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Florida State vs. Wake Forest: 3 key bets for Seminoles vs. Demon Deacons

Predicting the over/under for Keon Coleman's receiving yards, Jahmal Banks receiving yards, and total score

Charles Mays/Tomahawk Nation

Florida State did its part with its back against the wall, but over on our end, our picks folded like a lawn chair for our second straight winless week. Disappointing to say the least, as our yearly total is now 11/21, barely treading water above 50%.

As FSU looks to snap its losing streak against Wake Forest, our picks must follow suit and get off the mat.

Jarrian Jones earlier this week said that the Seminoles would “bring their own energy” to Winston-Salem, and on the same vibe these picks are bringing the victories.

Three picks. Three winners.

Here we go.

All lines are presented by DraftKings — as always, gamble at your own risk.

Keon Coleman O/U 63.5 Receiving yards

Quantifying the talent that is Keon Coleman can be challenging to put into words. It is even more complicated for defenses to stop. Last week against Duke, Coleman finished with his lowest catch total since the Boston College game but finished second on the team in receiving yards. The Michigan State transfer has been a yo-yo with his reception total. Starting with the Clemson game, he has catch totals of 5,3,9 and 2. I expect that on Saturday, his volume will be on the upswing.

Mike Norvell mentioned that the Seminoles are experiencing “bumps and bruises” as the season wears on. Johnny Wilson left early, and Destyn Hill did not play last week, leaving their status up in the air on Saturday. Keon Coleman’s stats the last time Johnny Wilson missed a game: 9 catches for 140 yards and a touchdown. The Seminole coaching staff will manufacture ways to put the ball in the hands of their best players, and No.4 is the beneficiary. The 6’4 receiver should be the offense's focal point against Wake Forest and see the ball early and often.

Jordan Travis mentioned last week that he wanted to start having more fun again while playing. If last week was any indication, he is having a blast. The improved play in the last four weeks of the Seminole signal caller should translate into yards for Keon Coleman. In his previous four games, he has had over 30 pass attempts in three and averaged over seven yards a completion in all of them. Travis is not a game manager; he pushes the ball down the field throughout the game. His chemistry with Coleman is improving during the year and against a defense willing to bend and not break, look for Coleman over the middle all afternoon.

The pick: Over

Jahmal Banks O/U 53.5 Receiving yards

When I asked Jarrian Jones earlier this week about the reason for the improvement in pass defense, he did not want to answer the question. He told me, “The numbers speak for themselves.” The Seminole secondary has given up three passing touchdowns this season, held Duke to under 80 yards throwing, and the pass rush is giving quarterbacks no time to throw. In no world can I rationalize a Wake Forest receiver gaining over fifty yards receiving with most likely a backup QB against this defense.

The improvement of the pass defense is interwoven between the progress of the secondary and the Seminole front four. After turning guys loose on the back end for the first part of the season, Adam Fuller has found his communication groove. FSU did not blow one coverage against Duke and held the Blue Devil’s leading receiver to 26 yards. In fact, since the bye, the Seminoles have not let a receiver total over 53 yards on them. The improved play of Fentrell Cypress and Adam Fuller finally trusting his corners to play man coverage led to sticky coverage and long days for opposing quarterbacks.

Meanwhile, the Florida State pass rush looks night and day from the beginning of the year. Patrick Payton elevated his game since Boston College, Braden Fiske has been manhandling double teams, and the coaching staff has found their bread and butter with secondary blitzes. According to PFF, the Seminole defense has a grade of 90.3 in coverage and 77.9 rushing the passer. Last week, FSU faced a backup QB, and Belin looked lost when he came into the game after Leonard went down. Against another signal-caller with little experience, I expect Adam Fuller to create a game plan to limit short throws and attack this Wake Forest offense.

The pick: Under

Total Score: O/U 52 Points

Last week, I loved the under, and it turned out completely wrong.

I am doubling down.

Although this is not the Wake Forest team of recent years, they still boast an above-average defense. Malik Mustapha's praises have been song all week from the FSU coaching staff, Dave Clawson does a beautiful job disguising looks, and their bend-don’t-break defense pays dividends as they give up as many field goals as touchdowns in the red zone. Florida State has come out sleepy on the road to start the year and may take a while to settle into this game. The Demon Deacon defense will not make it easy for the Seminoles to continue their 30+ points a game streak, as they have not given up over 30 points this year.

On the flip side, Wake Forest's struggles on offense are well documented. The slow mesh gives even the best defenses trouble but should not create constant havoc against the Seminole’s defense. Even with Mitch Griffis, the offense struggled. With him unexpected to play, every inch will be difficult to earn against an FSU defense that has not given up a point in the second half in its last three games. Florida State will come after whoever is under center all game and try to disrupt timing plays. The Wake Forest offense scored only 14 points against Pitt for 59 minutes last Saturday and will have trouble reaching that total this weekend.

The pick: Under

Wake Forest’s struggles on offense are well documented — every inch on Saturday will be difficult to earn against an FSU defense that has not given up a point in the second half in its last three games.
Charles Mays/Tomahawk Nation

There you go, friends, three picks, three winners; everyone enjoy Saturday afternoon!

Florida State Seminoles vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons: How to watch


Saturday, October 28


12:00 p.m.






Seminoles Radio Network, SiriusXM RADIO FSU Broadcast: CH. 136 or 193

Florida State vs. Wake Forest: Game notes

» Florida State travels to Wake Forest for the Seminoles’ first road game in the month of October after starting the month with a three-game homestand. Saturday’s game marks Florida State’s sixth straight broadcast on ABC and seventh this season, where FSU games are averaging 4.93 Million viewers per game.

» FSU concluded a three-game homestand with a 38-20 victory over No. 16 Duke on Saturday night inside a sold-out Doak Campbell Stadium. The win improved FSU to 7-0 overall and 5-0 in the ACC, which marks the best start in each category for the Seminoles since 2014.

» Florida State is No. 4 in this week’s Associated Press poll. It is the eighth consecutive week FSU has been ranked in the top-5, the program’s longest streak since 2013-14 when Florida State was in the top-5 for 27 consecutive polls.

» The Seminoles extended their winning streak to 13 games, the longest active streak in the ACC and the 3rd-longest active streak in the country. During its streak, Florida State has outscored its opponents 544-239. » FSU has scored at least 30 points in 13 straight games, the longest active streak in the nation and the 2nd-longest streak in ACC history, trailing only FSU’s 17 consecutive games from 2012-14.

» Florida State is the only team ranked in the top-12 in red zone offense and red zone defense. FSU’s offense ranks 6th in the country having converted 96.4 percent of its red zone opportunities into points, and the defense has held opponents to points on 69.6 percent of red zone trips to rank 12th nationally.

» FSU leads the ACC in scoring defense in October, allowing an average of 13.3 points per game this month, and has not allowed a point on defense in the second half since a third quarter touchdown on Sept. 23. » The Seminoles are one of eight teams nationally to have a receiver and a rusher with a three-touchdown game this season. Keon Coleman caught a career-high three scores vs. No. 5 LSU, and Trey Benson tied his single-game careerhigh with three rushing scores vs. Southern Miss. Coleman is one of 24 receivers nationally with a three-touchdown game this year, and Benson is one of 51 players with three rushing scores in a game.

» Florida State’s defense has faced 40 plays inside their 10-yard line this season and allowed just nine touchdowns. In the 45-24 win over No. 5 LSU, the Seminoles faced 10 snaps inside their own 5-yard line and allowed only two scores. On LSU’s first drive of the game, the Tigers had six plays inside the five-yard line, including four snaps from the 1-yard line, and the FSU defense forced a turnover on downs with a 13-yard sack on 4th-and-1. During FSU’s three-game homestand the defense faced only 10 total snaps inside its 10-yard line and allowed one touchdown. Syracuse did not have a snap inside the 10-yard line and took only one snap inside FSU’s 15-yard line.

» Florida State made 10 tackles for loss while allowing 0 TFLs, including sacks, in its win at Boston College. It was the first time in recorded program history FSU did not allow a TFL against an FBS opponent and the first time nationally a team had 10 TFLs while allowing 0 against a P5 opponent since Missouri’s 2017 win over Florida. The only other time FSU did not allow a tackle for loss in a game was 2012 vs. FCS Murray State.

» FSU scored 31 points after halftime vs. No. 5 LSU, the most second-half points against a top-5 opponent in program history. It also was the most second-half points nationally against a top-5 opponent in a non-playoff game since September 26, 2020, when Kansas State scored 31 second-half points at No. 3 Oklahoma. That has only happened two other times since the beginning of the 2014 season, both in 2018, when Purdue scored 35 second-half points against No. 2 Ohio State and Ohio State scored 38 second-half points against No. 4 Michigan. The only other team to score at least 31 points in a game against a top-5 opponent this season is Texas’ 34-24 win over No. 3 Alabama.