Sept 15, 2012; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles running back Chris Thompson (4) runs the ball up the field during the first half of the game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE
The Florida State Seminoles were a shocking four-touchdown favorite over Wake Forest Saturday. It was the largest spread for FSU in a conference game since 2005. Many wondered if the mark as unreasonable, given that FSU had yet to beat an FBS team. And after all, Wake Forest had won four of the last six meetings with the Seminoles.
So all Florida State did was go out and eclipse that number. In the first half. With time to spare. 52-0 was the final. The starters were pulled late in the third quarter. It was complete and total domination.
Keyed by an explosive running game, the 'Noles built a 38-0 lead by the half. Athletically, it wasn't close. Chris Thompson took two stretch runs for 74 and 80 yards, respectively. It was a particularly meaningful game for Thomspon -- a great leader, team player, and good kid who broke his back against this same opponent just a year ago.
Not wanting to risk injury with the game out of hand, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher elected not to play Thompson in the second half. He didn't need to. Thomspon gained 197 yards on just nine carries, including two touchdowns.
Overall, Florida State's offense rolled up 612 yards of offense on 73 plays. And what's scary, for ACC opponents, is that FSU left a lot of plays on the field.
Defensively, Florida State again threw its hat in the ring for the honor of the best defense in college football, allowing only 126 yards on 59 plays, and only 1 of 16 on third downs. Against a offense that runs an incredible amount of misdirection, the 'Noles showed a level of discipline not seen in seemingly forever in Tallahassee -- not even during the dynasty days. Wave after wave of freaking athlete came at Wake's offense, and the Demon Deacons were powerless to resist. Likely fearing injury, Wake pulled its star QB in the second half, preserving what should be a strong chance to make a bowl for the Deacs.
Wake Forest star receiver Michael Campanaro, who had 13 catches for 168 yards in the Deacon's win over UNC, was dominated by Florida State nickelback Tyler Hunter, who allowed only 8 yards on 2 catches.
And despite that, it wasn't even the most impressive part of the performance. That would be the kickoff unit, which pinned Wake Forest inside its own 20 an amazing seven times.
FSU next hosts Clemson at 8 p.m. on ESPN.