Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Rix's Shaky Ride Ends Well; FSU QB Makes Brilliant Plays Down the Stretch of Seminoles' Victory

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Rix's Shaky Ride Ends Well; FSU QB Makes Brilliant Plays Down the Stretch of Seminoles' Victory

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Thomas, The Times-Union

GAINESVILLE -- Bobby Bowden has learned to live with Florida State quarterback Chris Rix's mistakes, because he has seen enough moments of brilliance.

Bowden saw both ends of the spectrum in a wild second half Saturday night in Gainesville, including enough brilliant moments for the Seminoles to snatch a 38-34 victory from Florida.

Driving the Seminoles to a pair of touchdowns over the final 8:01, Rix brought his club from behind twice, delivering No. 9 Florida State its first win over a ranked opponent this season and a much-coveted 10th victory.

Rix was just short of perfect after coughing up a fumble that Florida's Keiwan Ratliff returned 77 yards for a touchdown and a 24-17 lead with 6:10 to play in the third quarter.

"I don't know why in the world he lays down the ball," Bowden said. "He made it up though. I still love him."

During FSU's final three possessions, Rix completed 9-of-10 passes for 174 yards, including the game-winning touchdown pass -- a 52-yard hookup with P.K. Sam with just 55 seconds to play. Seven of those completions went for first downs.

Trailing 27-24 with 8:01 to play, Rix took the Seminoles on an eight-play, 80-yard scoring march, which he capped with a fourth-and-goal leap over top the Gators' defense with 5:01 to go. Xavier Beitia's point-after gave FSU a 31-27 lead.

Florida quarterback Chris Leak responded with a 60-yard scoring drive, capped by his 25-yard touchdown pass to Ben Troupe with 2:50 to play. Matt Leach's point-after gave the Gators a 34-31 edge and, by the time Rix stepped back under center, the Seminoles had just 2:43 to at least get into field goal range.

Those odds diminished quickly when Rix dropped a shotgun snap from David Castillo and was forced to fall on the loose ball for an 8-yard loss. …

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