This Saturday at 3:30 pm the Seminoles will host the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on ABC.
Wake is 3-1 on the season with wins over Virginia Military Institute, Vanderbilt and Liberty and the lone loss to Clemson.
FSU has a 30-8-1 all time record versus the Deacons. Wake has won the last two meetings with the last FSU victory coming in 2018, 38-17.
Observations from the last game
The crowd and Tre Benson brought the energy from opening kick until 6 minutes into the second half when the ‘Noles were up 37-0.
It has been 7 years since the last sellout and the players delivered a dominating performance. Jordan Travis looked like his normal self except for the fact Norvell called zero quarterback runs. The young players along the defensive line played fast and under control to stymie Boston College all night.
Florida State offense versus Wake Forest defense
The Wake Forest defense has struggled this season and has given up an average of 30 points per game. However, they do a good job of forcing turnovers (+5 turnover margin). If Travis and the offense can continue to protect the ball, I like FSU’s chances to score enough points to keep the pressure on WFU’s offense.
I think the Deacons will try to stop the run at first to force Jordan Travis to make some throws. Travis has proven he is more than capable of loosening up the defense fairly quickly this season. Wake’s do it all safety Malik Mustapha will be a priority for Travis’ pre-snap reads. Mustapha leads the team in tackles, sacks and forced fumbles.
Florida State defense versus Wake Forest offense
The high powered Deacon offense (37 points per game) is led by quarterback Sam Hartman and return all 5 starters on the offensive line. Hartman is the active FBS leader in career TD passes with 88 including 6 last weekend.
The main receiving targets for Wake Forest are AT Perry (19 career TD catches) and Jahmal Banks (5 TDs this season). Wake has 4 more receivers with at least 10 catches.
The run game isn’t nearly as explosive as the passing game but it’s enough to keep defenses honest. The ‘Noles defense has been suspect against the run at times. but are 30th in the FBS in opponents yards given up through the air. If the defensive tackles Robert Cooper and Jarrett Jackson can take care of the run it’ll give the safeties – Jammie Robinson and Akeem Dent – the chance to drop in coverage to help the corners.
Between the two kickers Wake has the clear advantage as Matthew Dennis has yet to miss a kick. Florida State does have the upper hand in the return game.
Vegas has the ‘Noles as a 7 point favorite. I hope they’re right, but I think the Florida State offense will score just enough to outlast the Demon Deacon offense. Florida State 38 Wake Forest 36.