Sugar Bowl Update

<b>Michael Boulware</b> is the consummate team player. However, if given the opportunity, Boulware admits he wouldn't mind switching from strongside linebacker to safety next season to take better advantage of his size and speed. "I like to try it, but my thing is I want to help the team out the best I can," Boulware said. Of course, Boulware and the 'Noles will have their hands full Jan. 1 in the Sugar Bowl against No. 4 Georgia.

Michael Boulware is the consummate team player.

However, if given the opportunity, Boulware admits he wouldn't mind switching from strongside linebacker to safety next season to take better advantage of his size and speed.

"I like to try it, but my thing is I want to help the team out the best I can," Boulware said.

"I feel like I can help the team there (safety). I am going to move to safety the next level (NFL) so I like to get some reps down here before I go. But whatever helps the team out. I approached them (coaches) a little earlier this season, as an idea, just for them to keep it in the back of their heads if things don't get better. I wouldn't mind switching to help the team out. That's about it."

Of course, Boulware, a 6-3, 212-pound junior, closed the regular season with a flourish from his linebacking slot. Despite being undersized, Boulware concentrates on his quickness to help shed opposing blockers. He finished second on the team in tackles (123) behind fellow linebacker Kendyll Pope. Boulware scored the Seminoles only points in the N.C. State defeat when he returned a fumble 84 yards for a touchdown – his third career score.

Although Boulware has applied to obtain information from the NFL's underclassman advisory committee, it's unlikely he will leave early.

"It's going to be a clear thing," Boulware said. "If I'm sitting in a certain range, then I'm probably going to end up leaving. I'm not really worried about it. If something does come up and I'm in that range, there's no way I can turn that down."

At the moment, however, Boulware is concentrating on the Jan. 1 Sugar Bowl against fourth-ranked Georgia.

The Bulldogs lead the Southeastern Conference in scoring offense (32.6 points per game) and are looking to become the first team in school history to record 13 wins in a season. Offensively, the Bulldogs are paced by quarterback David Greene (209-for-365, 2836 yards, 22 TDs, 8 INTs), receiver Terrence Edwards 56-944, 10 TDs) and tailback Musa Smith (237-1,179 yards, 8 touchdowns).

The Seminoles' linebacking trio of Boulware, Pople and Allen Augustin are expected to play a key role in slowing Georgia coach Mark Richt's offensive approach. The trio combined for 180 tackles in FSU's last five games. Pope and Boulware have record 10 or more tackles in each of the last five games, while Augustin has 10 or more stops in four of those five contests.

"In a way it (Bulldogs' offensive style) is similar (to FSU's) but he has put a few more things in his offense," Pope said. "He's going to run a lot of toss sweeps, a lot of leads. He's going to throw the ball deep. It's pretty much the same as it was when he was here."

FSU's pass defense also has shown a major improvement over the last six games. In the seson's first seven games, The Seminoles allowed an average of 274.6 passing yards per game. In the last six, FSU has allowed just 207.7 – a difference of nearly 67 yards. Additionally, FSU has recorded 16 more sacks over last season (30-14). Alonzo Jackson leads the team with 11 sacks – he led the team last season wth five -- and is one of 16 Seminoles to record a sack.

Pope says it's important the Seminoles end the season on a positive note, especially after earning a BCS invite for winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title.

"Nobody enjoyed going there (Jacksonville for Gator Bowl last year) but it feels great to be (back)," Pope said. "This an opportunity to show .... a lot of people are saying we shouldn't be there but we won the ACC outright. WE are the ACC champions. We are just glad to have the opportunity to get back into the BCS. Plus, this is Georgia. It's great motivation."

Boulware, meanwhile, doesn't have to look very far for motivation. It comes with each play when he must engage with much bigger offensive linemen.

" I don't feel like I am getting shoved around because I have figured out how to position myself not to get pushed off," Boulware said. "If they are too big, I will just cut them. I have learned to use mysize to my advantage."


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