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Staff Predictions: Florida State Seminoles vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Can Florida State go 8-0 for the 1st time since 2014 with win over Wake Forest and continue to control their own ACC destiny?

Peyton Baker/Tomahawk Nation

The 4th-ranked Florida State Seminoles are traveling to Winston-Salem to face the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-3, 1-3 ACC) Saturday at high noon. The game is being televised on the ABC network and is the sixth straight FSU game that ABC has featured, and seventh time overall this season. The 4.93 million average viewers per game watching the Seminoles play, regardless of kickoff time, might be one of the reason every FSU game has been picked up by ABC so far this season.

The Florida State and Wake Forest series dates back to 1956, and the Noles hold a 30-9-1 lead in the all time series. The Seminoles record in Winston-Salem is 9-5, however Wake Forest has won the last 3 meetings against FSU.

The Seminoles (7-0, 5-0 ACC) are looking to remain undefeated and in control of the ACC Conference leaderboard. FSU is in midst of a 13 game winning streak, the third longest active streak in the country. Florida State has scored at least 30 points in every one of those 13 wins for the longest active streak in the country, and the Noles have outscored their opponents 544 to 239 points. Additionally, the Noles have won eight straight ACC conference games heading into play this weekend.

Not counting the 2020 COVID season, the Deacs’ have the second-most overall wins in the ACC since 2016, trailing only Clemson. Wake also owns the second-longest bowl streak in the ACC and tied for the 11th longest streak in the nation.

Wake is coming off their first-ever win over Pitt, a 21-17 victory at home in the closing seconds of the game. The Demon Deacons hold a 23-5 (.821) record in home contests since the start of the 2019 season, which ranks second in the ACC behind only Clemson.

FSU QB Jordan Travis has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 18 consecutive games, and has accounted for multiple TDs in 13 consecutive games for the longest active streak in the nation. Last week, Travis tied his single-game career-best with 27 completions in Seminoles 38-20 win over 16th ranked Duke.

The Noles rank 6th nationally and lead the ACC in the Red Zone, scoring on over 96 percent of Red Zone chances (27-of-28), with 21 touchdowns and six field goals

On the defensive side of the ball, Adam Fullers players have not allowed a single point in the second half of a game since the third quarter of the Clemson game. Florida State’s defense has faced 40 plays inside their 10-yard line this season and allowed just nine touchdowns, which ranks 14th in the country, and rank 19th in third-down conversion prevention.

According to DraftKings, the Seminoles are a 20.5-point favorite against the Demon Deacons, with the over/under set at 51.5.


Florida State defensive coordinator Adam Fuller was the Special Teams Coordinator while also coaching linebackers and defensive backs under Coach Clawson at Richmond from 2005 to 2007.

A) Read what your TOMAHAWK NATION PROGNOSTICATORS think about this Saturday’s showdown.

2) Then look over and digest all of the FREE PREGAME CONTENT we’ve posted below.

D) We would love to hear your thoughts about how you feel about this game and your final score prediction in the comments.

  • NoleThruandThru (Season record: 7-0)

I never enjoy seeing @ Wake Forest on the schedule because it conjures up memories of injuries past. My biggest hope for the weekend is that FSU can remain healthy. Wake Forest will try to limit offensive possessions for the Seminoles, but I just can’t see them shutting down Jordan Travis and company for four quarters. If JT uses his legs like he did in the fourth quarter against Duke, FSU should maintain their 30+ point streak. The defensive line will have opportunities to create havoc in the Wake backfield and I’m expecting FSU to force a couple of turnovers. FSU snaps Wake’s three-game winning streak in the series.

FSU 38, Wake Forest 17

  • Jon Marchant (Season record: 7-0)

A little bit of satisfying payback for the last couple frustrating games in this series.

FSU 41, Wake 13

  • LastNoleOfKrypton (7-0)

FSU hasn’t beaten Wake Forest since 2018; this is the year that changes. Wake is well-coached and they’ve had FSU’s number but this FSU team is simply too talented defensively to give up long drives to a Wake team that is sorely missing Sam Hartman as Wake is down to either their backup or third string quarterback. For a defense that’s been good FSU hasn’t forced many turnovers but that also changes Saturday.

Short fields and defensive dominance lead to an FSU victory.

FSU 44 WF 13

  • Matt Minnick (Season record: 7-0; 6-1 ATS)

Hitting the road for the first time in over a month, FSU feels in a bit of a tricky spot here. Coach Norvell and Jordan Travis are both 0-2 against Wake Forest, losing by double digits in both games (to be fair, Travis was knocked out of the game in Winston Salem two years ago in the first half). The Seminoles, favored by 20.5 as of this writing, are clearly the better overall team, but will they be suffering from an emotional let down after the come from behind win over Duke last week?

I don’t expect FSU to lose, but I also am not expecting a cover. I’m assuming Johnny Wilson is out, which takes away a great chain mover and redzone target. Wake’s slow mesh eats up the clock, so possessions will be limited if FSU’s defense cannot get off the field on third downs like we saw against BC and Clemson. In the end, I see FSU wearing down the Wake Forest d-line and scoring 14 fourth quarter points to put the game away.

FSU 31, Wake 14

  • Brian Pellerin (Season record: 6-1)

Florida State is simply better than Wake Forest. Losing Sam Hartman was a gut punch for this program, which is to be expected. They’ve struggled to make it up at quarterback. They’re not very good elsewhere on the offense either. Noles roll.

FSU 41. Wake 16

  • FrankDNole (Season record: 11-0)

This will be Mike Norvell’s first win against Wake Forest and a game that should go into garbage time by the middle of the third quarter, giving the second and third team players more game experience.

The Seminole defensive front will dominate an outmatched Wake offensive line limiting their mesh yardage and pressuring whichever QB Dave Clawson decides to play.

Travis and the offense will continue to do what they are doing best, scoring touchdowns.

The Noles will cover easily.

FSU Seminoles 48, Wake Forest 20

  • Jordan Silversmith (Season Record: 7-1)

While this is not the Wake team of recent memory, they still are talented across the field. According to PFF, the Demon Deacons are stout along the offensive line, having four players up front who grade above a 70 in both run blocking and pass blocking. On defense, the Seminole coaching staff talked about their concern with the Wake Forest safeties all week, calling them “two of the better in our league.” The slow mesh gives the Seminoles fits, and this is a Florida State team that has not beaten Wake Forest under Mike Norvell. Yet, FSU wins this game with ease.

While Wake boasts strength in multiple positions, they lack it in one key area: quarterback. The departure of Sam Hartman left a vacuum under center, and Dave Clawson’s squad started three different players under center in the last three weeks. The starter going into the year, Mitch Griffis, does not light the field on fire when he does play, completing under 60% of throws to start the year and a horrid 9:6 TD to INT ratio. His status is up in the air in this one, and I doubt the Wake Forest backup QBs can produce success against this FSU defense. Wake Forest has kicked more field goals than touchdowns when they get down in the red zone, another area of the game where the ‘Noles have a distinct advantage. I expect the game to be low-scoring early but look for the Seminoles to blow this open as the FSU offense feels inevitable right now, and Adam Fuller’s squad is playing better each week. Win and cover.

Florida State 35 Wake Forest 10

  • Evenflow58 (Season record: 6-0)

I don’t think Wake has the horses to compete with FSU this year no matter how slow their mesh is. The Deacs are struggling with injuries both on the line and in their backfield. I expect the FSU front seven to have a strong game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the offense struggle early on. I think it’ll take them some time to handle Wake up front but I think they’ll eventually pull away.

Florida State 34 Wake Forest 10

  • Perry Kostidakis (Season record: 7-0)

If this was last year’s Wake Forest team, helmed by Sam Hartman and his army of 26 year olds (I know how hypocritcal this dig is, given the makeup of FSU’s current squad), I would be a lot more worried given that iteration of the Demon Deacons had the tools necessary to slow down this Florida State team.

Wake is riding a high after last week’s stunner vs. Pitt but it doesn’t have the offensive firepower to take advantage of any small wins or mishaps on FSU’s part. The Seminoles’ fourth quarter against Duke was hopefully indicative of the team finding its new gear and settling in for the final stretch of the season (much as it has done in the last few years under Mike Norvell), and Wake serves as the perfect platform to prove its a permanent uptick.

The Demon Deacons have let just one team (Virginia Tech) put up over 30 on them, but Florida State hits early and often to put on a show ahead of the first College Football Rankings release.

FSU 38, Wake Forest 13

Florida State Seminoles vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Pre-Game Coverage from Tomahawk Nation

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