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FSU must answer QB question

Even after a night to sleep on it, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden was unsure about his quarterback situation Sunday, saying film study and a staff discussion today will help him decide.

In the wake of two struggling performances by starter Danny Kanell, backups Jon Stark and Thad Busby will be considered.

"We've got some decisions to make," Bowden said Sunday in reviewing FSU's 17-0 victory over Clemson on Saturday and looking ahead to Saturday's game against Duke. "We have to decide if these are mistakes that can be corrected or if we have to make changes."

Bowden said he preferred not to have a week-long quarterback derby, and figured he will have a good idea going into tonight's practice what he wants to do.

Kanell completed 17 of 32 passes for 181 yards and no touchdowns, and threw an interception against Clemson. Six times, the FSU offense moved inside the Clemson 20-yard line, but only twice came away with touchdowns. Compounding the problem were three missed field goals, igniting another controversy.

Nonetheless, Kanell's numbers through six games (128 completions in 212 attempts for 1,513 yards, nine touchdowns and nine interceptions) are better than Charlie Ward's through his first six games of the 1992 season.

As Bowden spoke, he seemed to be hoping Kanell's mistakes can be overcome and that he can continue to bring Busby along slowly.

"But if the other guys are not ready, I'd go with him (Busby) and tone down the offense," Bowden said. "It would be almost like we'd tell him who to throw to, and if it's not there, throw it away.

"He's got a gun. But the decision we have to make is, are these mistakes correctable, or do we need to make a move?

"I really feel like in Thad we have a young (Notre Dame quarterback Ron) Powlus. We don't want to rush him. One thing we've always been able to do is bring quarterbacks up when their time comes. That's what I'd rather do."

It is obvious that Bowden is excited about the future with Busby, who has thrown only five passes this season and not worked with the first-team offense in practice.

"He does everything that our first two do but not as much," Bowden said. "He's got a great gun and he's mobile."

More changes: Bowden said Scott Bentley's missed field-goal attempts from 32 and 28 yards, along with a missed extra point against Miami, will likely put him on the bench.

Dan Mowrey, whose troubles two years ago caused FSU to recruit Bentley, made one of his two field-goal tries Saturday.

"I feel like in all fairness, Dan should be the guy to beat out," Bowden said. "I may sit down with my staff and they could convince me differently. But they'll have to convince me."

Perspective: It may seem odd, but FSU's game against undefeated Duke on Saturday is more important to the Seminoles' post-season plans than the game on Nov. 12 against Notre Dame. Both teams are undefeated in the ACC, and the league champion gets an automatic spot in either the Orange, Sugar or Cotton bowls.

"Who would have ever thought we'd have Duke and Notre Dame and Duke is the bigger game," Bowden said. "You better get that one. To get the bowl you want, you have to win the ACC. If you could only have one, that is the one you want."

Future plans: Bowden said he has no desire to be FSU's next athletic director. Bob Goin, FSU's athletic director since 1990, was not retained after it was determined he violated state ethics law.

"I wanted him back," said Bowden of Goin, who will receive a $300,000 settlement from FSU boosters. "I thought he had done so much. I look at it as a coach who saw an athletic director getting it done big time."

Bowden said he has "no interest" in the job either now or when he retires as football coach.

Ward vs. Kanell

A look at Charlie Ward's and Danny Kanell's statistics through their first six games:

Player Cmp-Att (Pct.) Yards TD Int

Ward (1992) 102-193 (.528) 1,390 10 13

Kanell (1994) 128-212 (.604) 1,513 9 9