Another week, another team with an impressive record ahead for the Florida State football team. The Seminoles play host to a Wake Forest team that is off to a 5-1 start after finishing its 2015 season 3-9. But what chance do our staff members give for Wake to pull the sizable upset in Tallahassee?
I'll take the Noles 44-17. For FSU’s sake, I hope the Seminoles jump out to an early lead and coast, giving some starters an early jump on the bye week.
I would consider this a classic letdown of focus spot for FSU but with the bye week on deck I think it'll be emphasized to go into it feeling good about your previous effort. Wake Forest’s defense is good so I expect another slow start from the Florida State offense but Wake's offense is not as good so statistically this might look like the best effort of the year vs FBS competition from the Seminoles defense. Dalvin Cook goes for 160 on 15 carries, with a couple catches for 40 yards, Jacques Patrick gets going again & Keith Gavin makes a big debut en route to a 37-10 FSU victory.
Out on a limb prediction: Levonta Taylor jumps one and takes it to the house.
Can this team finally have a relaxing game? Heavy doses of Cook and Patrick should limit the hits on Francois this week. The defense continues to make strides, albeit versus inferior talent. Wake Forest adds a late score to make it look closer than it really was. 'Noles never trail.
FSU 31, WF 20
Last year, this game was a lot closer than it should have been. A hurt Cook, a struggling Everett Golson and an unstoppable tight end for Wake Forest named Cam Serigne. I think this year should be different. Florida State should win comfortably but I could see the Seminoles continuing their offensive trend and starting out slow. I'll go FSU 35, Wake 20.
Believe it or not, Wake Forest is FSU's fifth most played opponent all-time, with the Noles holding a 27-6-1 series lead and a 33.74 - 13.09 average score across those 34 previous games. Of course, it should be noted that four of those six Demon Deacon wins have come in the most recent 10 meetings--including three in a row between 2006 and 2008. (If that sentence isn't a reminder of how far FSU have come under Jimbo Fisher, I don't know what is).
Wake, a program that hasn't finished with a winning record since 2008, comes into the game with a 5-1 record and looking for a statement win. FSU, coming off a thrilling rivalry victory, could be caught a little flat. Considering FSU's anemic first half performances in every game except USF, I'm a bit scared of what a flat Seminole squad might look like.
After a sluggish start, Dontavious Jackson jump-starts the team--and the crowd--with a second quarter scoop and score. Cook adds two second half touchdowns as the Noles pull away in the 4th and equal their all-time average victory margin of 20.
Juan Montalvo III
The Noles come off an emotional home win over Miami, and you can expect them to come out flat. With Francois dinged up, it may take a bit to settle in. Talent will run back over Wake in the second half, and the Noles take a two or three possession win into the bye week. FSU 34-20
Led by Dalvin Cook (shocking, I know), Florida State will jump out to an early lead, and this game will really not be that close. The 'Noles are more than prepared for this game and are coming off a huge victory. Cook will rush for over 100, Rudolph will receive for more than 100 yards, and the Seminoles cruise to victory.
There’s little denying that this Florida State team is significantly better than this Wake Forest team. Wake having five wins is a great storyline but they have come against Tulane, Duke, Delaware, Indiana, and Syracuse, bringing the hype back down to Earth.
The bigger question in this game is which FSU shows up? If the Seminoles come out like they did in the second half of the Miami game, this one could get ugly. However, what consistency has Florida State given that it can play at that level on a regular basis?
I think it’s a mix of the two scenarios. It’s not a particularly fast or slow start for FSU but the defense will keep a meager Wake offense in check throughout and the outcome will not be in doubt by halftime.
Cook goes over 200 all-purpose yards for the fourth straight week and the Seminoles prevail 37-17.
This is the definition of a game primed to be overlooked by FSU, right after a tough, emotional win at Miami, and with a bye week and then Clemson looming. No, Wake Forest hasn't scored a touchdown in Tallahassee since 2006, but the Demon Deacons are also not typically 5-1 when they face the 'Noles, either-- and unlike the Deacs, nobody overlooks FSU.
I do think the prospective loss of Kendall Hinton hurts the Wake Forest offense, but I'm not sure the Seminoles' defensive issues are as solved as FSU fans think they may be, as a dinged up Brad Kaaya and poor Miami play-calling made the result against the Hurricanes look better than it could have been.
Wake Forest has some nice pieces on defense who can cause a few headaches for the 'Noles, but the talent disparity is simply too great. The 'Noles pull away after an iffy start and win 37-16.
Wolford is pretty mobile for Wake, so I fear they’re due some easy yards. I think the DL takes a step back this week as I worry they only got up for a rival. Think we’ll run the ball ok, but have to kick a lot of FGs. I’m expecting ugly with a few blips of “ah, that feels nice” on offense. FSU 34, Wake 17.
Bud Elliott and Ingram Smith
As always, Bud and Ingram will provide their predictions in their Wake Forest preview edition of the Nolecast.