Friday, June 22, 2018
Colleges

James Wilder Jr. wears Florida State Seminoles opponents out

TALLAHASSEE — While Chris Thompson's two long touchdown runs grabbed the spotlight, sophomore RB James Wilder Jr. had a strong game in FSU's 52-0 win against Wake Forest, rushing a career-high 16 times for 94 yards.

"At the end of the game, they usually let me get the tough yards. I love to wear out defenses," the Plant High graduate said. "I heard a quote from one of the linebackers: 'I'm tired of hitting big No. 32.' Those are quotes I like to hear. That means I know I'm doing my part."

Wilder had 11 carries for 64 yards in the second half, and after three games, he has 220 rushing yards, already more than the 160 he had as a freshman.

A two-way prep standout, Wilder also had his first college tackle, making the hit on the final kickoff of the first half to stop Wake Forest at its 20-yard line.

BEEN A WHILE: With FSU's shutout, the Seminoles haven't let Wake Forest score an offensive touchdown in their past 14 quarters at Doak Campbell Stadium, a stretch that goes back to the first half of Wake's 30-0 win in 2006. The Demon Deacons beat FSU 12-3 in 2008 on four field goals, then were shut out 31-0 in 2010.

RECORD ACCURACY: FSU QB EJ Manuel hit 15 of 24 passes, which actually lowered his completion percentage for the season, which was 77 coming in. For his career, Manuel has completed 66.6 percent of his throws, second in ACC history behind only Virginia's Matt Schaub (67.0).

GOOD MEMORY: As Thompson raced down the sideline on his first touchdown, one Wake Forest defender had an angle on him, CB Kevin Johnson. Thompson, who played in the Panhandle at Greenville Madison County, said he thought of a high school game against Crawfordville Wakulla, when he had one player to beat who wore the same No. 9 as Johnson, and he made the same cutback near the end of his run to reach the end zone.

MORE LOCALS: Alonso DT Demonte McAllister had three tackles and a quarterback hurry for Florida State. … Tampa Catholic's Christian Green caught one pass for 10 yards for the Seminoles. He had two for 23 in FSU's opener against Murray State. … Wake Forest S Duran Lowe, a Plant City graduate, had five tackles, tying for third on the team. Plant's Lovell Jackson, a senior flanker, played but did not catch a pass.

MAKE IT TWO: Rashad Greene's 60-yard punt return for a touchdown was his second in three games, after scoring FSU's first touchdown of the season on a 47-yard return against Murray State. He has stepped up well taking over for the dismissed Greg Reid.

GAMEDAY IN TOWN: ESPN's College GameDay will originate from Tallahassee Saturday for FSU's game against Clemson. The crew will set up at Langford Green on campus.

THIS AND THAT: Wake Forest's 13 punts match the school record, set in 1946 and matched in 1973. Wake had 520 yards in punts, four times as much as the Demon Deacons totaled on offense (126). … FSU's first four offensive touchdowns came on drives lasting less than a minute, including 12 seconds for Thompson's second TD, an 80-yarder.

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