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Florida State beats Wake Forest, suffers more injuries

FSU got its win and covered against Wake Forest, but suffered more injuries in the process.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Wake Forest's offense came into Tallahassee as one of the worst units in the country, and it didn't leave much better as Florida State dominated the Demon Deacons, 43-3.

Its defense, however, was quite game, and combined with a lack of sync from FSU's offense and Jameis Winston, held the first team offense in check for most of the day.

And FSU suffered a number of injuries. In addition to starting nose guard Nile Lawrence-Stample being out for the year (torn pec), No. 2 nose guard Derrick Mitchell (leg) did not play, and neither did FSU's best linebacker, Terrance Smith (undisclosed). During the first half, FSU lost starting center Austin Barron to a broken hand (later said fractured arm), and superstar WR Rashad Greene to a concussion.

First half

Wake's first drive went just eight yards on eight plays, though it did gain a first down and receive some penalty yards when Eddie Goldman, in sacking the Wake QB, ripped his helmet off.

FSU's first drive against a decent Wake defense wasn't very good, either, as Jameis Winston threw an interception to Wake Forest's Merril Noel. Wake's next drive ended when FSU's Mario Edwards, Jr. forced a fumble and freshman Lorenzo Featherston recovered. But FSU's resulting was quickly halted when Karlos Williams fumbled and Wake recovered.

Wake turned that into a 3-0 lead on a 23-yard, 7-play drive, with a made field goal. At the end of the first quarter, FSU was out-gaining Wake Forest 71-28, but trailed, mostly as a result of the turnovers. FSU answered with a field goal of its own, and then forced a quick three-and-out from Wake Forest, but could do nothing with it, and then, playing three true freshmen on the defensive line, forced a stop from Wake Forest with three minutes left in the half.

FSU then seemed to wake up a bit, going 50 yards in six plays for a touchdown by Jameis Winston on a bootleg run. FSU got a stop, used all three timeouts, and kicked  field goal to make it 13-3 at the half.

At the half, FSU was outgaining Wake Forest 199-27, but thanks to the turnovers, penalties and poor field position, only led 13-3.

Backup center Ryan Hoefeld had a number of bad snaps in the first half, but did improve some in the second half.

Second half

FSU received the ball to open the second half, and drove for a field goal by Roberto Aguayo, of 52 yards, breaking the FSU record for consecutive field goals with 19.

The play that broke the game open midway through the third quarter was an interception by P.J. Williams, returned to set up a first and goal opportunity, later cashed in by running back Mario Pender to make the score 23-3.

FSU immediately pushed the lead to 30-3 with a fumble return for touchdown from Reggie Northrup, but Wake Forest switched up quarterbacks and mounted a drive, which FSU stopped after a few first downs.

FSU drove the field again on its next drive, but another bad shotgun snap from replacement center Ryan Hoefeld sailed over the head of Jameis Winston, killing the drive, and FSU settled for the field goal to go up 33-3.

At this point, FSU's had outgained Wake Forest 316-56, and pulled most of its defensive starters, who allowed only 56 yards to Wake Forest

Jameis Winston remained in the ballgame for a final series, throwing a TD to freshman Travis Rudolph. On the day, Winston's first team offense had 66 plays for 392 yards.