It’s defiantly a luxury that we have now to be able to run the ball and pass,” said starting QB Ej Manuel. “It poses a great threat to a lot of defenses that we play.”
By Marcus Joseph, Franchise Sports
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – A healthy Chris Thompson and a confident Ej Manuel leads the ground and air attack on the offensive side of the ball for the Florida State offense this season.
FSU players Chris Thomspon and Ej Manuel have been highly impressive in the early part of the season with career high performances.
The Seminoles have now opened the season with four consecutive 200-consective efforts in the rushing game. It’s the first time Florida State has ran 200 yards or better in four straight games since the 2010 season.
Last season the Seminoles produced just 112.2 rushing yards per game – their lowest average since 2006 – and managed 1,458 yards on the ground. Through four games the Seminoles are averaging 281 rushing yards.
“I think coach Fisher is starting to trust me more,” Chris Thompson said. “I need to give him reason to trust me. I feel healthy, and I feel like I can carry it as much as they need me.”
Last week, Thompson not only claimed the ACC’s Offensive Back of the Week Honors, but also was named a national player of the week by College Football Performance Awards. He carried the ball just nine times for 197 yards and two-touchdowns to help Florida State defeat ACC opponent Wake Forest.
“I think he has worked his game,” Florida State Coach Jimbo Fisher said about Thompson on Monday. “I think he has developed and he is older. He understands blocking schemes better. And, he has really trained his self over the off-season.”
After week four of his final season, running back Chris Thompson has a total of 357 yards and five touchdowns. Thompson also ranks second all-time among FSU backs with at least 200 carries, averaging 6.41 yards per carry.
Veteran QB Ej Manuel showed his maturity, last game, as he led the Seminole offense back from a two-touchdown deficit against Clemson.
“I think it’s a whole group of things that is allowing him to play better,” Jimbo said about starting QB Ej Manuel. “It’s maturity. He is trusting the line to stay in the pocket that they are providing, and making better decisions.”
Manuel was 27-of-36 for a career high 380 yards, two touchdowns and had no interceptions. He also gained a total of 102 yards on the ground to become the first FSU quarterback since Ward in 1992 to throw for more than 300 hundred yards and rush for more than 100.
“My receivers made great plays, and the offensive line gave me a lot of opportunity to sit back in the pocket, and not be rushed in my decision making process,” Manuel said. “I saw everything clearly. And, that only helps as a quarterback.”
“Everyone played well,” he also said. “I’m not putting it all on myself.”
Senior quarterback Ej Manuel is FSU’s career leader for completion percentage after four games this season. He has completed 406 of 604 attempts – 67.2 percent –, which places him ahead of No.2 Charlie Ward.
The Virginia Beach, Va. native also ranks second among ACC quarterbacks with 5,980 yards of total offense.
Both Thompson and Manuel will look to add to their impressive resume on Saturday, as the Seminoles will travel down to Tampa to face USF.