TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A year ago, Chris Thompson's career nearly ended against Wake Forest. He took a handoff, cut inside, lowered his head, and ran into a tackle that broke two bones in his back and ended his season.
Thompson said this had been an emotional week as he thought back to the injury and how far he has come since, and, in the first half Saturday, he marked the occasion by delivering one of the best running performances in Florida State history.
Thompson had touchdown runs of 74 and 80 yards in the second quarter, helping Florida State to a 38-0 halftime lead.
Stat of the half: 197. That's Thompson's rushing total in the first half, more than double his total for the entirety of the 2011 season. In addition to his dominance on the ground, Thompson added two catches for 23 more yards.
Player of the half: Thompson, of course. The senior tailback had already tallied the 10th-best rushing day in Florida State history with nine minutes remaining in the second quarter. The two long touchdowns were the fourth and fifth of Thompson's career of at least 70 yards. Thompson was responsible for 62 percent of Florida State's total offense in the first half.
What's working for FSU: Aside from Thompson, the special teams have been the key. Rashad Greene returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown, his second of the year. Dustin Hopkins has pinned Wake Forest inside the 20 on five of six kickoffs, and punter Cason Beatty delivered two exceptional kicks in the first quarter to pin the Deacons deep in their own territory.
What's not working for FSU: Despite Thompson's big day, it's hard to say the first big test for Florida State's offensive line has gone well. The pass protection has been bad, with EJ Manuel sacked twice and under pressure throughout. The Seminoles also were stuffed three straight times from inside the 2 in the second quarter. Pass protection and short-yardage play were big concerns a year ago, and the revamped line has done little to show it has turned a corner.
Noteworthy: Florida State has outscored its first three opponents of the season by a combined 162-0 in less than nine quarters of action. … Right tackle Menelik Watson (ankle) was available for Saturday's game, but Daniel Glauser got the start. … Defensive end Bjoern Werner added 1.5 sacks in the first half and has 6.5 for the season.