TALLAHASSEE — Florida State RB James Wilder Jr. raised his arms to high-five fans as he walked out of Doak Campbell Stadium on the best night of his career.
Moments later, the former Plant High star walked out of the locker room with a game ball, a souvenir from the first 100-yard, multitouchdown game of his college career.
"I haven't let it go yet," Wilder said after his 106-yard, two-score performance in a 69-3 rout of Murray State on Saturday.
His breakout game capped a turbulent offseason. The former five-star recruit was charged with obstructing a law enforcement officer in February and spent 10 days in jail this summer for alcohol consumption, a violation of his probation.
"I went through a lot this summer," Wilder said. "I just wanted to make sure I came out and started off the season with a bang."
The Seminoles' backfield also got a boost with the return of senior Chris Thompson, who played in five games last year before breaking his back against Wake Forest. He finished with 32 yards on six carries, all in the first half.
MANUEL Finally falters: QB EJ Manuel's interception-free streak ended late in the first quarter when WR Kenny Shaw bobbled a catchable pass into the arms of Murray State's Josh Manning.
Manuel had completed 128 consecutive passes without an interception, dating to the third quarter of the October matchup with North Carolina State last season. Manuel completed 11 of his 14 passes after the turnover and finished with 188 passing yards.
REID'S REPLACEMENTS: The secondary didn't seem to miss CB Greg Reid, a projected starter who was dismissed four weeks ago for violating team rules.
Sophomore Nick Waisome took Reid's starting job and was part of a defense that allowed only 117 passing yards all night.
Freshman Ronald Darby also played defensive back and nearly intercepted a deep pass.
INJURY UPDATES: Starting RT Menelik Watson left the game in the first half with a left ankle injury. Senior Daniel Glauser, a junior college transfer, took over for Watson, who returned to start the third quarter. … Senior DE Brandon Jenkins was taken into the locker room during the first half with a bruised left foot and did not return. FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said Jenkins' X-rays were negative and that he will be re-evaluated today. Jenkins led the team with eight sacks last season and ranks eighth in school history (22 1/2).
HALL OF FAME: FSU recognized its seven newest members to the school's athletics hall of fame before the game. The inductees included legendary coach Bobby Bowden and QB Danny Kanell, who was a backup on FSU's 1993 national title team before earning the starting job the next fall.
UNIQUE UNIS: FSU wore new Nike uniforms. The most visible changes were the gloves, and garnet and gold shoes.
LOCAL RACERS: Murray State's roster included two Tampa Bay products: starting WR Ja-Vonta Trotter (Boca Ciega High) and WR Josh Brown (Dixie Hollins). Neither had a catch.