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Despite turnovers, Bowden likes Rix

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Bobby Bowden was emphatic: Chris Rix is
his quarterback, period.

Unlike last year when Rix was benched midway through the season,
Bowden made it clear Sunday that his mistake-prone junior
quarterback gives the Seminoles their best chance of winning
regardless of how many turnovers he makes.

"There's no question on it," Bowden said Sunday.

Rix had four turnovers in the first half of a 22-14 loss to
Miami that dropped the Seminoles (5-1, 4-0 Atlantic Coast
Conference) from fifth to seventh in the AP poll.

Bowden said Rix's speed and mobility give him a big edge over
backups Fabian Walker and Wyatt Sexton. Walker, who started in the
Sugar Bowl loss to Georgia and is the No. 2 quarterback, has thrown
23 passes this season and Sexton five.

"What's the difference between our quarterback and anybody that
lost yesterday?" asked Bowden, now 11-17 at Florida State against
the Hurricanes.

"You've got to make good decisions," Bowden said. "You can
make that assessment about any quarterback."

Rix, who completed 20 of 42 passes for 235 yards against Miami,
was also sacked three times. He is now 19-8 as a starter at Florida
State and 0-3 against Miami.

After a midseason loss to Notre Dame last year when Rix had
three turnovers, Bowden benched him in favor of Adrian McPherson,
whose career ended four games later after he found himself in the
middle of gambling allegations.

Bowden also defended a decision to run Greg Jones three straight
times into the middle of Miami's line in an aborted scoring drive
midway through the fourth quarter. Jones hadn't gained more than 3
yards on a single carry all day and finished with 15 yards on 13
attempts.

Bowden said that Miami's secondary was just too good to risk a
pass into the end zone at that stage of the game.

Rix has had little luck playing in rainy conditions like those
in Saturday's game. He was 14-for-33 for 173 yards and threw an
interception in overtime that set up a game-winning touchdown by
Louisville under similar playing conditions a year ago.

"We had a plan," Bowden said. "The plan was based on normal
conditions."

While Bowden lamented the drizzly conditions, which negated some
offense options, he didn't criticize school officials responsible
for a playing surface he'd described a day earlier as the worst
he'd ever seen.

"I've never seen the field like that as long as we've been
here," Bowden said Sunday, noting that the drainage plan "didn't
work."

The offensive line also remains a concern for Florida State.
Guard Bobby Meeks continues to suffer from asthma, leaving him
questionable game-to-game and his backup Eric Broe could be out for
the season while center David Castillo is also injury-prone.

Bowden, now in his 28th season at Florida State, also missed a
chance to tie Penn State's Joe Paterno with the most career wins in
Division I-A at 338.