Jones ready to step in as FSU's QB if needed
Posted: Sunday January 03, 1999 05:15 PM
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- It took an extra flight and a bummed ride, but Florida State coach Bobby Bowden could be glad he found his way to Walla Walla, Wash.
Walla Walla is the hometown of freshman Jared Jones, who would have to quarterback the second-ranked Seminoles if something happens to starter Marcus Outzen against No. 1 Tennessee Monday night in the Fiesta Bowl.
Outzen is a third-string sophomore with only two starts after season-ending injuries to Dan Kendra and Chris Weinke.
"We did not have but one more quarterback on scholarship," Bowden said Sunday. "That's Jared Jones, a freshman from Walla Walla, Washington, which I just love to say -- Walla Walla, Washington."
Walla Walla might be fun to say, but Bowden lamented that it was hard to get there from Tallahassee, Fla.
"It's a four-hour flight to Seattle," Bowden said. "It's a missed plane to Walla Walla. Catch an extra flight over to a town about 47 miles away. Bum a ride with some guy who lives in Walla Walla and finally get there."
Getting there paid off when Jones, a highly touted prep star, accepted a Florida State scholarship last year. Since then, Jones has gone from Walla Walla to preparing for a national championship game.
"What I keep in my mind most is ... try not to worry about things you can't control," Jones said. "I can't control if Marcus gets hurt. If it happens, I'll have to deal with it the best I can."
Jones had expected to redshirt this season, but after Weinke went down late in the season, Bowden decided he had to see what he could do, anticipating the situation Florida State will be in Monday.
Jones' only action, mop-up duty in a 24-7 victory over Wake Forest, was not impressive. He completed 2 of 6 passes for 8 yards and was intercepted once.
Bowden gave a deadpan account of what happened.
"First pass, got a guy wide open," he said. "He's got plenty of time. He bounces it to him. Next pass, the guy's open. He bounces another one. I'm thinkin' 'Oh-oh, that ain't the way you complete passes -- bouncing 'em. We ain't getting 'em on the second bounce.' "
Bowden insists the Seminoles could win with Jones, but also he is realistic.
"He's going to be a good one, but he's not ready." Bowden said. "Our chances to win are better if Outzen is there."
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