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Saturday, September 8, 2012
Meaningful TD in blowout

By Corey Dowlar
NoleNation

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Chris Thompson was tired of getting picked on.

For the last week, the bigger running backs -- James Wilder Jr., Lonnie Pryor and Debrale Smiley -- made sure the more diminutive running backs, such as Thompson and Devonta Freeman, know that they had already been to the end zone.

That changed on Saturday. Both Thompson and Freeman joined their ranks in a 55-0 victory over Savannah State.

Chris Thompson
Senior running back Chris Thompson scored a touchdown for the first time in almost a year.
"We were just clowning around with some of the other running backs," Thompson said. "They were saying that it was about time for me and Devonta to get in the end zone because all the other running backs had.

"Lonnie and those guys have been kind of picking on us. Today, Lonnie was like, 'I guess today was the day for the short guys to get in the end zone.' "

Thompson's 6-yard touchdown run had a little more significance, though.

It had been just two days shy of a full year since he had reached the end zone - a 2-yard run against Charleston Southern in the second quarter on Sept. 10, 2011.

Thompson's season was cut short as he suffered a broken back against Wake Forest three weeks later, subjecting him to a long, hard rehabilitation and questions if he would ever be able to play again.

"I am just blessed to be back playing the game of football," he said. "It felt good."

Wilder appreciated Thompson's moment as well.

"I told him, 'You've been waiting all spring and all summer for this,'" Wilder said. "He was very emotional about it. I just wanted to congratulate him. It had been a long time for him to get in the end zone. Big ups to him on that."

Thompson, a redshirt senior, showed no ill effects of his back injury in fall camp, taking on collisions with no reservations.

His 25 yards on three carries against overmatched Savannah State certainly won't rank among his greatest achievements. But that touchdown meant something to everyone that knows him.

"That kind of made my day right there when I saw him score that touchdown," coach Jimbo Fisher said. "We got it to him and he is hitting the seams up in there. Boy, he is running hard, too. He is running with a lot of reckless abandon."

Thompson has 57 yards on nine carries through two games.