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Running back struggles in return home

By BRIAN LANDMAN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 24, 2002

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Florida State senior tailback Nick Maddox had hoped to make his final appearance in his home state special. It seemed everything was in place.

He had begged and traded for 58 tickets for his family and friends, including his aunt, Pat Maddox. She raised him like a son and, until recently, he told everyone she was his mother. She had special T-shirts printed up:

"Breakin' out in the 'Nick' of time; #20 Welcome home Nick Maddox."

But Maddox, back after missing a game with a sprained right ankle, was ineffective. He rushed six times for 4 yards and had one catch for 7 yards.

"It wasn't fully healed, but it was healed enough for me to run," he said. "It got a little sore, but for the most part, I was fine. When you have two teams, coaches can only do so much.

"You have to get out there and execute the game plan. Me, I didn't do my part to execute the game plan."

INJURED LINEMAN: FSU junior defensive tackle Jeff Womble tore his left Achilles' tendon late and will miss the rest of the season.

"It felt like somebody stepped on the back of my heel, and I felt a pop," he said. "I tried to get up and run, but I couldn't put any pressure on my foot. So I just hobbled to the sideline."

REINJURED LINEMEN: Senior guard Montrae Holland and senior center Antoine Mirambeau reaggravated injuries that had kept them out in recent weeks and didn't finish the game.

Holland, who missed the Georgia Tech and North Carolina games after sustaining a high right ankle sprain, played only in the first half.

"I tweaked it a couple of times, and I got to the point where I couldn't move," he said. "I didn't want to hurt the team by staying in."

Mirambeau, who sat out last week with a right knee sprain, reinjured it during the first quarter and was in street clothes late. He originally injured the knee against Louisville on Sept.26.

BIG-PLAY MIKE: For the first time this season and third in his career, FSU junior linebacker Michael Boulware scored a touchdown, an 84-yard fumble return. Last season, he returned an interception 23 yards against Maryland and had a 73-yard fumble return against Miami.

The 84-yard score was FSU's longest play this season. BOLDIN BACK?: FSU junior receiver Anquan Boldin's stock is rising with the NFL, which scouts say loves his size and strength. But Bowden said he expects his star playmaker to return. He said the two have talked and, as he did with Derrick Brooks, Warrick Dunn and Peter Warrick, he told him staying will improve his draft position.

"I tell them, 'Don't sell yourself cheap,' " Bowden said.

NO REPLAY: Because construction at Carter-Finley Stadium limited space, Sunshine could not get a crew to the game. So for the first time this season, there will be no replay tonight or Monday.

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