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Florida State dominates Wake Forest

The Seminoles increase their chances of making a bowl game with win over the Deacons.

NCAA Football: Wake Forest at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

It’s already October 20th, but today was another sweltering day in Tallahassee. Florida State won the coin toss and elected to defer. On their first possession, Wake Forest easily sliced through the Seminoles’ defense and made their way into the red zone. Florida State was able to hold the Deacons to a field goal leading the Seminoles to trail, 3-0. Throughout the first drive, DB Levonta Taylor was repeatedly targeted by the bigger Wake Forest wide receivers and the Deacons were finding success in doing so.

The FSU offense followed suit and they were forced to an uninspiring quick three-and-out. The Florida State defense was able to stop the Deacons on their second drive, but once again the Seminoles’ offense continued to struggle and was forced into their second three-and-out. At this point, Wake Forest entered the game ranked 122 nationally in total defense and Florida State had just one first down.

Following a good punt return, Wake Forest put together a 8-play, 51-yard drive that led to Wake’s first touchdown in Tallahassee since 2006. The Deacons took the lead, 10-0.

During the Seminoles’ next drive, Francois threw a pass intended for freshman wide receiver Tre’Shaun Harrison, but he was blocking and not even looking for the ball. Francois got visibly upset with the young receiver and Harrison was pulled from the game. The Seminoles were forced to punt.

The momentum finally appeared to shift in the Seminoles’ favor after Brian Burns sacked Wake Forest’s quarterback on 4th down and allowed Florida State to take over from the 40-yard line. From here the ’Noles put together a 9-play, 34-yard drive that ended with Cam Akers in the end zone.

After a rough start, the Florida State defense appeared to be settled in and stuffed the Deacons on their following possession.

Following a successful FSU first down, Deacons LB Demetrius Kempe received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and gave the Seminoles another 15-yards. Francois connected with WR Keith Gavin for a 57-yard reception, but Gavin unfortunately fumbled on the 3-yard line as the Deacons DB tackled him. Wake Forest recovered in Florida State’s end zone and took over from the 20-yard line following the touchback. FSU’s Stanford Samuels III fought to rectify the situation and snatched the ball out of the air; putting life back into Doak Campbell stadium and putting the ’Noles back on the 9-yard line.

The Seminoles fed RB Jacques Patrick the ball every time during the 3-play drive that ended with a touchdown. The ‘Noles took the lead for the first time of the game, 14-10.

The Seminoles defense stopped the Deacons once again and during Florida State’s next drive, Offensive lineman Brady Scott went down with an apparent knee injury. On his first play of the game, Scott’s replacement OL Jauan Williams negated an electrifying 54-yard touchdown pass to Tamorrion Terry with a holding penalty. The drive still ended with a score when Francois found a wide-open Nyqwan Murray near the end zone for a 33-yard touchdown reception.

On the Deacons’ final drive of the half, head coach Willie Taggart was aggressive and used two timeouts as the Deacons tried to run down the clock. Florida State received the ball back, but was unable to put any more points on the board as time expired. Scott was put back in during the last FSU drive.

Florida State ended the first half by putting up 21 unanswered points.

The Seminoles started the second half off explosively by putting the ball into the hands of RB Cam Akers and it paid off. On a two-play scoring drive, Akers took off both time rushing 17-yards and 58-yards into the end zone for a FSU touchdown.

The ’Noles defense stuffed Wake once again when the Deacons went for it on 4th-down and they took over from the Wake Forest 46-yard line. The Seminoles drive ended with a made 49-yard field goal by Ricky Aguayo. The Seminoles increased their lead, 31-10.

During the Deacons’ next drive, Brian Burns came out with his second sack of the game for a loss of 13-yards and forced Wake Forest to punt the ball away. The Seminoles’ offense was held to a field goal attempt again, but this time kicker Ricky Aguayo missed the 38-yard attempt in the rain.

Wake Forest yanked starting QB Sam Hartman and replaced him with redshirt sophomore Jamie Newman. Newman didn’t spark any fire under a defeated Deacons’ offense and punted the ball away. The Deacons and Florida State traded quick possessions as the third quarter came to a conclusion.

The Florida State defense sacked the Wake QB again and the Deacons had to punt the ball from their own 14-yard line. D.J. Matthews was back to return for the ’Noles and he went 27-yards to the WF 34 putting the Seminoles in great field position. Harrison made up for his misread from earlier in the game and showed off his fancy footwork as he juked Deacons’ defenders and found the end zone for his first touchdown as a Seminole. Florida State increased their lead, 38-10.

With five minutes left to play in the game, the rain dumped onto the field and the crowd quickly cleared. As Wake Forest crept their way into the red zone, Josh Kaindoh was ejected for targeting and he will be unable to play the first half in the Seminoles’ next contest. The drive ended with a Deacons touchdown, 38-17.

Florida State QB James Blackman entered the game as the rain pelted down even harder and the ’Noles were forced to another three-and-out. In Wake’s last possession of the game, the Deacons tried to put up more points, but the defense held on and after a scary start, Florida State beat Wake, 38-17.