Better Decisions

Obviously, Florida State was looking for much better offensive performance against Miami last week. Instead, the Seminoles failed to score an offensive touchdown and quarterback <b>Chris Rix</b> suffered four turnovers. Offensive coordinator <b>Jeff Bowden</b> and staff will be searching for answers this week as FSU turns its attention to Saturday's home-opener against Alabama-Birmingham.

Florida State players and coaches talked all preseason how they thought starting quarterback Chris Rix had improved.

Instead, the fifth-year senior came unglued in the Seminoles' season-opener at Miami, unravelling with four turnovers. His last one, a fumbled snap, occurred on a third-down play during overtime.

Miami got its chance and scored in two plays on Frank Gore's 18-yard run to win the game. Rix completed just 12 of 28 passes for 108 yards. He was sacked three times, lost two fumbles, threw two interceptions.

While Rix is a big part of FSU's puzzle, the entire Seminoles offense played poorly, according to coaches and players. Offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden was extremely disappointed with his unit's effort, believing a strong finish regular-season finish would help provide momentum this season.

"I am where I have been the last three years," Bowden said on Monday.

"I wonder what is going to show up from Saturday to Saturday. We talked all the way up to prior to this game and my whole basis for this year, a whole bunch of it, was based on what we had done at the end of the year offensively - N.C State and Florida.

"I looked at how in two clutch games, especially for Chris, he did great things for us. Then you get kind of ripped for being conservative in a bowl game but now I kind of wish I would have had that plan again now. What I am saying is that I go into this year thinking we are going to start about where we left off. You hope you can start there because we have a veteran unit and you certainly expect that."

While FSU coach Bobby Bowden felt the Seminoles may be trying to do too much offensively, Jeff Bowden quickly disagreed.

"Our offense is as simplistic as there is in this country," Jeff Bowden said.

"It is as simplistic as it is. Our protections compared to what some people do are simplistic. I would disagree with that. ... We will do what we can to help him (Rix), but we can't become any more vanilla than we are, I can tell you that."

When asked about Miami's success with a blitzing attack, Bowden pointed to breakdowns, mainly behind center.

"There were some breakdowns, yeah. We were spreading the field and they were blitzing us and making us throw hot and we just did not handle it," Bowden said. "Chris did not handle it. It is the same stuff we have seen, it is nothing new to what we do and it is nothing new for our offense."

Rix also continued to struggle with his mechanics against the Hurricanes, throwing side-arm and off his back foot while under pressure in the pocket.

"Daryl (Dickey, quarterbacks coach) does a drill every day on mechanics. Every day I sit down and watch him do the same drill over and over," Bowden said. "In five years we haven't been able to change him. I don't think he doesn't want to be great but there is certain things that an individual has to have. It just comes harder for him.

"I have always described him as a linebacker playing quarterback because of his mentality. It is such a toughness and great effort but those don't make you great at that position."


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