Watching and Waiting

<b>Fabian Walker</b> plans to go about his business, prepare as usual and be ready when called upon again. It might be as soon as Saturday against North Carolina State. Or it might not come again this season. Either way, Walker believes his relief performance at Clemson Saturday night should help prove to the Florida State coaching staff he's capable of leading the Seminoles.

Although FSU head coach Bobby Bowden announced Sunday that struggling Chris Rix will remain the Seminoles' starting quarterback, Walker is determined to build on his performance against the Tigers.

Walker replaced Rix with 8:29 remaining in the game and Clemson leading 26-3. Walker threw a 71-yard strike to Chauncey Stovall for the Seminoles' lone score and finished with 154 passing yards on a 11-of-21 performance.

"The more I play the better I get," Walker said Sunday afternoon.

"It was a situation I think I handled pretty well. A couple of throws I missed I know I can make. I was rushing instead of staying calm and relaxed. I felt like I had to make the play. It was an experience for me. If it happens again, I definitely will be ready for it."

If it does happen again, it will be once again in a relief role.

Bowden said he didn't see enough from Walker to make a quarterback change.

In fact, Bowden stressed that if the passing game didn't improve under Rix and Walker, he wouldn't be bashful about giving red shirtfresham Wyatt Sexton more practice snaps. After a promising start, Rix has again been plagued by turnovers since the Seminoles defeat to Miami.

"I am not happy with the way we played, but I'm not happy with either one of them," Bowden said of Rix and Walker.

"Chris definitely was not hot, but Fabian missed enough passes – he had four or five people open, and he bounced the ball to them. I can't see why I would make a change.

"Fabian did some good things, but you've got to look at the whole film. I don't know why Chris had a hard time. We had a lot of miscommunication – I think the crowd noise, a lot of times, we couldn't hear. Our communication was bad, as you saw a lot. We ended up throwing the ball away a lot. I'd have to talk to the staff about what happened."

Walker, who started in the Seminoles' Sugar Bowl defeat to Georgia but had played mainly in a mop-up role until Saturday, admitted he was frustrated over his lack of playing time earlier this season.

His approach has changed. He plan to keep working and improving.

"Early on in the season I talked to the coaches about it and I have said some things to them," Walker said.

"All I can do is just show them I am capable of playing. It's all going to boil down to their decision. Me going to them and keep stressing to them I want to play, that's not my character. I will wait to see what happens."

After last year's dissension surrounding their quarterback, FSU players stressed Sunday that's not an issue this year. In fact, the Seminoles were angry with themselves for letting their national title hopes slip away.

"As a whole, our whole team played bad," offensive lineman Ray Willis said Sunday.

"Every segment. Everyone made their share of mistakes. You really can't make mistakes like that at somebody else's stadium. Every mistake counts."

Still, Willis agreed that Walker's performance was a positive the Seminoles can rally around.

"I thought Fabian did a great job for us," Willis said.

"He came out there and put seven points on the board. He played an outstanding game in my opinion. He came in and did his job. I thought he had a good presence about him. I thought he played well. But everybody realizes we can't fault one guy for anything that happens on the football field. Even when Chris was out of the game, he was there on the sidelines trying to pump up all the guys. He probably didn't play his best game but everyone struggled."


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