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Florida State football 2016 opponent preview: Wake Forest

This page will be your destination for previews of the 2016 Wake Forest Demon Deacons. The Seminoles will host Wake on October 15.

NCAA Football: Florida State at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State is 27-6-1 against Wake Forest all-time and is currently riding a four-game winning streak against the Demon Deacons. This follows a stretch from 2006-2011 during which the Deacs posted a 4-2 record against the 'Noles, including a three-game win streak from 2006-2008. Florida State struggled to a 24-16 win in Winston-Salem a year ago. Dalvin Cook suffered his initial hamstring injury in this rainy, windy contest that wasn't much fun for anyone.

Wake Forest finished 3-9 for the second consecutive season under Dave Clawson. The Demon Deacons finished 107th in offensive S&P+, which is an improvement from dead last in 2014, but its defense fell to 60th in the nation from what was a top-40 unit in 2014. Clawson's 2016 squad returns much of its young roster (excepting its punter who was one of its best players), and this looks to be a very experienced Wake team by 2017.

Bill Connelly

SB Nation's Bill Connelly posted his comprehensive Wake Forest preview. Please do read the whole thing, as the following are merely quick excerpts.

Bill Connelly


The 2014 was unfathomably bad.

In 2015, it was ... fathomably bad. Progress! There were two new freshmen at tailback, freshmen started 25 games on the offensive line, and there were three freshmen and a sophomore among the top five receivers. We got to see some semblance of an identity.

This fall, all of these recent freshmen and sophomores will be sophomores and juniors.


Linebackers Brandon Chubb and Hunter Williams are gone, which could hurt -- they combined for 13.5 non-sack tackles for loss on a defense that could have stood to make a few more TFLs. But with the return of nearly every lineman, plus middle linebacker Marquel Lee, it's fair to assume another strong run defense. The line dealt with a few injuries -- end Duke Ejiofor and tackles Josh Banks and Shelldon Lewinson combined to miss 12 games -- which gave more players reps. That has created a deep line.

Bill believes that a success for the 2016 Demon Deacons would be to continue to build toward Clawson's 2017 team, which he believes could see a bowl game with a junior and senior-laden roster. For now, Wake is still projected to finish at the bottom of the Conference.