November 1, 2011

Insider Report: Shaw goes back across the middle

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Just before the end of the first half against North Carolina State, Florida State wide receiver Kenny Shaw came across the middle and hauled in a 20-yard touchdown catch from EJ Manuel.

The route was the same one that Shaw was knocked out on earlier in the year by two Oklahoma defenders. This time Shaw was able to avoid the big hit, though the safety did make contact with him, and come away with his fourth touchdown of the year.

"It was the same route and everything," Shaw said after the game. "I was little cautious, but you've got to make the play."

Despite suffering a vicious hit against the Sooners, the sophomore wideout hasn't missed a game since the second half of that game. He has hauled in 26 grabs for 308 yards this season and has gone back over the middle of the field a number of times since the hit.

"I think that doesn't even play a role in his mind anymore," Manuel said of Shaw. "I think Kenny learned a lot from that situation. It happens, if you watch an NFL game it happens all the time. Those DBs cover a lot of ground and he did a great job running that route (on Saturday)."

Head coach Jimbo Fisher said Shaw's mentality is required to play football, saying you can't be worried about getting hit and still be an effective football players.

"It was a good job by him going back inside," Fisher said on Monday. "You can't worry about that. If every time you ever got hit, you got scared the next time you're on the filed, you need to quit. You need to go home, because you're going to get hit again."

Shaw was grateful to avoid another big hit on the route against the Wolfpack and said it was due to where Manuel placed the ball. If it had been higher Shaw said "It wouldn't have been a pretty sight."

"I could protect him this time," Manuel said. "I wasn't going to leave him hanging up like I did last time."

Harris racking up the tackles

With eight tackles on Saturday, senior defensive back Mike Harris passed linebacker Nigel Bradham for the team lead in tackles with 48 to Bradham's 45.

Harris said the main reason he's been able to rack up so many tackles is that he's on the filed for almost every defensive package coordinator Mark Stoops roles out.

"Just being very versatile," Harris said. "Doing things I'm asked to do. Playing both outside corner and playing inside nickel and dime. I think that's the biggest thing, just being on the field and making plays."

Harris has been able to make plays not just down the filed, but also in the backfield. He has five tackles for loss and against N.C. State he recorded the first sack of his career.

"That was the first time I've got a sack in my life," said Harris who played quarterback in high school. It felt great, it was big dude so it felt great. "

Thomas joins the 2,000 yard club

With 48 yards rushing against N.C. State, running back Jermaine Thomas reached a notable rushing plateau, as he went over 2,000 yards rushing in his career.

The senior tailback is only the 13th Seminole in school history to have over 2,000 career rushing yards. Thomas now sits at 2,008 yards and is 70 yards away from eclipsing Leon Washington and moving into 12th all-time career rushing yards.

Thomas is not one for keeping up with stats, but he had some idea that he was close to the 2000 mark.

"That was an accomplishment to me," he said on Tuesday. "A lot of my friends were hitting me up and telling me congratulations and I'm not really a big guys with stats, but they say it's pretty big and I kind of took it that way."

Thomas showed his well-roundedness in both receiving and running against the Wolfpack and came out of the game with a career-high five receptions for 53 yards.
Receiving is something Thomas says he has always had a knack for.

"I've kind of been naturally good at catching the ball," he said. "Just being able to show that and get those plays and hopefully get more."

Thomas also scored his 19th touchdown against Maryland and with one more touchdown he will become the ninth Seminole to have 20 career rushing touchdowns.

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