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Florida Gov. Charlie Crist supports embattled Florida State Seminoles football coach Bobby Bowden

TALLAHASSEE — Although Florida State coach Bobby Bowden has battled increasing heat to announce his retirement, he does have his supporters. Powerful supporters.

Said Gov. Charlie Crist in a statement Saturday: "As a loyal 'Nole, I want to wish Florida State the best of luck in Tallahassee tonight. I wish all the best for coach Bobby Bowden — one of the greatest coaches of all time. God bless you, Coach!"

Last week, FSU board of trustees chairman Jim Smith sparked a firestorm by publicly calling for Bowden to end his tenure at season's end and pave the way for his anointed heir, Jimbo Fisher, to take over in 2010.

Interestingly, it's the job of Crist and the Board of Governors, the group that oversees the state's universities, to appoint trustees to the 11 public schools.

Lineup shuffle: Freshman NT Jacobbi McDaniel, who had been drawing rave reviews from FSU's defensive coaches all season (he forced a fumble in the waning moments last week that FSU didn't recover), made his first collegiate start.

"We thought he was a little bit (farther) along than a normal freshman when he came in, and he's showing that," defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews said last week. "He's playing every week, and he's been playing banged up. That's a hard thing for a senior to do sometimes, much less a freshman. (We're) very encouraged with his play."

Meanwhile, redshirt freshman S Nick Moody took over for ailing (and struggling) fifth-year senior Korey Mangum. He also started against Jacksonville State.

Maybe FSU has solved a problem: On its first possession, FSU drove and had it first and goal at the 3, a spot the team reached and failed to score from in losses against USF and Boston College. This time, FSU hit the end zone on first down thanks to sophomore RB Jermaine Thomas slipping a tackle and hurdling over the goal line for a touchdown.

Injured Seminole: Senior TE Caz Piurowski, a former standout from Land O'Lakes High who had been having a banner season as a receiver and a blocker, injured his right knee on FSU's touchdown run on the opening drive. He was helped off the field and didn't return. He is scheduled for an MRI on Monday.

Blackout has no juice: A plea for fans to wear black as a way to protest the team's struggles and the need for change had a little less appeal than you might have imagined. In fact, very few fans wore black.

Remember us?: Georgia Tech hadn't been to Tallahassee since 2003, a game it led 13-0 in the fourth quarter but lost 14-13. After Saturday's victory, the Yellow Jackets improved to 1-6 in Tallahassee.

Welcome back: The Yellow Jackets have 15 players from Florida, three from Tampa — junior RB Anthony Allen, sophomore CB Michael Peterson and freshman OT Phil Smith. All went to Jesuit.

Schedule strength: Entering Saturday's games, FSU's five Division I-A opponents (Miami, BYU, USF, Boston College and Georgia Tech) were a combined 20-4, and all but Boston College are in the AP Top 25.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist supports embattled Florida State Seminoles football coach Bobby Bowden 10/10/09 [Last modified: Sunday, October 11, 2009 12:46am]
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