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5 questions, 5 answers: FSU dominates Wake Forest to win 14th game in a row

It was FSU’s first win against Wake since 2018 and first ever under head coach Mike Norvell

Charles Mays/Tomahawk Nation

No. 4 Florida State (8-0, 6-0 ACC) secured its 14th win in a row on Saturday, dominating the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-4, 1-4 ACC) to the tune of 41-16.

It was FSU’s first win against Wake since 2018 and first ever under head coach Mike Norvell.

FSU started slow but caught fire in the second, combining a shutdown defense with a potent offense to head into halftime leading 31-7.

With the second half more or less serving as extended garbage time, Florida State left Winston-Salem with the win.

FSU racked up 508 yards of offense, with quarterback Jordan Travis putting up a season-high 359 yards through the air with a trio of touchdowns. Keon Coleman caught two of them with Trey Benson on the receiving end of the other (the running back also had a rushing score in the fourth.)

Wake earned 123 of its 210 yards in the third quarter — the cumulative of the other three quarters is 81. Overall, the Demon Deacons averaged just 3.2 yards per play — largely due to FSU’s defense logging five sacks and ten tackles for loss.

What takeaways are there from FSU’s win? The Tomahawk Nation staff breaks down five questions with five answers below.

Who impressed you the most on either side of the ball in today’s win?

LSK: This was looking like a Jared Verse game before the snap and it turned into one; Wake Forest simply couldn’t move the ball consistently when he was on the field. Second choice would be Jordan Travis.

Matt Minnick: Not who, but the entire DL. It was great to see a unit just come out and completely wreck an opposition’s game plan. Wake had no chance to block FSU’s DL and the slow mesh was obliterated. Somehow the OL that was getting bulldozed never held one single time, but that’s another convo.

Perry Kostidakis: It’s almost too easy to pick Keon Coleman, since he has ascended into the zone where his impressive plays are what you expect, so I’ll lean towards the secondary. Mitch Griffis was never going to go wild in this game, but 63 of Wake’s 82 passing yards came in the third. Not allowing completions for the entirety of the first and fourth quarter deserves to be commended. I also want to give props to Kyle Morlock, who continues to sneak up in opportune moments.

Keon Coleman is Florida State’s best receiver since....

LSK: Peter Warrick or Anquan Boldin. Watching Keon Coleman is like watching a more athletic version of Javon Walker; special player.

Matt: When I answer this question, I’m talking talent and how he forces defensive coordinators to change plans, not career stats. He’s the best FSU skill player since Dalvin Cook. He’s FSU’s best receiver since Anquan Boldin.

Perry: What Matt said — he’s an absolutely special talent and while you never want to question how things worked out when they work out so well, there’s a bit of FOMO on wondering what it would’ve been like had he came to Florida State to start his career.

What do you have to nitpick about FSU’s performance on either side of the ball?

LSK: To be honest I kind of don’t want to; there was nothing that displeased me about that performance but if I had to; I’d like to see us run the ball a little more when we’re in their redzone.

Minnick: A few drops by receivers, and Travis had some fairly poor throws early. Defensive backs could have had at least 2 INTs if they located the ball.

Perry: There were some errant throws from Travis early (the near-interception targeting Coleman on the first drive and the underthrow to Williamson that could’ve gone for six), but my only annoying nitpick is that there were three drives (out of five) that resulted in no points that could’ve tacked a few more on the scoreboard. Defensively, that 51-yard run will be played a good amount in the film room so I’m not worried there, though the frequency of personal foul penalties is (at least on the surface level) is starting to get old.

Where did the Seminoles’ stand out the most on defense today?

LSK: The defensive line was unblockable; Wake couldn’t move the ball without the assistance of penalties, literally.

Perry: On the defensive line, for sure. The Wake mesh wasn’t even close to being scary today because of how quickly the Florida State front was in the backfield. Ten tackles for loss and five sacks speak for themselves.

How much did this win change your perception of this team?

LSK: Slight uptick; perfect trap-game moment against a team that’s beaten you three times in a row when they get their QB back and it was never in doubt after 17-7.

Minnick: Did not change my perception. Train keeps rollin’.

Perry: Solidified the positive feelings, dismissed some of the soft factor concerns. Wake Forest is bad, and Florida State shut them down to the degree that that badness deserved. Dropping 41 points and scoring on 50% of your drives, even when it feels like both could’ve been higher, is an indicator of consistency and the way that the defense has performed over the last few weeks continues to solidify the championship potential of this team.