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August 31, 2005

Bowden names a starter at QB

Audio: Bowden on Weatherford starting

It wasn't a surprise to anybody but Bobby Bowden finally made it official on Wednesday. During the ACC Coaches' Teleconference the 75-year old coach announced that Drew Weatherford will be the starting quarterback for the Miami game. The redshirt freshman signal-caller has been battling Xavier Lee for the starting job ever since it became known that junior Wyatt Sexton would miss the season.

The writing as been on the wall since an August 23rd scrimmage when Weatherford went out and passed for over 400 yards while Lee was forced to watch from the bench with a sore shoulder. Even though Lee missed most of the practices last week, including two scrimmages, Bobby Bowden was not willing to name a starter. That finally changed on Wednesday.

"We were going to be positive we were going to keep them dead even to start out with," Bowden said. "We are giving them equal reps along the way, and we did. You have to remember that Lee missed about six practices when he couldn't throw the ball and that really hurt him. However, it looked from about the third scrimmage on that Drew would be the guy you would start."

Unfortunately, for Weatherford and FSU his first start won't be an easy one. Miami limited FSU to only 165 total yards of offense last year and the 'Canes return nine defensive starters.

"He's going to have problems because he hasn't been on the field long enough in a game to know how to handle all the problems that can arise and the problems Miami will present to us," Bowden said. "We hope we can present them some too. The only way he is going to get that is through experience. The thing he has shown me is that he has the tools to be an outstanding quarterback."

We now know which quarterback will line up under center first versus Miami on Monday night but who will finish is still up in the air. Bowden said he expects to see both quarterbacks in the game and made a strong point of saying the competition is ongoing.

"They will continue this competition," Bowden said. "This is not a season-ending contest. I presented this to the kids, they are like baseball pitchers where you can't go out there with just a starter, you need a finisher. Right now one is a starter and one is a finisher... The approach I want Lee to take is 'he didn't beat me out, he's just ahead of me right now.'"

Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcast nationally by ABC.

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