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Ward will stay the starter

Any chance of a quarterback controversy arising from Florida State's 36-13 victory over North Carolina on Saturday was eliminated by coach Bobby Bowden.

Although true freshman Danny Kanell played well in a brief relief role, Charlie Ward will be the starting quarterback when FSU plays at Georgia Tech next Saturday.

"I hate to disappoint you all, but we're not even close to a controversy," Bowden said Sunday morning at his weekly news conference. "There's too much youth. If Kanell was a junior, there might be a controversy. But I want to bring him along slow. I don't want to throw him to the wolves. There is too much separation between them in age for there to be a controversy."

Ward, a junior, began the season with Bowden lauding him _ despite never having started a game. But Ward has started slowly in most games, only to come around in the second half. He has thrown 10 touchdown passes _ and 13 interceptions.

In the second quarter Saturday, with FSU leading 13-6, Ward was only 2-of-8 and had thrown an interception. Bowden took Ward out and replaced him with Kanell, who played three series and was 3-of-5. All of the completions came on third down. FSU drove for a field goal and a touchdown while Kanell played.

But Ward returned in the second half, scored on a 3-yard touchdown run and directed a 17-play, 82-yard drive that took 8:13 near the end of the game.

"The one thing we're forgetting is Charlie was totally inexperienced when the year began," Bowden said. "I'm not worried about Charlie. Knowing him, he'll come back."

Different view: For the first time at FSU, offensive coordinator Brad Scott sat in the press box (along with quarterback coach Mark Richt) and communicated with Bowden via a headset. Scott hadn't viewed a game from the press box since 1981, when he was offensive line coach at The Citadel. He decided to make the move to help make better play selections.

"I started seeing things on Sunday (on tape) that I couldn't see on Saturday," Scott said. "I wanted to help the kids. The worst seat in the house is on the sidelines."

"Stealing" signs: Bowden said he doesn't like to use the word "steal" because what teams are doing isn't illegal. But he senses that others are picking up the signals his coaches send in to the quarterback to call plays. So, on Saturday, FSU used a messenger on many occasions to get word to the quarterback.

"We flash them in like a catcher in baseball," Bowden said. "A lot of teams will get a guy just to watch that and see if he can pick up something. And if you can just figure out that it's a pass, that really helps. There's nothing illegal about it. We might try to do it, too. It's not cheating. Of course, if people didn't steal, we wouldn't have to go into a huddle."

One back or two? The Seminoles used two running backs in the backfield instead of the one-back offense they implemented this season for most of Saturday's game. But that doesn't mean that Bowden will abandon the one-back set.

"We are not having a problem with which way we want to go," Bowden said. "We just happened to feature one more than the other. What we do will depend on the game and who we are playing."