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Wednesday, December 21, 2011
FSU RB Thomas ineligible for bowl game

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Florida State senior running back Jermaine Thomas has been declared academically ineligible for the Champs Sports Bowl and will not play in his final college game.

As if Florida State's offense needed to take any more hits. The Noles finished the regular season on an unimpressive note and enter the bowl game with the nation's No. 99 rushing offense. And that was with Thomas, the team's second-leading rusher, in the lineup. The good news is that there is lots of young talent waiting in the wings.

Freshman Devonta Freeman has 531 rushing yards and eight touchdowns, and freshman James Wilder Jr. (150 rushing yards) are rising stars. The Noles also have senior Ty Jones (71 rushing yards), who should see increased playing time.

FSU has been winning with its defense and special teams, and until proven otherwise, that's going to be the expectation against Notre Dame -- with or without Thomas.