Picking Up The Pieces

<b>David Castillo</b> nods and says he understands. Florida State coaches are frustrated, players are frustrated, fans are frustrated. With their season on the line, the Seminoles were unceremoniously bounced from the national championship race Saturday by Clemson. Quite frankly, the Tigers made it look far too easy against an FSU team that believed this season would be different.

Well, it appears the Seminoles are now suffering from the same inconsistency that sent last year's team into a tailspin. FSU must regroup in a hurry with North Carolina State visiting Doak Campbell Stadium Saturday.

"It is frustrating," Castillo said.

"We knew we were going to go into a hostile environment (at Clemson). They were playing for coach Tommy Bowden's job. They stacked the box on us, they forced us to throw the ball and made us one-dimensional. Their defensive backs and linebackers did a great job of covering our receivers and back and took us totally out of our game plan.

"When you are one-dimensional and they know you are going to be throwing the ball, they can sit there and drop guys and you have to hit spots. Wide receivers have to make catches. The offensive line has to pick up blitzes. The running backs and fullbacks have to pick up blitzes. If one person messes up and the quarterback gets in a hurry, it happens. We didn't make any plays."

Of course, all eyes are once again on quarterback Chris Rix. Rix suffered three turnovers against the Tigers and was replaced in favor of Fabian Walker. Bowden, however, said Rix will start against the Wolfpack.

Castillo said the team was proud of Walker's performance but he also felt Rix was being criticized unfairly. He said others on both sides of the ball played poorly.

"Fabian deserved a shot. All the stuff he has been through. He has been very patient. He's a great team player," Castillo said.

"Chris wasn't hot. When we got down and after three turnovers, the coaches felt like they needed to get Fabian in there. Obviously Chris was off. But that doesn't mean Chris isn't our starting quarterback or Fabian is our starting quarter. It means he had a bad night.

"It's unfortunate. When a quarterback, especially in the offense we run, if a quarterback has a bad night and the running game isn't going, you are pretty much going to lose. It's unfortunate but you can't put it all on the shoulders of Chris. It was a whole team effort We came out a little flat, we got down and we couldn't recover."

Castillo also was angry with fair-weather fans who have been quick to jump on the Seminoles.

"Everybody loves Chris, everybody loves coach Jeff Bowden and everything. A week ago everyone was saying how great both of them were and how much they had improved," Castillo said.

"Then all of a sudden, you lose a game. When you lose a game, you are going to blame the head coach, you are going to blame the offensive and defensive coordinator and you are going to blame the starting quarterback. It was a team effort. We got beat. Clemson had a great scheme for us and they beat us. That's all it is. When he calls a passing play, we have to make blocks, we have to make catches, we have to make throws. We didn't do any of that. We didn't look like Florida State. It showed and we got beat."


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