FLORIDA STATE FOOTBALL

Complacency no problem for FSU


Published: Monday, September 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, August 31, 2003 at 11:28 p.m.
TALLAHASSEE - Even after his team opened its season with a convincing win, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said he was not overly worried about his team becoming complacent.
"I don't think we have had enough success to become complacent," Bowden said in a conference call Sunday. "Back when we were winning 10 games a year and top-four finishes all the time, then that was our biggest enemy."
Saturday night's 37-0 victory over North Carolina was very different from the outcome the Seminoles endured in their last visit to Chapel Hill, a 41-9 loss two seasons ago. That game opened a stretch previously unheard of during Bowden's tenure at Florida State - nine losses in 24 games, which sent the team spiraling off its annual perch of national title contender.
But the season's promising beginning will not swell his team's ego, Bowden said.
"I think these guys are hungry," he said. "And I don't think these guys have been successful enough yet to be complacent. If they do it will cost us a ballgame, no doubt about it."
Bowden gave junior quarterback Chris Rix high marks for both leadership and performance. Rix completed 11 of his first 12 passes en route to a 17-of-26, 232-yard passing performance. He threw for one touchdown and had a pair of 1-yard scoring runs.
"Up to this point, he hasn't been able to present that side as much as he is now," Bowden said, referring to Rix's development as a leader. "Now he's a veteran, he's older than they are, now they look up to him. ... We told him before the game, don't go out and try and win the game. You just execute, and that's about what he did."
Running back Leon Washington, who suffered a dislocated elbow during the game, will miss at least two weeks with what doctors described as a "clean separation," said Bowden, who noted the injury could have been worse.

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