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Fifth-ranked Florida State (3-0, 1-0 ACC) opened conference play with a 52-0 rout of visiting Wake Forest (2-1, 0-1). The Seminole defense flashed expected dominance, holding Wake to 126 yards of total offense in 29:19 of field time. The Seminole offense gained 612 total yards, highlighted by running back Chris Thompson's 197 first half rushing yards.
FSU totaled 385 yards on the ground while averaging 8.6 yards per carry. James Wilder Jr. had 94 yards on the ground, and quarterback EJ Manuel added 48 of his own, plus a score.
Manuel finished the game with 176 yards and two scores through the air on 15-for-24 passing. THe senior was sacked three times.
Junior defensive end Bjoern Werner was a backfield presence again, racking up 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss against the Demon Deacons' first team offense.
Punt returner Rashad Greene scored the game's second touchdown with a 60-yard return, and Thompson added two long touchdown runs - from 74 and 80 yards, respectively - on a day that saw big plays from FSU.
Florida State vs South Florida
The Skinny: Florida State's defense has held serve, the special teams were strong, and after two subpar possessions, the FSU offense joined the party. Wake Forest was held to 54 total yards with 34 coming on one play, a Josh Harris run. FSU's punt team pinned Wake Forest inside its own 10 twice. And finally, Florida State's offense put points on the board with a three-play, 47-yard drive capped by an EJ Manuel 16-yard TD run with 4:28 left in the first quarter.
Key Play: Leading 7-0, Rashad Greene returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown. It was the freshman's second punt return for a touchdown this season. Greene has stepped in nicely in replacement of decorated punt return man Greg Reid, who was dismissed from the team in the offseason. The score came with 2:48 to play in the first period.
Key Stat: Bjoern Werner recorded a third-down sack in the first quarter, giving him a team-high six sacks on the season. He has eight total tackles in 2012, and all eight have been in the offensive backfield.
The Skinny: It was the Chris Thompson show. Thompson scampered for touchdowns of 74 and 80 yards in the second quarter alone and finished the half with 197 yards and the two scores. He could become the first FSU running back to run for 200 yards in a game since Sammie Smith in 1988.
Key Play: Thompson broke it open with an impressive 74-yard TD run, putting a ankle-breaking juke on a Wake Forest defender on his way to the endzone. The score gave FSU a 21-0 lead.
Key Stat: Through two and a half official games, Florida State has outscored its opposition 162-3.
The Skinny: It was cruise control all the way for FSU in the second half. FSU outscored Wake Forest 7-0 and has kept the Demon Deacons to 129 total yards through three quarters.
Key Play: EJ Manuel found receiver Kenny Shaw in the back of the endzone for a 19-yard touchdown with 44 seconds left in the third quarter. It was Manuel's first touchdown pass of the game.
Key Stat: Running back Chris Thompson did not get any carries in the third quarter.
The Skinny: FSU's second team took Wake Forest to task, and the Demon Deacons added in their own second-teamers with 11:32 to play. Debrale Smiley scored a touchdown from 18 yards out to cap a systematic opening drive for backup quarterback Clint Trickett.
Key Play: Smiley's score from 18-yards.