Wake Forest At Florida State: Five Things To Know
If allowing North Carolina State to hang around until the fourth quarter in last week’s 56-41 win wasn’t enough to anger the Florida State Seminoles into snapping out of this fog they have been since the beginning of the season, then maybe this will.
The Seminoles may still hold the top spot in the college football rankings, but they have lost points to Alabama and look to be in jeopardy of holding the top spot if there is another lackluster performance this week.
What has happened to the Seminoles program?
I’m not sure playing Wake Forest this week helps or hurts this program in terms of polling votes and the horizon that shows matchups with Notre Dame and Louisville in the offing.
A win this week (and by all accounts this not even a question) needs to be a blowout, much like the 66-0 romp Georgia put on Troy a couple of weeks ago. Anything else – like a close game late in the first half, and there will be trouble in Tallahassee, trouble in the college football rankings and probably a call for someone’s head on a platter.
Hold this to be true – The Seminoles Will Win Big This Week. After three close calls against Oklahoma State, Clemson and North Carolina State, the Seminoles (4-0) now play host to one of the Atlantic Coast Conference's worst teams, the Demon Deacons (2-3).
Here are five things to know about this game.
WHICH TEAM SHOWS UP?
The Seminoles have shown their fight, but they've also shown their weaknesses. When FSU takes the field against the Demon Deacons, the Seminoles need to show that they have improved their tackling and run blocking. And they need to cut down on the turnovers after giving up two interceptions and a fumble against the Wolfpack.
FSU missed tackle after tackle against NC State, a dumbfounding problem for one of the nation's top defenses. The issue can be partially attributed to the team playing without defensive end Mario Edwards Jr., who missed the game with a concussion, and defensive tackle Nile Lawrence-Stample, who is out for the season with a torn pectoral muscle.
If Edwards is able to return, and coach Jimbo Fisher said he would return to practice Monday, he will help solidify the rushing defense while also pressuring the quarterback. But FSU needs better tackling up front and in the secondary.
FINDING THE RIGHT BALANCE
According to Bleacher Report, Wake Forest simply can't run the ball. The Demon Deacons are averaging 25 yards per game on the ground, the worst per-game performance in the Football Bowl Subdivision. That's a recipe for disaster when coupled with the fact that Wake starts a true freshman at quarterback.
The Demon Deacons had minus-22 rushing yards in a loss Saturday at Louisville (Wake's only touchdown was a returned fumble recovery).
Senior Orville Reynolds (140 rushing yards) is averaging just 2.7 yards per carry, and 225-pound freshman Isaiah Robinson (107 rushing yards) hasn't been able to get much going behind an inexperienced offensive line. Robinson has Wake's only rushing touchdown in five games.
The game will get out of hand in a hurry if Wake can't take the pressure off quarterback John Wolford.
We have seen how good Rashad Greene has been this season. The game on Saturday could be a huge game for the senior.
Greene is closing in on the top spot on FSU's all-time receiving list. The senior has 35 catches this season, giving him 206 for his career and placing him one away from No. 2 Peter Warrick (207 catches) as well as within striking distance of Ron Sellers, who had 212 receptions.
He is also just the third FSU player to surpass 3,000 career receiving yards. With 3,008 yards, Greene still has some work to do to catch Sellers (3,598) and Warrick (3,517). And Greene is also tied for fourth on FSU's all-time receiving touchdown list with 25.
FSU WINS HUGE
Noticed we waited until now to talk about Jameis Winston and his arm and legs. They will be on display on Saturday in a SEMINOLES win. Winston looked impressive in the win over the Wolfpack as long as the line blocked for him and his jersey was clean.
Look for FSU to roll early. It could be a record setting day for everyone on offense.
FSU 63 Wake Forest 17