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November 13, 2006

Weatherford to return as starting QB

WireFirst reported via Warchant.com Wireless Text Alert. Sign-up for the free service and get football and recruiting updates posted right to your cell phone!

For the third straight week, the Seminole coaches had to make a decision on which quarterback to start. After taking over for an injured Drew Weatherford in the Maryland game, Xavier Lee got the nod against Virginia and Wake Forest. However, that three-game run as the starter will come to an end this weekend.

Head coach Bobby Bowden announced during his weekly luncheon with the Boosters that Weatherford would return to his starting role against Western Michigan.

"It's going to be Drew," Bowden said. "We thought he played a little bit better last week. You've got but two choices."

Lee, a native the Daytona Beach (Fla.), was benched in the second quarter of the Wake Forest game after throwing two straight interceptions. Weatherford came on in relief but didn't do much better completing only 4-of-15 for 52 yards while throwing two interceptions. Neither quarterback was effective and the offense was shutout at home for the first time in 33 years.

Bowden is hoping that having a more experienced player under center will spark the offense.

"Drew got hurt and Lee started against Maryland and did a real good job," Bowden said. "Then he started against Virginia and he didn't have a good half but got warmed up in the second half -- Drew came in and played pretty good. Then the other night he had a rough time and we put Drew in and he did a little bit better and then he had a rough time. We decided that we would start him."

Weatherford took over the job at the beginning of his redshirt freshman season and went on to start 20 straight before Maryland. He has a 12-8 record as FSU's starting quarterback.

Four years ago there was a heated quarterback controversy between Chris Rix and Adrian McPherson. At the time, most of the players wanted McPherson to start, and some even lobbied for it publicly, but Bowden doesn't see that being a problem this time around.

"They both have support," Bowden said. "The kids want the guy that is going to give them the chance to win. I think it's both of them. It's a shame you can't start of two of the, but you can't start but one."

For Bowden, who turned 77 last week, it has been a difficult season. Despite high expectations at the start of the season, the 'Noles will need to win one of their final two games to be bowl eligible. Even worse for the coaches and players, is suffering a humiliating 30-0 loss to Wake Forest at home with more than three-quarters of the fans leaving Doak Campbell Stadium before the game was over. Even the always positive Bowden has not been immune following the disappointing setback.

"Any time you lose there is frustrating, any time," Bowden said. "It seems like the result is always frustration. I feel inadequate when I lose, like I haven't done my job."


Gene WilliamsGene Williams is the founder and administrator of Warchant.com and writes stories and features covering all of FSU's sports with an emphasis on football and football recruiting. During football season, he hosts a weekly sports radio show in Tallahassee on NewsRadio 1270 WFLA, and appears as a weekly guest on 1460 ESPN Radio in Jacksonville. Williams is also a former ACC correspondent for College Football News (weekly national newspaper), and contributes to The Osceola. Story about Gene Williams & Warchant.com.

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