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Wake Forest vs. Florida State: Staff predictions

Once again, we author a split decision.

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

Yes folks, that’s right! It’s once again that time of year when we make our picks for the Florida State vs. Wake Forest game, and wow I just cannot believe how enthusiastic I’m failing to be about a midseason game between the Seminoles and the Demon Deacons. But still, this is a very big game for each team’s respective bowl hopes. The ’Noles need to bounce back after a tough loss against Miami, or their bowl chances reduce to near zero. Wake Forest needs to do whatever Wake Forest needs to do. Here are our picks:


Trey Rowland:

The ’Noles went into the bye week as a broken-down and beaten team from a bygone era. They ascended to the rafters of inactivity to lick their wounds, regain focus, and contemplate the next stage of their season. Out of this cocoon, the team will emerge with a recharged sense of purpose and a brand-new pattern of black and white face paint.

Florida State will drop down on the Demon Deacons with the fire and fury of 1,000 Stingers. Bat in hand, they comfortably defeat Hollywood Clawson’s New Wake Order and Scorpion Death Drop them to a 3-4 overall record.

FSU - 31 Wake Forest - 20

Evan Johnson:

I don’t know. FSU is coming off a bye week that consisted largely of hurricane clean up, and neither team approaches anything close to being good. I think the ’Noles pull this one out, but not without some silliness like a pick-6 or a few coverage busts. FSU 35 - Wake 28

Kyle Griffis:

Wake Forest runs a lot of tempo on offense, so I hope the Florida State defense was able to get some ample rest during the non-traditional bye week. Wake’s defense is subpar, so I think FSU scores enough to win, although the FSU offensive line musical chair act does not inspire confidence. It’ll also be interesting to see how motivated Wake Forest is to play this game coming off that Clemson drubbing last week. The ‘Noles have to have this one to keep the bowl streak alive.

FSU 31, Wake Forest 24

Perry Kostidakis:

With a murder’s row of a schedule coming up, Wake, a game that every year is a must-win, becomes even must-winnier (that’s a word, right?)

FSU has done a great job of looking bad-good over the last three weeks, showing glimpses of being able to successfully play football complemented with head-scratching confusion.

Losing to Miami in heartbreaking fashion last year wasn’t the breaking point of the season, but absolutely contributed to the downswing that led to the eventual thrashing at the hands of Boston College. Shaking off that game, improving on what worked against Miami and, you know, taking advantage of a massive talent gap between FSU and Wake are the essential storylines here.

Wake Forest is not especially fearsome, but they’re capable of putting up points, so sleepwalking through this one isn’t possible. Momentum and good feelings are needed in Tallahassee right now, and getting them over a hapless opponent are always good plays.

Gimme a struggle fest that doesn’t exactly look like one, with FSU putting up over 40 for the first time this season.

Florida State 41, Wake Forest 24

Austin DeWitt:

It’s fitting that Big Boi is performing after the game because the D-line is going to feast. Marvin Wilson, Brian Burns, and Janarius Robinson swallow Wake’s freshman quarterback Sam Hartman as they all record sacks. I’m sure Greg Dortch will still have ’Noles fans pulling their hair out for 60 minutes, but FSU moves to 4-3 and greatly helps their bowl odds.

FSU 30, Wake Forest 14


The mighty Demon Deacons come to town after back-to-back hurricane hits to FSU. I’ve made peace with Greg Dortch gaining 150 yards and a couple touchdowns and am really just hoping FSU shuts down Wake’s run game and forces a few turnovers. FSU should be able to move the ball, and I have a feeling Cam Akers looks like the first ballot Hall of Famer he is, topping 100 yards with several long runs and two touchdowns. Look for another Terminator Terry touchdown and a victory for the ’Noles.

FSU 34, Wake Forest 23


Coach T makes a surprise pre-game announcement that James Blackman is starting at quarterback. The FSU offense runs like a well-oiled machine, while the defense shuts down Dortch. Florida State wins big— and then I wake up. Nothing has actually changed. Francois starts, is hit or miss. Dortch abuses linebackers and safeties all afternoon and FSU loses 28-24. Rinse. Repeat.

Dakota Moyer:

Dread it. Run from it. Destiny always arrives.

Wake Forest 27, Florida State 24

David Visser:

The Seminoles are favored by double digits, but I’m still not ready to pick them as comfortable victors, because they’ve just not earned that against ACC competition in quite a while. FSU should put up a ton of points on the hapless Wake D. The impressive ’Nole defense should feast on a freshman QB.

Yet week in and week out against less talented opponents, FSU still winds up in close games. This team has struggled not only to win games, but also seems lost with regard to pulling away and executing a blowout. And until the Seminoles prove that they can do so, I’m sticking with close results— but this one favors Florida State.

Wake Forest 27 FSU 30

Be sure to check out the Nolecast for score predictions from our Bud Elliott and Ingram Smith.