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The Daily Tar Heel

Boldin Shreds Tar Heel Secondary

The Florida State coach thought about the question for a few seconds, looked down and tried to explain what wide receiver Anquan Boldin meant to his team.

"Last year, we said Anquan was our playmaker," Bowden said. "He's still our playmaker. We've just got to get him the ball. We've gotta get it to him more, because he does something with it."

Getting Boldin the ball wasn't a problem Saturday. The junior wideout from Pahokee, Fla., had a career day, grabbing five passes for 104 yards.

Three of those five passes went for touchdowns in the Seminoles' 40-14 win at Doak Campbell Stadium.

With its top two running backs, Greg Jones and Nick Maddox, out because of injury, FSU didn't even try to dominate the Tar Heels on the ground.

So even though the rest of the ACC has run through the North Carolina defense, the Seminoles threw over the top of UNC's linebackers and in front of the safeties to gain yardage consistently throughout the game.

The Tar Heels blitzed often against the Seminoles, who were without injured starting offensive linemen Montrae Holland and Antoine Mirambeau.

UNC gave FSU several different defensive looks and even blitzed its defensive backs from the corners to try to get to quarterback Adrian McPherson.

But the Tar Heels were without their No. 1 cornerback, Michael Waddell, who broke his leg last week against Clemson.

"We knew that they had people injured, but this is football," Boldin said. "I mean, you can't take it easy on these guys."

And Boldin didn't. With the Tar Heels rotating to the strong side of the field on their blitzes, Boldin was left in one-on-one coverage on the back side.

Against UNC's shorter and less physical cornerbacks, that meant big plays for Boldin against North Carolina.

On his first touchdown, the 6-foot-2, 226-pound Boldin caught a short pass on a hitch route and broke Derrick Johnson's initial tackle attempt. He scampered 43 yards to the end zone, evading DeFonte Coleman along the way.

"I'd say our receivers are playmakers," McPherson said. "I felt like if I could just give my receiver a chance, then he'd make a play for us."

His other two scores came against the 5-8 Kevin Knight. On third-and-1 from the UNC 19 in the second quarter, the Seminoles lined up in the I-formation with Boldin split right.

He beat Knight off the line before hauling in the touchdown pass with a leaping grab in the end zone.

"He's one of the most physical receivers I've seen all year," said Knight, who Boldin out-weighed by 40 pounds.

In the third quarter, Boldin showed off his athleticism again, jumping over Knight to snag a quick lob pass from McPherson.

It was his third score of the day, capping a career performance for a guy who sat out all last season after a preseason knee injury.

After his performance Saturday, Boldin has grabbed 51 passes for 841 yards and 10 touchdown receptions. He is averaging 76.5 yards receiving per game and could be on his way to becoming another in the long line of highly touted FSU wide receivers.

That is, if the Seminoles continue trying to get him the ball as often as they can.

"You don't always have to make a perfect throw. He's gonna make a play," McPherson said of Boldin. "You could throw a five-yard route, and he can turn it into a 50-yard gain."

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu.

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