FSU quarterback EJ Manuel will have one less option in his backfield after Chris Thompson's ACL injury. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY
Florida State will go into its game against Duke without its leading rusher, Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher said. Chris Thompson tore his left ACL in last week's game against Miami, ending his season.
"He was upset, very disappointed," Fisher said. Having a great year, doing everything right. He's what's right about college football. I say it all the time. But this game takes no prisoners. It's a very unforgiving game."
Thompson was leading the Seminoles with 687 rushing yards on 91 attempts, an average of 7.5 yards per carry. He was also on track to become the first Florida State running back to eclipse 1,000 yards since Warrick Dunn topped that mark in 1996.
This is the second consecutive season-ending injury for Thompson, who broke vertebrae in his back in the Seminoles loss to Wake Forest last year.
Sophomore James Wilder Jr. will take over the starting position, Fisher said. The Tampa native has run for 369 yards on 61 carries this season, an average of 6 yards per carry. Florida State also has Devonta Freeman, who has run for 287 yards on 41 carries (7 yards per carry). The Seminoles are ranked second in the ACC (behind Georgia Tech's triple-option) in team rushing, averaging 231.2 yards on the ground per game.
Last week, Duke faced the leading rusher in the ACC, UNC's Gio Bernard, and he gained to 143 yards on the ground. Despite that, Duke still outgained the Tar Heels on the ground, with the Blue Devils rushing for 234 yards, their highest total since 2006, while UNC managed 177 yards.