Staying alive: FSU's 24-season bowl streak intact with win

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Backup quarterback Xavier Lee tossed two touchdown passes to Greg Carr, Lawrence Timmons scored on a 22-yard interception return, and Florida State beat Western Michigan 28-20 Saturday to become bowl eligible.

Western Michigan's last-minute effort to tie it ended on the final play when Ryan Cubit's pass into the end zone was incomplete on a fourth-and-29 from the Florida State 30.

Florida State (6-5) has gone to bowls for 24 straight seasons and needed a win in one of its final two games to keep the streak alive. The Seminoles host archrival Florida next Saturday.

Lee, who replaced starter Drew Weatherford in the second quarter, completed nine of 13 passes for 144 yards. Weatherford finished 5-for-10 for 34 yards.

On his first play, Lee hit the 6-foot-6 Carr for a 26-yard touchdown throw that put Florida State ahead 14-3 in the second quarter.

Carr's 10th touchdown catch of the season -- a 19-yard throw from Lee -- gave the Seminoles a 28-13 lead early in the fourth quarter after Timmons scored with 1:20 left in the third. Timmons also broke up three other passes and was putting heavy pressure on Cubit for much of the game.

Carr, a sophomore, moved into a tie with Talman Gardner for ninth on Florida State's career list with 19 TD receptions. Former Seminoles wideout Peter Warrick tops the list with 31 touchdown receptions.

Western Michigan (7-4) pulled to 28-20 with 9:20 left on Cubit's 10-yard touchdown pass to Herb Martin.

But mistakes, and one gamble, were costly for the Broncos.

Trailing 21-13, Western Michigan failed to convert a fourth-and-1 on its own 29 on the final play of the third quarter and the Seminoles scored in six plays on Carr's second TD.

Cubit, who completed 27 of 49 passes for 229 yards and two scores, also was intercepted in the first half by Roger Williams, setting up Carr's first TD catch.

Cubit threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Jamarko Simmons midway through the second quarter to cut Florida State's lead to 14-10.

Chris Davis' 8-yard scoring run on a reverse gave the Seminoles a 7-3 lead with 10:38 left in the second, ending a scoreless drought of 87 minutes and 59 seconds dating to the final quarter of the Virginia game two weeks ago.

Nate Meyer kicked field goals of 50 and 43 yards for Western Michigan.

Florida State lost its starting tailback, Antone Smith, for the rest of the season with a dislocated right elbow, coach Bobby Bowden said.


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