But this Wake Forest team will look very different without Sam Hartman and A.T. Perry on the offensive side of the ball.
This will be a revenge game, especially for the Seminoles offense who only put up 21 points in last season's matchup, a far cry from their season average of 36.1 points per game.
Florida State vs. Wake Forest
Date: October 28th, 2023
Location: BB&T Field, Winston-Salem North Carolina
Previous matchup: Wake Forest 31, FSU 21 (October 1st, 2022)
All-time series: 30-9-1
Wake Forest Demon Deacons: Team Preview
2022 record: 8-5 (3-5 ACC)
Two things to know:
- The Demon Deacons were an excellent offense in 2022. They scored 36.1 points per game which made them a Top-20 offense in the country. They were very elite in the passing game averaging 3.3 passing TDs per game which ranked first in the country. But they also lost Sam Hartman to Norte Dame in the portal and lost A.T. Perry to the NFL draft. It will be difficult to replicate that same success with all the changes.
- Wake’s defense on the other hand was 82nd of 131 teams in points allowed per game, but they have lost a few players to the NFL draft including defensive lineman Kobe Turner, and safety Nick Andreson. The defense was down in 2022 after creating a ton of turnovers in 2021, so if they are able to get back to their 2021 form they could create some opportunities for the Wake offense.
Three key players:
- Mitch Griffis (QB) is the new starting QB with Sam Hartman leaving to go to Notre Dame, he appeared in four games last season but really played significant snaps in one game. He finished the season with 348 passing yards (29 of 41), 5 touchdowns, and 1 interception.
- Jasheen Davis (DL) racked up 7 sacks and 33 total tackles last season for the Demon Deacons. He is the most notable returning defensive player for Wake Forest. He will garner a lot of attention from the Seminole's offensive staff. He recorded one sack against the Seminoles in their 2022 matchup.
- Justice Ellison (RB) is one of the most productive players returning to Wake Forest in 2023. He ran for 707 yards and 6 touchdowns on 170 carries (4.2 YPC) and will be very important for Wake’s success this season. His only 100+ yard game last season came against the Seminoles so he will look to replicate that performance in this season's matchup.
Florida State vs. Wake Forest: Game Preview
The best case is that Florida State gets ahead early by multiple scores and runs away with the game. With how effective and explosive the Seminole's offense is, this is actually somewhat realistic. If they get up early it will be about controlling the ball and forcing Wake to make errors. They could run away early and win 45-17.
Realistically Wake will make this a harder game than it needs to be for the Seminoles and force them to turn up the offense after a slow methodical drive. Wake will try to play ball control and slow down the Seminoles through possession, but they ultimately do not have the talent to keep up with the garnet and gold. 42 - 24, Seminoles win.
The worst case for the Seminoles is that Wake’s defense improves and their offense is very successful at hanging onto the football and slowing the game down. I still think in this case the Seminoles can win because of their explosiveness on the offensive side of the ball, the only way I see the Seminoles losing is if they have too many injuries. In that case, the ‘Noles could lose 28 - 24. But even then it is more than likely that the ‘Noles win.