Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bowden's Bullpen Gets the Win; after Frustrating First Half, Coach Goes to Ex-Starter Sexton

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bowden's Bullpen Gets the Win; after Frustrating First Half, Coach Goes to Ex-Starter Sexton

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Thomas, The Times-Union

TALLAHASSEE -- Fond of using baseball analogies to explain personnel decisions, Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden was fortunate his relievers came through in the second half of Saturday's 29-7 homecoming win over Duke.

Bowden's decision to bench quarterback Wyatt Sexton in favor of Chris Rix and kicker Xavier Beitia for Gary Cismesia against the Blue Devils left him with a .500 batting average at the half.

An anxious homecoming crowd sent the Seminoles to the locker room at the half under a cascade of boos, clinging to a 9-7 lead. Three Cismesia field goals were all the 'Noles had to show after driving inside the Duke 10-yard line three times.

"It's kind of like a nightmare," Bowden said of the first-half offensive malaise. "[Like] there's a guy chasing you but you can't run fast. It's about like that. You look up on the board and you've got 180 yards, but you've got no touchdowns."

Prompted by Duke linebacker Codey Lowe's late first-half interception of a Rix screen pass -- setting up the Blue Devils' lone touchdown -- Bowden decided to turn to Sexton in the second half.

The 13th-ranked Seminoles' defense contributed a timely -- and vocal -- wake-up call in a players-only locker room gathering, inspiring a second-half runaway.

Sexton drove the Seminoles (7-2, 5-2 ACC) to scores on four of their first five second-half possessions and a victory that kept Florida State's remote ACC championship hopes alive.

"I thought Wyatt came in there and did an excellent job, probably re-won his job," Bowden said, after Sexton completed 11-of-15 attempts for 220 yards and a touchdown. "It looked like he ought to be back in the driver's seat."

While Sexton's superior performance was visible to the Doak Campbell Stadium crowd of 80,598, defenders Buster Davis, Ernie Sims and Travis Johnson got their message across in a private and poignant fashion.

"It was pretty much the whole [defense]," tailback Lorenzo Booker said. "They were mad and that's totally understandable. When you play like they've been playing and feel like you're not getting the help that you need it would be frustrating. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.