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With Rix Injured, Sexton Leads Florida State's Win

Bowden now has a decision to make at quarterback after a 41-22 win over Clemson.

September 26, 2004|From Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Wyatt Sexton became an instant hit with Florida State fans and left Coach Bobby Bowden with a decision to make.

Sexton threw for 162 yards and a touchdown Saturday after replacing an injured Chris Rix, and No. 8 Florida State forced five turnovers in a 41-22 victory over Clemson.

Justin Miller provided most of the Tigers' offense with two kickoff returns for touchdowns and an NCAA record 282 yards on six returns.

Bowden said he won't take long to decide which quarterback will start against North Carolina next week.

"We'll have it squared away by Monday," Bowden said.

Rix, who has started 37 games for Bowden, has never been a fan favorite in large part because of some erratic performances on and off the field, and an 0-5 record against rival Miami.

Rix sprained his right ankle late in the first quarter and was able to return, but spent the rest of the game on the sideline watching Sexton direct the offense.

Sexton, a redshirt sophomore from Tallahassee, completed 17 of 26 passes with a 47-yard scoring pass to Chauncey Stovall, the Seminoles' first touchdown pass of the season.

"It was a perfect throw," said Stovall, who caught a personal-best seven passes for 96 yards. "Wyatt just sat back in the pocket and waited and I did my thing."

Rix told Bowden at halftime that he was ready to go, but the coaches wanted to give Sexton a chance with the game on the line.

Miller's two touchdowns covered 97 and 86 yards. His second touchdown brought Clemson to within two points, 24-22, midway through the third period after a safety.

The Seminoles, 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, avenged last year's 26-10 loss at Clemson and gave Florida State's Bowden a 5-1 record in matchups against his son, Clemson Coach Tommy Bowden.

It was the elder Bowden's 344th victory, the most ever by a Division I-A coach.

Tommy Bowden may have his own quarterback controversy at Clemson (1-3, 1-2), which has lost three straight.

His quarterback, Charlie Whitehurst, threw three interceptions and lost two fumbles.

"It's getting to a state where it's really, really hurting us," Tommy Bowden said. "We should be more productive than that."

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