- David M. Hale, ESPN Staff Writer
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The cupcake games to open a season usually give stars a chance to pad their resumes for postseason awards. That wasn't the case for Florida State's marquee players, who have seen only about three quarters of work through two games. Here's how their postseason awards chances were effected by FSU's 55-0 win over Savannah State.
QB EJ Manuel, Sr. (Maxwell, O'Brien): It was a ho-hum first week for Manuel, who took a backseat to Florida State's running game. It took just two plays in the Seminoles' second game for the senior to step up. Manuel set a career mark with a 61-yard touchdown throw to Rodney Smith for FSU's first score, and despite playing just the first quarter, he notched his second career three-touchdown game.
DE Bjoern Werner, Jr. (Lombardi, Nagurski): Another game, another sack for Werner. Despite playing just 12 snaps against Savannah State, Werner added another 1.5 tackles for loss, meaning all seven of his tackles this season have been behind the line of scrimmage.
DT Everett Dawkins, Sr. (Outland): Like the rest of Florida State's defenders, Dawkins didn't see much action Saturday, but while he was in the game, Savannah State did nothing but go backward -- finishing the first quarter with minus-17 yards rushing.
K Dustin Hopkins, Sr. (Groza): Hopkins had his streak of 145 straight PATs snapped, which certainly isn't going to do him any favors come awards time, but he'll have far more significant kicks later this season upon which he can build his campaign.
LB Christian Jones, Jr. (Butkus): Jones hasn't gotten a chance to really stretch his legs in his new spot on the weak side, but he has three tackles on the season, all for a loss. He did a nice job of sniffing out a screen pass on a third-and-5 against Savannah State, dropping the receiver for a 3-yard loss.
S Lamarcus Joyner, Jr. (Bednarik, Nagurski, Thorpe): There won't be many games in which Joyner doesn't show up in the box score, but Savannah State wisely stayed away from the Florida State safety Saturday -- not that it helped the Tigers much.
CB Xavier Rhodes, Jr. (Bednarik, Nagurski, Thorpe): Rhodes didn't have a tackle, but then again, Savannah State didn't complete a pass while he was in the game. He remains FSU's only DB with an interception through two games.
WR Willie Haulstead, Jr. (Biletnikoff): Haulstead did make his first reception since the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl last weekend, but his role as a third-string receiver is set in stone for now. It's more likely that Rashad Green, Rodney Smith or Kelvin Benjamin will eventually be FSU's best shot at the Biletnikoff.
DT Timmy Jernigan, So. (Outland): Jernigan got even less work than his fellow starters Saturday with the return of senior Anthony McCloud for two series of action. Jernigan still has star potential, but a healthy McCloud will cut into his reps going forward.
DE Brandon Jenkins, Sr. (Bednarik, Camp, Lombardi/Rotary, Nagurski): Jenkins' season -- and perhaps his college career -- officially ended last Monday when an MRI revealed a lisfranc fracture in his left foot.
LB Nick Moody, Sr. (Butkus): Through two games, Moody has just one assisted tackle in his new position with the linebackers. He'll get more work beginning this week, but he's got little to show for the first two games of the year.
ON THE HORIZON
WR Kelvin Benjamin, Fr. Fans have been waiting for Benjamin's breakthrough performance. Saturday might not have been a signature achievement, but the redshirt freshman caught his first two career touchdowns and had a nifty end-around run. His role will only get bigger.
RB James Wilder Jr., So. Wilder scored two more touchdowns Saturday and finishes the FCS portion of Florida State's schedule with the most impressive numbers -- 132 yards and four touchdowns.