Rix Crashes as 'Canes Blow by Seminoles
Byline: Barker Davis, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Rix happens.
Aided by the atrocious performance of Florida State quarterback Chris Rix, No.2 Miami spanked the fifth-ranked Seminoles 22-14 yesterday in a game that was far more one-sided than the score indicated.
"People were counting us out as underdogs," Miami sophomore defensive end Thomas Carroll said, referring to the Las Vegas line that tabbed the Hurricanes seven-point road dogs. "Of course, we took that personally. That's crazy. How can you underestimate 29-1?"
That number represents the record, dating back to the start of the Larry Coker era (2001), the Hurricanes brought with them yesterday to Doak Campbell Stadium. But miraculous comebacks against pedestrian squads from Florida and West Virginia left plenty of questions about this season's collection of 'Canes (6-0). Combine those close calls with the seeming resurgence of the Seminoles (5-1) and the Tallahassee venue, and an upset seemed imminent.
But the experts and fools alike overlooked the X-factor. That's "X" as in Rix and exasperating. Florida State's junior quarterback always has had a nasty habit of underachieving in big games. But yesterday, with state pride and national title implications on the line, Rix authored his coup de disgrace.
This game was as much lost by Florida State as it was won by Miami. And the catalyst behind the 'Noles' no-show was Rix, who threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles in the first 33 minutes virtually to give the game to Miami.
"I don't know if Rix will ever be able to adjust to the rain," venerable Florida State coach Bobby Bowden bemoaned after watching his quarterback unravel en route to spotting Miami a 22-0 lead.
Rix, who was not available for comment afterward, is certainly no mudder. Steady showers turned Doak Campbell into the state's true swampy stadium.
In the quarterback's defense, it was a nasty day, and his offensive line was manhandled, giving him little time in the pocket. But in the four biggest games of his career (Miami the past three years and Notre Dame last season), Rix has thrown eight interceptions and fumbled four times against just four touchdown passes.
All told yesterday, Rix and his mates gave Miami the ball seven times (six times on their half of the field) during the game's first 33 minutes. …