Thompson, Florida St roll to win over Wake
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The day belonged to Florida State's Chris Thompson even if he only played less than a half.
A year after he suffered a broken back
during a loss at Wake Forest that nearly ended his playing career, the
Seminoles' speedster ran for 197 yards on nine carries in a 52-0 pasting
of the Demon Deacons on Saturday.
"I was in that hospital bed and so many
thoughts went through my mind. I didn't know if I wanted to play
football again," Thompson said, recalling his injury. "I didn't know if I
was going to play again and I didn't know if I was going to be walking
"I'm breathing so I'm happy."
It took the 5-foot-8, 185-pound Thompson about 20 minutes on the game clock to have a career day.
Thompson scored on runs of 74 and 80
yards on successive first-half carries that sparked No. 5 Florida State
to a 38-0 halftime lead.
"I wish he waited until Clemson next
week to have a big day, but it's good to see him back," Wake Forest
coach Jim Grobe said. "To see him come back from that injury is pretty
Florida State, which hosts 11th-ranked
Clemson next week, has outscored its first three opponents 176-3
although its first two games were against teams from the lower-division
Football Championship Subdivision.
And while Grobe headed back to the
Demon Deacons' North Carolina campus, it was Florida State coach Jimbo
Fisher and some 60,000 fans who wanted to see how the Seminoles in
general, and Thompson specifically, would perform against a team in
their own league.
"I was sitting there watching him in
the hospital last year ... not knowing what his future was," Fisher
related. "He's a special guy and I'm just so happy for him."
Thompson, who is averaging 14.1 yards a
carry on 18 attempts this season, had said all week that he was
emotional getting ready to play Wake Forest. He was emotional as well in
the locker room after his performance.
"When coach Fisher first started
talking to me, I almost burst out in tears," he said. "But you know, I
was just holding it back."
He didn't hold back on the field despite leaving the game early with his team comfortably ahead.
Thompson was done for the afternoon
after his 80-yard touchdown run that put the Seminoles into a 28-0 lead
with 9:42 remaining in the first half. His 74-yard touchdown earlier
followed a 60-yard punt return TD by Rashad Greene as the Seminoles
(3-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) led 38-0 at the half.
Thompson has five touchdown runs of more than 70 yards in his Florida State career, including two of over 90 yards.
"He's so good once he gets going," Grobe said.
Thompson's heroics overshadowed another
shutdown performance by the Florida State defense, which has allowed
only one field goal and a total of 310 yards and 19 first downs in its
first three games.
The Seminoles held Wake Forest (2-1,
1-1 ACC) to 126 yards. Tanner Price completed 8 of 22 passes for 82
yards and was sacked three times while his favorite target, Michael
Campanaro, had two catches for 8 yards.
"Their front four is talented and they
do a great job of putting pressure on quarterbacks,." Price said. "It
was pretty ugly at times."
Campanaro had caught 22 passes in Wake
Forest's first two games, but was smothered by the Seminole secondary
while Price, who threw for a career-high 327 yards last week in a win
over North Carolina to earn ACC offensive back of the week honors, spent
the afternoon trying to stay upright.
"We were focused because this team
defeated us last year," said defensive end Cornellius Carradine, who had
2.5 of the Seminoles' four sacks in the game.
Wake Forest upset the Seminoles 35-30 a
year ago and had won four of the previous six games in the series, but
was no match this time.
Florida State had 357 of its 612 yards
offense by halftime. James Wilder Jr. chipped in with 94 of the
Seminoles' 385 rushing yards. It was the Seminoles most lopsided win
over the Demon Deacons since a 72-13 rout in 1995.
EJ Manuel's 16-yard touchdown run set
up by a 33-yard Thompson gain started the scoring avalanche with 4:28
left in the opening quarter. A minute and 43 seconds later Greene was in
the end zone with his second TD of the season on a punt return.
Manuel retired after throwing his
second touchdown pass, a 19-yard throw to Kenny Shaw, in the final
minute of the third period that gave the Seminoles a 45-0 lead. He
completed 15 of 24 passes for 172 yards and two scores.
The Seminoles kept the Demon Deacons
pinned down deep in their own territory throughout the first half. Wake
Forest first five offensive possessions started inside its 20, including
two at the five.
It was sixth time Florida State has
shut out Wake Forest., which suffered its last shutout two years ago in