TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Bobby Bowden couldn't get excited about
Florida State's first win of the season. Not after last week's
"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
"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
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
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
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
"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.