September 10, 2011

Notebook: Young Seminoles shine



As No. 5 Florida State (2-0) cruised to a 62-10 win over Charleston Southern (0-2), it was the young Seminoles who made big plays in the second half.


After hooking up for a 28-yard score in the season opener, Clint Trickett and Rashad Greene connected again on Saturday night, this time for two scores. First Trickett hit Greene for a 29-yard score, then on the next possession Greene took a slant 69 yards for a touchdown.



"This guy makes it so easy on me," Trickett said of what he was thinking as Greene took off for his second score. "I just drop and throw a five-yard pass and he'll take it all the way. He's a phenomenal athlete and playmaker."


Trickett finished the game 6 of 7 for 148 yards, two touchdowns, and he added a 4-yard touchdown run.


Greene not only shined at his receiver as he scored on his only two catches, but he was also electric on kick returns as he filled in for the suspended Greg Reid.


On kickoff returns he had two for 41 yards. On punt returns he had just one yard on three attempts, but he did return one for a touchdown that was negated by holding penalty.


"That's special man," safety Lamarcus Joyner said of his former St. Thomas Aquinas high teammate Greene. "The guy only weighs 175 pounds, breaking off tackles, that's special man, real elusive."


Redshirt freshman Christian Green also had a big night as he recorded the first two catches of his career for 63 yards.


True freshman James Wilder Jr. finally made his heavily anticipated collegiate debut, first coming in on kickoff coverage before playing running back. The five-star prospect rushed for 76 yards on 10 carries, including a 41-yard gain on the game's final play.


"They got juice with that ball. They know what to do with it and they're hungry," head coach Jimbo Fisher said of the younger Seminoles. "They're learning to play and I think they'll have great careers here and the sooner they can get out and do it, they'll be at a different level, but they got game experience. There's nothing like playing when the numbers on the scoreboard are lit up. You can't get that anywhere but when that happens. I'm very pleased with when that happens and I'm happy they play for our team."


After not playing Wilder in the opener it looked as if Fisher was planning to redshirt the 6-foot-2, 220-pound back. But Fisher decided with the number of injuries that pile up at running back that Wilder could help FSU this season.


"At the end of camp he was a little mentally tired cause he hadn't been through camp in the spring like Freeman and all those guys, but last week something just clicked," Fisher said of Wilder. "He kind of got a second wind and after not playing last week, I think it made him a little hungry and we're gonna need him down the road.


"We're going to need to keep developing him and bringing him and get that body ready for what it can do in the redzone and goal line and pounding that ball in there and all the sudden those three yard runs were six yard runs or five yard runs and then he had a nice long one at the end. We're gonna get him ready to play. He can help us on special teams and everywhere else."


Stork gets reps at center


In the second half FSU shuffled it's starting offensive line, moving starting center Jacob Fahrenkrug to guard and Bryan Stork to center.


Fisher said he made the move so that Stork and starting quarterback EJ Manuel could get some game reps together, and to help prepare for a potential injury later in the season.


"We need depth," Fisher said of the move. "If Fahrenkrug gets hurt or anything happens, you need that guy. We wanted to move Fahrenkrug to guard to see what happens and that worked. Stork did a really nice job. We actually started running the ball really nicely the second half and got some nice runs in there and he can do that. We're still tweaking and turning, getting the best guys in the right positions."


Reed gets banged up



After hauling in three catches for 21 yards and two touchdowns along with a 35-yard run on a reverse, Bert Reed hobbled off the field with an ankle injury in the third quarter.


Fisher said he got tangled up with tight end Nick O'Leary and they'd know more on Sunday.


"I think he just tweaked it," Fisher said after the game. "Got stepped on, they said it didn't swell hardly at all."


Before the injury, Reed was having another productive game in his senior campaign. He had touchdown catches of eight and six yards, the firs of which he set up with a 35-yard gain on an end around play.


After recording 60 catches and no touchdowns in 2009, Reed has scored three times on seven receptions in the first two games.


In each of the last two weeks Reed seems to have taken on the role of being the dependable playmaker for Manuel and the offense.


"Yeah, he seemed to be playing a solid game," Fisher said of Reed before the injury. "I'll have to watch it on film, but he blocked and caught the ball and I think he scored two touchdowns. Had one right in the corner of the endzone and that little route in the back. Bert's been playing good, been a good leader."


Notables


  • Running back James Wilder was one of a handful of freshman to see their first action of the season on Saturday. Sterling Lovelady and Terrance Smith also got their first action.


  • Florida State held CSU to eight rushing yards in the first half, the lowest total by an FSU opponent in the first half since Duke rushed for five yards in 2007.


  • Saturday marked the sixth 200-plus yard passing performance for EJ Manuel. By halftime, his 299 yards was a career-best. He finished with 329 yards on the night.


  • CSU had only two first downs in the first half and three for the game. That was one off the school record set in 1962 when The Citadel mustered only two first downs against the Seminoles.





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