||Wednesday, January 1
Bulldogs rattle Walker early in his first start
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Sugar Bowl wasn't a good place for Florida State's Fabian Walker to make his first collegiate start.
Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden said he wished he had about two more weeks for Walker to practice. There was no extra time and No. 16 Florida State never had much of a chance in a 26-13 loss to No. 4 Georgia on Wednesday night.
While Walker did throw a 5-yard touchdown to Anquan Boldin early in the second quarter to give the Seminoles a 7-3 lead, his three turnovers proved costly.
"It was a tough situation for me,'' Walker said. "At the very beginning I was a little nervous. After my first run I kind of realized, 'Hey it's another ball game' and I kind of calmed down.''
The sophomore quarterback was intercepted twice in the first half -- one returned for a touchdown -- and fumbled on the Seminoles' first offensive play of the second half that led to a Georgia field goal.
"I just could never seem to get back into a rhythm because they kept bringing pressure on me, just hitting me, just hitting me,'' said Walker, who was 7-of-12 for 69 yards. "I was never able to bounce back from that.''
Bowden said Georgia apparently decided early to try and rattle Walker.
"They did exactly what anybody would, that's blitz a new quarterback,'' Bowden said. "They blitzed nearly every down.''
Walker entered the game having taken just 18 snaps in games and with a bad throwing shoulder that may require surgery in the spring. He was forced into action by the suspension last month of Chris Rix, who didn't take a final exam in violation of university policy. Adrian McPherson, who started four games at quarterback for the Seminoles, was kicked off the team in November after allegedly stealing a blank check from a Tallahassee, Fla. business.
With Walker struggling against Georgia, Bowden turned to the versatile Boldin late in the second quarter and then for good late in the third quarter. Boldin arched a perfect 65-yard spiral for an apparent touchdown to Talman Gardner, but he dropped the ball and Georgia held on to a 17-7 halftime lead.
"We were just kind of hoping somebody could make some plays,'' Bowden said. "We had to work hard for our points, they got their's easy. That's frustrating.''
Boldin connected with Craphonso Thorpe on a 40-touchdown pass on the final play of the third quarter, but was knocked out of bounds trying to run for a 2-point conversion as Georgia took a 23-13 lead into the final quarter.
Bowden said Walker, Rix and freshman Wyatt Sexton would be the quarterbacks next season and Boldin would stay at wide receiver.
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