Senior gets nod in final game

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Florida State quarterback Chris Rix
will start against West Virginia in the Gator Bowl.

Rix, who is 24-11 as a starter for the Seminoles (8-3), has
started just one game since Wyatt Sexton replaced him in October.
But Rix has started two of the Seminoles' past three bowl games,
including the 2002 Gator Bowl.

"Nearly all of our changes (this season) have been based on
performance," coach Bobby Bowden said Tuesday. "It has nothing to
do with seniority, sentimentality or anything else."

Sexton started the season finale against Florida, but was
relieved by Rix late in the third quarter. Rix directed the
Seminoles to 10 fourth-quarter points, but threw a fourth-down
interception in the closing seconds of the 20-13 loss.

Bowden said he and quarterbacks coach Daryl Dickey made the
decision after looking at the Florida game tape.

"We both looked each other in the eye and said, 'It's got to be
Chris,' " Bowden said.

As a freshman, Rix started the Seminoles' 30-17 win over
Virginia Tech in the 2002 Gator Bowl. But he missed the 2003 Sugar
Bowl after he overslept for an exam and was suspended for the game.
Rix also started last season's loss to Miami in the Orange Bowl.

After starting the season's first three games, Rix injured his
ankle against Clemson and lost his job to Sexton. After a midseason
loss to Maryland, Rix reclaimed the starting spot against Duke, but
was replaced at halftime and has not started since.

The Seminoles formally accepted their bid to the Jan. 1 bowl
Tuesday, while the Mountaineers (8-3) accepted their bid Monday.