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Staff predictions for FSU vs. Wake Forest show consistent belief in Florida State

We’re really confident for a game that Vegas thinks is just about a coin flip.

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

Juan didn’t come through with any make-believe metaphysics this week, which means you should get make-believe wrestling to kickoff predictions this time around, but Trey went all UFC again, which screwed up an otherwise perfectly serviceable introduction. But I still had to go in and fix LastNoleOfKrypton and Oline0175’s old-school habit of hitting the space bar twice after each sentence, so at least some things are still sacred.

Trey Rowland:

This game is going to be close and brutal. Wake Forest has a hyper-tempo offense that specializes in a high rate of success, going against a Florida State defense that has problems getting off the field. Conversely, the Demon Deacons tend to give up a plethora of explosive plays on defense, which is one of the few areas where the Seminole offense truly excels.

Translation, I expect a slugfest on par with Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald’s second fight at UFC 189.

Lawler stung MacDonald.


MacDonald hurt Lawler.


By the end of the fight, both contestants were unrecognizable piles of bone and cartilage.


However, Lawler outlasted his foe after he quite literally punched MacDonald’s nose into his face. FSU punches Dave Clawson’s nose into his face in the end, but it’s gonna be a war.


FSU 38 WF 35


I have seen Wake a couple times this year and have not been impressed with their D at all. This feels like a (confirmed on paper) good matchup for FSU. On the road throws a wrench in things, but I don’t see FSU struggling with the atmosphere.

Offensively, Terry and the receivers have a big day, Akers gets loose in the 2nd half, and we see Blackman move around more than we have. FSU can block Wake, though Wake will stack the box and play a lot of Cov 3.

Defensively, I just don’t see Wake being able to block the FSU front. LBs have to be disciplined and you better get more out of Amari Gainer and Leonard Warner. I’m worried about the Wake WRs.

I’ve been calling a double digit win to folks all week long.

Noles 37 - Wake 27

Perry Kostidakis:

Please. I’m so, so, so, so tired, and so exhausted.

Florida State 52, Wake Forest 41

Jon Marchant:

Wake might — by a smidge — be the overall better team, even if FSU has spots with huge talent advantages and Wake’s defense isn’t good. If Wake loads the box, I think Tamorrion Terry and some other guys get loose on the outside. I think FSU not only needs to hit some explosive plays but will be able to.

It’s supposed to be a cold and rainy game Saturday night. Both teams like to snap the ball as quickly as possible. That’s the perfect set up to a five-hour ugly, sloppy game. The thing is, Wake is used to being efficient and this FSU team was born in sloppy; they were molded by it. Plus, they never quit against Clemson and if they put this Deacon in the bag they’re one away (assuming a win vs. Alabama St.) from bowl eligibility. I think in the end the ’Noles find a way to get it done.

FSU 31 - 30 Wake


FSU will find itself on the right end of a shootout with a late TD that puts the game out of reach. As impressed as I am with what Wake has done on offense, I am equally unimpressed with what they’ve done on defense.

FSU’s offensive line is what it is at this point, but Florida State needs its quarterbacks to perform much better and closer to what they’re capable of. If Willie Taggart insists on foolishly playing both QBs, then both QBs need to stop leaving points on the field.

I think that happens this Saturday. Both teams love tempo, and there are going to be a ton of possessions in this game. Eventually the team with the better talent tends to win out when given more opportunities to impact the game.

The biggest concerns defensively are FSU’s linebackers reacting to Wake’s shockingly slow mesh points in read-option plays and Wake’s big wide receivers outside; Levonta & Asante could be in serious trouble this weekend on 50/50 balls.

FSU 45 WF 38.

Matt Minnick:

FSU couldn’t quite pull off the backdoor cover against Clemson, leaving me at 5-1 SU and 2-4 ATS.

Last week went as expected. Anyone trying to use the Clemson game as a harbinger of what’s to come is running a fool’s errand.

I actually feel like FSU is about to go on a bit of a run. Syracuse looks imminently beatable, meaning a win at Wake could be the start of 2 or 3 wins in a row. The weather is a real wildcard. The heaviest rain should hopefully stay off to the east, but there could definitely be some gusty winds.

Ultimately, Cam re-asserts himself in the race for ACC Offensive Player of the Year, with a two touchdown, 130+ yard day. Terry, Harrison, and McKitty get scores too, and FSU wins a game with more than 190 plays.

FSU 42, Wake 34


I’ve been comparing this season to last year’s schedule. Week by week, results have proven to be somewhat familiar, but the comparisons went off the rails with last week’s Clemson beatdown (compared to last year’s close Miami loss). Last season at this time: FSU’s opponent? Wake Forest. The mirror season is back! I have to predict FSU to beat Wake because of this.

My actual thoughts on this game? I think Sage Surratt is going to abuse FSU’s secondary for 120+ yards. It’s going to be ugly at times, but in the end, Florida State wins a close one.

FSU 38 WF 35


This will be the first game this season in which both the offense and defense dominate our opponent for all 4 quarters. I expect this game to be out of reach by the middle of the 3rd quarter and some of our younger players will finally get some quality snaps during garbage time in the 4th. Also, our guys will play with more heart and want it more than those devil worshipers on the other sideline.

There will be SOD brought back on the plane.

FSU 44 - WF 21

David Visser:

I hate to disagree with Frank, but no sod will be returning with the Seminoles from North Carolina. Because Florida State only collects turf if its opponent is a top-25 team— or Miami or UF.

But I concur with his prediction that the ’Noles win this one, even if the game ages us like a painting in Dorian Gray’s attic. Many fans were appalled by FSU’s performance at Clemson, but we told you it was coming, and how. We also mentioned that the Seminoles should be incorporating Wake Forest prep into their bye-week routine, and I can’t imagine that they didn’t.

This game should — should — provide a glimpse of what we’ve been hoping for defensively. Florida State has to get the Demon Deacons and their efficient passing attack off the field, and that would involve the aggressive approach for which we’ve been calling. But those big Wake WRs are still gonna eat. On offense, I think FSU’s Qs bounce back, as the explosive plays are there to be hit.


FSU 37, Wake Forest 33

Evan Johnson

Too often I hear how FSU should win games like this because of the talent that FSU can bring in compared to the talent a program like Wake Forest attracts. I assume those people haven’t watched the ‘Noles play in the last five years or so. The lack of roster development in Tallahassee has seriously hindered Florida State’s ability to lean on that talent advantage in games like this.

The fear, if you’re a FSU fan, against Wake is that the defense will not be able to stop Wake at all. The Deacs do a very good job of staying on schedule and the Florida State defense does an atrocious job of keeping offenses off schedule. On the other side FSU relies on explosive plays to get points, which is generally not sustainable no matter what defense you are playing. This helps explain how FSU was able to get out to big leads early in the year only to see those leads evaporate.

Vegas pretty much has this game as a pick ‘em and I could not agree more. I keep going back and forth in my head on how this will play out. I’m going to go with my heart over my head and hope the FSU defense can get a few red zone stops and the offense can be bolstered by special teams play to keep the pressure on the Demon Deacons.

FSU 45 Wake 42