- David M. Hale, ESPN Staff Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- For the third straight week, Florida State needed no heroics and little contribution from the starters after halftime as the Seminoles thumped Wake Forest 52-0. There's not too much to critique after a win like that, but here are three of the best performances of the week and three that left a bit to be desired.
1. Chris Thompson.
It would've been a nice feel-good story if Thompson had simply turned in a mediocre performance against the team that nearly ended his career less than a year ago. Instead, Thompson was magical. The senior tailback finished with 220 total yards on offense despite not touching the ball in the second half. His touchdown runs of 74 and 80 yards were the fourth and fifth of his career of at least 70 yards.
2. The special teams.
Rashad Greene returned a punt for a touchdown. Cason Beatty stuffed all four punts inside the 20 -- including two at the 5 -- and Dustin Hopkins was masterful with his directional kickoffs. Wake Forest had an average starting field position of its own 19-yard line for the game, while FSU's average start was on its own 36.
3. The defense.
It's impossible to point to just one player as the hero. Bjoern Werner and Cornellius Carradine were dominant once again, combining for four sacks. Timmy Jernigan racked up six tackles. Anthony McCloud and Everett Dawkins were exceptional. The linebackers played well. The secondary was overwhelming. Wake Forest simply couldn't get anything done offensively in any phase of the game.
1. The passing game. EJ Manuel missed a handful of throws. The offensive line struggled to block. The receivers dropped a few easy catches. The end result was still an effective day through the air, but the bulk of the success came late, when the game was already out of hand. In the first half, Manuel was just 5 of 11 passing for 75 yards and was sacked three times.
2. The clock.
Jacob Coker drove the Seminoles to the Wake Forest 19 on the final play of the game, meaning FSU's streak of scoring on 22 straight trips into the red zone was snapped because time ran out. Still, FSU opened the season with touchdowns on 19 of 22 trips inside the 20. If you're looking for flaws though, the Seminoles inability to punch in a score on three straight plays from inside the 2 in the second quarter was a mild setback.
3. Wake Forest.
Florida State has its biggest game of the season this week with Clemson headed to Tallahassee, but we still haven't seen the starters take a snap in the fourth quarter. Wake Forest wasn't expected to win, but it at least seemed like the Deacons might put up a fight. Instead, there was little challenge again for FSU, which speaks volumes about the talent on the roster but still leaves one big question looming: How will the Seminoles handle their first taste of adversity? Then again, if they keep playing like this, they might never need to answer that question.
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