WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Florida State sophomore TB Ty Jones, the former Middleton High standout who had started three of the first four games, finally got back on the field Saturday.
He raced around the right edge for 8 yards on his first carry and followed on the next play with a 9-yard run for a touchdown to cap an impressive opening drive against Wake Forest.
"It was a good feeling to be back out there," he said. "I was happy just to help my team out."
He hadn't played since starting against USF on Sept. 26. Freshman TB Chris Thompson, who had moved up to No. 2 on the depth chart, didn't make the trip so he could attend the funeral of his grandfather.
"I had to keep pushing," Jones said. "A lot of people have been talking to me, telling me, 'Don't give up.' "
For the game, he had four carries for 21 yards, spelling sophomore Jermaine Thomas. Ever-demanding offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher said he got on Jones for not doing more on a third-and-1 play in the third quarter (he was stopped for a 1-yard loss and FSU settled for a field goal), but said the coaches have "got to continue to build" Jones and junior Tavares Pressley up and "get those guys going."
Special teams gets special: Freshman Greg Reid, a dazzling playmaker at any moment, returned a punt 68 yards for a score that gave FSU a commanding 31-7 lead late in the first half.
"It was set up as a return and we'd been practicing it all week," he said.
After fielding the ball on a bounce, he paused for a few moments, "I just kind of sat there waiting for my blockers to get in place," then took off downfield for the score. FSU last scored on a punt return in last year's season opener against Division I-AA Western Carolina; CB Tony Carter went 68 yards.
"I was just trying to make a big play for my team," Reid said. "That's what I wanted to do and that's what I had to do."
Big hit: FSU sophomore WR Jarmon Fortson had one of the hardest hits of the season in the final seconds of the first half, leveling S Cyhl Quarles, who was returning an interception.
"I guess he didn't see me," Fortson said. "By the time he turned and looked at me, I was already into him."
Quarles' helmet went flying. When the ball squirted loose (apparently) after he hit the ground and a Seminole dived on it, it touched off some tempers as players from both teams came on the field and had to be kept apart.
Did you know?: As an underdog on the road, the Seminoles designated the Wake Forest game as a "sod" game. That means if they won, they'd collect a small chunk of the field and bury it in their "Sod Cemetery" near the practice field. They won two other "sod" games this year — BYU and North Carolina.
Odds and ends: With 149 yards, Thomas has hit the century mark in three straight games. The last Seminole to do that? Greg Jones, who began 2002 with three straight 100-yarders (which gave him five in a row dating to '01). … QB Christian Ponder hasn't set a date for surgery on his separated right shoulder, but is "pretty sure" he will have a procedure. … CB Patrick Robinson returned kickoffs for the first time this season. He had three for 75 yards with a long of 32. He had four career returns, all last year. … G Rodney Hudson left with a sprained right knee; his status for next week was unknown.