Florida State receiver Anquan Boldin sprained his surgically repaired left knee in the Seminoles' first preseason scrimmage Saturday night at Doak Campbell Stadium. The sight of Boldin on the ground clutching his knee was eerily familiar to FSU players and coaches.
Boldin, a junior from Pahokee, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in FSU's first preseason scrimmage last year and was lost for the 2001 season. Boldin was injured Saturday when he collided with a teammate while going for a pass. An extremely upset Boldin, who was wearing a protective knee brace, walked off the field and into the Seminoles training room but did not return for the second half.
FSU coach Bobby Bowden had hoped the injury was not serious and it appears he was right. Boldin had three receptions for 38 yards and looked impressive during two-a-day practices. Boldin and fellow receiver Robert Morgan, who also is returning from reconstructive knee surgery, are expected to play key roles for the Seminoles this season.
"I was thinking how unlucky it would be if he got injured again," Bowden said when asked what he thought when Boldin went down.
"I think a lot of these things, when a boy is coming off an injury, there is a little scare going on. And he's afraid he hurt it like he did. And when they check it....sometimes those things need to break down to break down the restrictions and everything that get in there. It might work out for the good – that's what I am hoping."
Offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden draped his arm over Boldin's shoulder as he walked off the field. When he reached the sidelines, an animated and obviously upset Boldin slamed his helmet into the turf. Jeff Bowden indicated after the scrimmage that his recovering players will be placed in a blue non-contact jersey for the remainder of two-a-days.
"It looked like two defenders going for the ball and one got the pick and one hit Anquan," Bowden said. "I think he's going to be okay. Still, it's a scary reality we are going to have to sit and work through the whole year like that. He's an imporant to us as Snoop Minnis was to us in the Orange Bowl two years ago. We need him"
While the Seminoles' defense limited the offense to a pair of scores – a quarterback sneak by Chris Rix and a 31-yard field goal by Xavier Beitia – the two-hour session was overshadowed by injuries.
In addition to Boldin, No. 2 quarterback Adrian McPherson, who was wearing a green non-contact jersey, suffered left ankle sprain after being tackled on a sack by defensive end Alonzo Jackson. Bowden said Fabian Walker would move into the reserve role behind Rix if McPherson is unable to practice this week.
Starting nose guard Jeff Womble, who was suspended for FSU's opener against Iowa State Aug. 24 for a violation of a team rule, suffered a left knee injury in goal line drills. Reserve noseguard Travis Johnson injured his surgically repaired ankle. The Seminoles lost starting free safety Kyler Hall last Thursday when he suffered a broken left hand. Hall, who underwent surgery, is expected back by week's end, however.
"Injuries just seem to hang over Florida State,' Jackson said. Added senior center Antoine Mirambeau: I was worried a lot when Quan went down. He has a big impact on our offense."
RECAP: Senior wide receiver Talman Gardner hauled in six passes for 101 yards to pace the offense while senior defensive end Alonzo Jackson led the defense with seven tackles and four sacks.
Rix led the starters down the field for the scrimmage's only touchdown by going 4-of-6 in the drive for 38 yards. Rix scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak.. Highlighting the drive was a 28-yard run by redshirt freshman tailback Willie Reid.
The only other score came when Xavier Beitia connected on a 31-yard field goal. Reid led all rushers with 34 yards on seven carries. Gardner was followed in the receiving column by Anquan Boldin, who caught three passes for 38 yards. Rix completed 8-of-13 passes for 101 yards and had one interception. Adrian McPherson was 4-of-6 for 73 yards with the No. 2 offense.
Sophomore defensive end Eric Moore complimented Alonzo Jackson with four tackles and two sacks of his own. Safety Yohance Buchanan recorded three tackles and intercepted a pass.
INJURY REPORT: WR Anquan Boldin (Grade 1 left MCL sprain); NG Jeff Womble (Grade 2 left knee MCL sprain); DT Travis Johnson (re-injured left ankle); QB Adrian McPherson (Grade 1 left ankle sprain); LB A.J. Nicholson (cervical burner); LB Kendyll Pope (left hip pointer); CB Bryant McFadden (re-injured right hand).
Players held out: Craphonso Thorpe (toe), Ray Piquion (concussion), Patrick Netwon (concussion), Matt Henshaw (hip flexor), Kyler Hall (broken left hand), Greg Jones (no injury, just held out), Bobby Meeks (ankle), Kamerion Wimbley (groin).
A.M. SPECIAL TEAMS WORK
Punting -- Chance Gwaltney 9-364, 40.4 average, 1 inside the 10, long of 52.
Chris Hall, 4-145, 36.3 average, 0 inside the 10, 44 long.
Kick offs -- Xavier Beitia 3 total, 2 in end zone, 3-yard deep and 5-yard-line shortest.
Brett Cimorelli -- 3 tota, 2 in end zone, 8-yards deep and 2-yard line shortest.
Field goals -- Beita 5 of 6 from the 20 and 0 of 1 frm the 30.