Heading into the final week of two-a-days, all eyes remain on Rix and the offense. The unit has been dominated, for the most part, by a Seminoles' defense that features speed, tenacity and sensational playmaking ability. Scores have been difficult to come by.
|Chris Rix (AP Photo/Phil Coale)|
Despite the ups and down, Rix is working to gain the command and trust of the team. And the clock ticks. Very loudly.
The Seminoles' season-opener at North Carolina Aug. 30 is on the horizon, and they don't have much time to test the water. Atlantic Coast Conference foes Maryland and Georgia Tech follow before FSU plays host to Colorado. After a road date at Duke, the Seminoles must be in good position for a brutal seven-game finish against the likes of Miami, Notre Dame, N.C. State and Florida.
But let's take one step at a time for the moment.
|Fabian Walker (AP Photo/Phil Coale)|
Rix, for one, was not pleased with his effort in Saturday's scrimmage.
"I did some good things, not so good things," Rix told TheTerritory Monday.
"It's very tough to get into a rhythm in those scrimmages. I really don't like them. I feel like just saying wait until Aug. 30, wait until the game when I can get in that groove, get into that rhythm where I am consistently out there every series. You play a couple of plays and then you are off 20, 30 minutes. It's just tough to get into a groove.
"But I could have done some things better. I did some okay things. I need to build on those and correct my mistakes. I have to make a couple quicker reads and better decisions so I can put my team in better situations to score and put points on the board and not to give the other team the ball. That's what I am focusing on now."
Many still wonder if Rix has made improvements in the pocket and in the ability to read defenses. Rix says he has focused on both areas, watching film of opponents' schemes and reminding himself to remain patient when the pocket begins to collapse.
"Yes, the game has slowed down," Rix said.
"Every year it's going to get a slower. I am not going to say it looks like the Matrix out there (smiling) but it is slowing down. I think my first year I was locking on one (receiver) and last year I was at two and now I am getting to three and four and trying to get other guys the ball."
Rix, who is on target to finish a hair behind or in front of Chris Weinke in just about every passing category in FSU's record book, also believes in his young offensive line. Nobody really know what's going to happen. Last year's unit featured four senior starters but still had some major problems in pass protection.
"I am really proud of them and how they are doing," Rix said.
"Yes, they still have a ways to go but we all have a ways to go. For the lack of reps they've had and as early in the career as they are, I think they are exceeding expectations. We just have to fine-tune some more things up front, get a couple more blocking assignments down and we will be okay. I am confident in those guys. Every bit as confident as I was in last year's offensive line.
"As coach (Daryl) Dickey (quarterbacks coach) and coach Bowden are saying, we're this close. We are very close to making some big plays. If we can just get a little more time, I am confident we will be okay."