs and Xavier Beitia kicked two field goals for Florida State, which was coming off its worst offensive showing in 24 years.
"We got the ball in our playmakers hands and it was tough to do that last week," Rix said.
The Seminoles went 74 yards on their opening drive for their first offensive touchdown of the season. The big play was Washington's career-best 48-yard run on the game's second play.
"We were all very set on setting a tone and getting momentum on our side," Rix said. "It was definitely good to come down and get those points on the board early."
Florida State (1-1) had 489 offense and didn't punt until late in the fourth quarter.
"And we really didn't have to," Bowden said. "We could have gone for it the way our defense was playing."
Besides getting to Hackney for 54 yards in losses, the Florida State defense limited UAB to 144 total yards and a minus-24 yards rushing.
"I don't believe I have played a better defensive football team since I have been here," UAB coach Watson Brown said. "It's hard to win football games when you can't control the line of scrimmage."
The Blazers' lone touchdown came in the final minute of the first half on a 21-yard pass from Hackney to Reggie Lindsey.
UAB (1-1) was held without any yards or first downs in the first quarter.
Leading 17-7 at halftime, the Seminoles appeared ready to take command of the contest on their first drive of the second half but the erratic Rix was intercepted at the goal line by UAB safety Justin Whitmore.
However, Florida State was back in business moments later when Pat Watkins 31-yard return with an interception set up Dean's 1-yard scoring run to give the Seminoles a 24-7 lead.
Washington's 2-yard TD run on the first play of the fourth quarter made it 31-7.
Rix was 18-for-29 for 191 yards and ran for 42 more yards before leaving early in the fourth quarter in favor of little-used backup Wyatt Sexton, who completed 6 of 9 passes for 47 yards.
Rix, unable to get a win in five starts against archrival Miami, was booed when introduced at the beginning of the game and the crowd cheered when Sexton came in.
Rix and Bowden were upset about the booing.
"Those PlayStation All-Americans up there think they know football because they watch a game on TV," Bowden said. "That's like me watching Dr. Kildare and thinking I can operate on a brain."
"Any human being is going to hear it," Rix said. "I've been through it before. That comes with the territory."
After missing a 49-yard try midway through the first quarter, Beitia connected from 30 yards on the first play of the second quarter as Florida State built a 10-0 advantage. His 22-yard kick completed the scoring in the fourth period.
Jae Thaxton blocked a punt by UAB's Parker Mullins to set up Coleman's 1-yard scoring run and give the Seminoles a 17-0 lead three minutes into the second quarter.
UAB (1-1) rolled up 516 yards offense in its 56-14 win over Baylor in its opener, but ran only six plays in the first quarter.
Saturday's announced crowd of 81,825 included 1,400 victims of Hurricane Ivan who were given tickets by Florida State. The hurricane devastated parts of the western Panhandle, but did little damage to Tallahassee.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||3-14||2-15|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||7-8|
|TD||13:03||CHRIS RIX 1 YD RUN (XAVIER BEITIA KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 74 yards.
|FG||14:56||XAVIER BEITIA 30 YD FG|
Drive info: 14 plays, 42 yards.
|TD||11:57||JAMES COLEMAN 1 YD RUN (XAVIER BEITIA KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 5 yards.
|TD||0:32||REGGIE LINDSEY 21 YD PASS FROM DARRELL HACKNEY (NICK HAYES KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 72 yards.
|TD||4:49||B.J. DEAN 1 YD RUN (XAVIER BEITIA KICK)|
Drive info: 13 plays, 45 yards.
|TD||14:55||LEON WASHINGTON 2 YD RUN (XAVIER BEITIA KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||8:15||XAVIER BEITIA 22 YD FG|
Drive info: 12 plays, 70 yards.