Bobby's Corner

Chris Rix threw a 79-yard touchdown pass to Craphonso Thorpe and Xavier Beitia kicked four field goals as No. 7 Florida State gave Bobby Bowden his 338th career coaching victory, 19-14 over Virginia. The win moved the 73-year-old Bowden into a tie with Penn State's Paterno for first place on the Division I-A coaching victories list. The Nittany Lions were off Saturday.

Here are coach Bobby Bowden's post-game comments.

"They have a great quarterback and I was afraid of him all week. He was really spectacular. Our defense was playing great. But he kept hitting them, hitting them, hitting them. Then we sucked it up there at the end and made a very gutty drive. I think we would have had a touchdown if we hadn't got a penalty. He's a great passer. They have excellent receivers and Groh knows what he's doing. He's been in pro ball and he knows what's good.

"I thought they did fine, except I felt like we missed assignments. In fact, I know we did. Every now and then, we would turn a guy completely loose. That's a missed assignment. I was afraid…the field goals ended up winning it. But I was afraid we would kick field goals and they were going to get touchdowns, and it cost us.

"That was a good drive. Anything less might have cost you the game.

"Well, the biggest thing about that, No. 1, it's not something I set my goals for and I am sure Joe didn't either. But I am thrilled to be there with Joe. I don't think anybody admires Joe Paterno more than I do. I am thrilled to be there with him. I really don't feel like I deserve to be there but that's what has happened.

"They kept playing a pass coverage. They were essentially determined not to let us get anything long. We got that first on them, and I don't know how we got it. But I could tell their game plan was don't give up anything long. We are able to just try pick away. The first half, I felt like if we hadn't dropped two passes and hadn't got a penalty to stop a drive, I couldn't have asked any more than the way we played the first half offensively.

"Chris Rix? He played good enough to win. Played good enough to win. Chris is one of those guys who is an exciting football player who is going to have good moments and going to have bad moments. We might as well learn how to live with ‘em because he's usually going to make enough bad plays to overrule the bad ones. That was nearly true against Miami.

"That was a big key (no turnovers). Last week we turned it over and we know you can't win turning it over. So, that was good. The fact he had no turnovers was good.

"He was so darn successful with that other stuff why waste your time running (laughing). He was sure… whew, hey, I was getting to where I wish he was running it. He was killing us with those passes.

"There's no doubt about it. All you want to do is win the darn ballgame. If you look at the teams last Saturday go beat, us, Nebraska, Ohio State. If you just win. They don't have to be pretty or nothing else. Just get the win.

"We had a patched-up offensive line. We went into the season where the inexperienced part of our team was OL. Then all of a sudden you get your injuries there. I just got hope they got better as the game, because they are going to have to as we go down the line. Our skill is pretty darn good if we can block.

"Boy, he had a darn screen pass that we simply could not stop. I think we finally got it stopped or they quit running it. I don't know which it was. We did make an adjustment for it late in the game. I don't remember it popping out in the fourth quarter but it liked to kill us in the second quarter and third quarter with it.

"Matt Schaub played like I was afraid he would. I saw him after the game and told him you as good as I was afraid you were. That's true. I was very impressed. He came in against us last year in the second half and scored three touchdowns. From then on buddy he won the conference most valuable player. I was not surprised at all. It was a shame he got hurt earlier in the year and had to miss a game or two. But he's big-time material.

"We simply have to win and do not worry about being pretty at all. As you know, coaching nowadays, nearly whatever you do is wrong. But whatever you do is wrong. You were either too conservative, or you were too wide open, you didn't run enough, you threw too much, you did this or that. Really, the only stat that's important is winning.

"That thing has just kind of happened. It's not something I ever set my goal to do. Joe is probably the same way. We both have coached so dadgone long and it happened. I am thrilled to be with him and if it ended that way, I would be happy, to be honest with you. There's still a lot of football left for both of us."

Nole Digest Top Stories