Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Seminoles Shuffle Quarterbacks Again; Lee Heading Back to Bench after a Dismal Finish against Miami

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Seminoles Shuffle Quarterbacks Again; Lee Heading Back to Bench after a Dismal Finish against Miami

Article excerpt

Byline: BOB THOMAS

TALLAHASSEE - On the heels of a second consecutive fourth-quarter defeat, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden announced Monday that redshirt junior Drew Weatherford will replace Xavier Lee as the starting quarterback Saturday against Duke.

The decision was made after Lee closed out Saturday's 37-29 loss to Miami by bouncing three passes into the ground on the Seminoles' final possession. After a fast start, Lee finished 14 of 32 for 208 yards, but turned the ball over four times with two lost fumbles and a pair of interceptions.

Bowden announced the switch at his weekly booster luncheon after consulting with offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher.

"Jimbo and I feel Lee's better coming of the bench," Bowden said.

Lee was making his third consecutive start, securing the job with a winning relief performance in the Seminoles' 21-14 win over Alabama on Sept. 29.

Weatherford is no stranger to the on-again, off-again role. This marks the beginning of the redshirt junior's third turn as the starter. Dating to the 2005 season, the Seminoles have a 17-10 record with Weatherford as the starter. Lee is 2-4 as the starter.

While Fisher made it clear that Weatherford would be given the opportunity to start and finish the Duke game, he has not closed the door on Lee.

Fisher said, "It's a focus and concentration thing" that led to Lee's demotion. He's turned the ball over six times in the last two weeks as the Seminoles have come apart in the fourth quarter against Wake Forest and Miami.

"We just thought we'd start with Drew and take a little pressure off him [Lee]," Fisher added. "Xavier put some pressure on himself at the end [of the game] and it bothered him. Sometimes you've got to step back and go forward again. I think it will be good for him to take a deep breath. ... By no means is he out of the picture and I still think we'll need him to win football games."

The decision to go back to Weatherford was made easier by the veteran starter's practice performance and the way he has handled the demotion. …

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