Six carries for 32 yards is hardly an amazing day by most standards. But for a player who faced losing football for good, who less than 12 months ago was carted off a field in Winston Salem with two broken vertebrae, starting a season opener and getting six first-half carries is about as good as you could imagine.
"Honestly I was a little shaky at first," said Thompson. "I had taken hits before this but it was a little different going up against another team. But after I got that first hit out of the way that fear kind of left me, after that I was just ready to go."
Thompson's action was limited, as was likely Jimbo Fisher's plan. It would be a little bit crazy to toss a back less than a year removed from a cracked spine back into the fray with 20 attempts.
But Thompson ran hard, a couple of times breaking multiple tackles and ending the run powerfully by bringing contact to a DB.
"It was real fun for me," said Thompson. "I have been on the sideline for every game since October just watching those guys. Now to be a part of it, just to have [some] success tonight it made me feel real good."
Thompson is the Seminoles' starter and will likely see an increased workload each week leading up to Clemson.
The Seminoles' next two games are practically gimmes. Savannah State was down 70-0 in the third quarter against Oklahoma State today and Wake Forest almost lost to Liberty (I'm going to give you a second to go look that school up).
Clemson in week four is the Seminoles' first true test and by then Thompson should be raring to go.
By then the Seminoles should also have a better idea about whether the offensive line is truly as improved as they hope it is. So far for the Noles, though, so good.
“Every play those guys are trying to make big holes for us," said Thompson. "I am so appreciative for it especially coming off a back injury last year. Every time I am in those guys are trying to protect me."
"Even if they feel like they are not doing their job, they will come to the sideline and ask me ‘did we do good this play, did we do good that play or are you all getting the holes you need’. These guys are getting the work in and it is really starting to show.”
This was just Murray State, so obviously you need some perspective, but after going for 285 yards on the ground and six touchdowns as a team on Saturday, there's a bit of reason for confidence.
Even last season in their first two games against sub-par competition the Seminoles weren't running the ball effectively.
This season they're off on the right foot, lead by a resurgent Chris Thompson.
"This is the first time he's played in a while," said Fisher. I thought he did some real nice things. A couple of times it looked like he wanted to get into the flow of the game.
"And he will."