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September 8, 2007

Slow start, fast finish - FSU 34, UAB 24

Drew Weatherford threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns as Florida State rallied from an early two-touchdown deficit and held off UAB 34-24 on Saturday.

Similar to last Monday, Florida State got started slow. They found themselves in a hole to UAB, which has lost eight straight games, 17-3 during the first half.

Although the offensive statistics were virtually even at the half, UAB held a 17-10 lead when the first half concluded. The lead was largely due to a 21-yard interception return for a touchdown by Will Dunbar just five minutes into the game that made it 10-0.

After a 28-yard field goal by Gary Cismesia, UAB's quarterback Sam Hunt had a 4-yard scoring scramble early in the second quarter that gave UAB a 17-3 lead.

With a little over four minutes remaining in the first half, Weatherford found tight end Charlie Graham for a two-yard touchdown pass. That made it a 17-10 game heading towards the half.

"They just came in and took it to us," head coach Bobby Bowden said. "The boys stayed in there and fought."

In the early third quarter, Weatherford connected with junior wideout Greg Carr on an eight-yard touchdown pass to tie the game up.

Florida State didn't get its first lead, 24-17, until late in the third quarter on Marcus Sim's 1-yard TD run, but UAB countered on Joseph Webb's one-handed catch on a 16-yard pass from Sam Hunt to tie the game at 24.

Weatherford hit a streaking Richard Goodman in stride for a 50-yard touchdown on the final play of the third period that gave the Seminoles a 31-24 lead and Gary Cismesia's 40-yard field goal two minutes later finally gave Florida State some breathing room at 34-24.

"He ran a great route," Weatherford said of Goodman's catch. "We ran a double move. We were trying to run it the whole game but just didn't have the look. I had the option to check into a run but UAB was playing quarters and Goodman made a great move beating the corner and the safety and he outran everyone to the house."

Florida State, who improved to 1-1, 0-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, totaled 520 yards of offense.

UAB fell to 0-2 on the season. They have not won since a 35-29 win over Memphis last October 7th.

Florida State lost starting tailback Antone Smith with a concussion midway through the third quarter. After the game, Smith commented that he expects to play next weekend when Florida State travels to Colorado.



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