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The FSU Top Ten: Week 2

9/10/2012

With minimal playing time to go around, there's still not much film upon which to judge Florida State's stars, so this week's power rankings haven't been shaken up too much from Week 1. That, of course, could change next week when Wake Forest comes to town.

1. EJ Manuel, QB. Take away three bad drops by receivers, and Manuel's stat line for the first two games would be something like 30-of-35 for 396 yards, four touchdowns and no picks. Oh, and he did all that in just three quarters of work.

2. Bjoern Werner, DE. It took three plays for Werner to record his first sack of the game Saturday, but it turned out it would be his only one. Werner didn't get a ton of playing time, as he joined the rest of the starters on the bench late in the first quarter. His season totals now include seven tackles -- all of which have gone for a loss.

3. James Wilder Jr., RB. Wilder remains third on FSU's depth chart, and his carries will certainly dip in the coming weeks as the competition gets tougher, but the bruising sophomore looked impressive again Saturday, racking up two more touchdowns, including a powerful 19-yard rumble in the second quarter.

4. Lamarcus Joyner, S. Joyner didn't record a tackle Saturday, but that's probably as much to do with Savannah State doing its best to stay away from him as it was a lack of impact on his part. Joyner is still probably FSU's best overall defensive player.

5. Xavier Rhodes, CB. It's tough to give anyone on FSU's first-team defense much credit for his work Saturday. The group was exceptional, of course, but Savannah State ran just 13 plays in the first quarter, and the starters were on the bench after that. Still, the secondary allowed just two completed passes in the game, and as the Seminoles' top corner Rhodes remains in the top five.

6. Devonta Freeman, RB. Between Wilder's breakout games and Chris Thompson's return from a broken back, Freeman has fallen through the cracks a bit in the early going, but he might have been FSU's most impressive runner overall. On 18 touches, Freeman has tallied 140 yards, adding his first touchdown of the year Saturday.

7. Kelvin Benjamin, WR. Is Benjamin getting some bonus points for all the hype? Possibly, but he was extremely impressive Saturday. After a solid opener that included some nice catches, good runs after contact and a strong day of blocking, Benjamin broke through with the first two TDs of his career against Savannah State. He also flashed speed on an end-around and a shuffle pass that both went for big yards.

8. Christian Jones, WLB. The move to the weak side was supposed to free Jones up to make plays, but he hasn't been tested often. Still, when Jones has had his chances, he's made the most of them. He has three tackles for the season, all for a loss, including an impressive stuff of a screen play in the backfield Saturday.

9. Rodney Smith, WR. The senior receiver hauled in a 61-yard touchdown throw from Manuel on the second play of the game, marking career longs for both Smith and his QB. It was also the longest passing play by Florida State in nearly three years and it extended Smith's streak of 27 straight games with at least one catch.

10. Cameron Erving, LT. The entirety of the offensive line has looked good thus far, with the running game averaging better than seven yards per carry and the QBs remaining upright throughout. But the opposition has been weak, so it's tough to offer too much credit. We'll give a top-10 nod to Erving, who has made a smooth transition from the defensive line thus far, and who helped seal the outside running lane for Benjamin's end around in the first quarter.

Honorable mentions: RB Chris Thompson, DT Timmy Jernigan, PR/WR Rashad Greene, DE Cornellius Carradine.