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Staff Predictions: Florida State Seminoles vs. Wake Forest

FSU and Wake Forest have met 39 times with FSU leading the series (30-8-1) but Wake is riding a two-game win streak

Charles Mays/Tomahawk Nation

The Florida State Seminoles (4-0, 2-0) will host the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-1, 0-1) Saturday afternoon at Doak Campbell Stadium, meeting for only the second time where both teams are ranked in the polls.

Florida State’s passing defense ranks 1st in the ACC and 16th in the country, holding opponents to an average of 165.8 yards per game through the air.

Florida State is the only remaining undefeated FBS team in the state of Florida. This is the 10th time FSU has been the last undefeated team in the state since 1993, the most among all Florida schools.

Florida State leads the all-time series against Wake Forest, 30-8-1, but Wake has won the last 2 games.

Your Tomahawk Nation staff, as they do before every game, have broken down all the FSU and Wake Forest film available, charted each All-22 formations/snaps, performed A.I. virtual simulations, compiled all of the data, and have come to the conclusion that the Noles will probably win.

According to DraftKings, Florida State is a 6.5-point favorite with an over/under of 64 total points.

  • Read what your TOMAHAWK NATION PROGNOSTICATORS think about this Saturday’s showdown.
  • Then look over and digest all of the FREE PREGAME CONTENT we’ve posted below.
  • 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: 3-1)

I’ve had an uneasy feeling about this game since we found out Fabian Lovett got hurt. It seems likely that he won’t play Saturday, which is a big loss for FSU because he’s exactly who you want in the middle against Wake’s mesh attack. With multiple other starters on the Seminole defense banged up, I can see the Wake offense finding success.

On the flip side, I love what we’ve seen from the FSU offense and I think we’ll see the staff try to establish the run early. Find success on the ground and the big plays will be there through the air- look for FSU to try and exploit the size differential between its WRs and Wake’s DBs.

Dave Clawson’s comments didn’t bother me until he suggested FSU may have fewer people at the game than Vanderbilt. Stupid thing to say, as FSU is now getting creative to pack Doak. I’m hoping for a rowdy crowd in what I feel will be an offensive shootout. I’m going heart over head with this one. I just hope it doesn’t come down to a field goal attempt.

FSU 38, Wake Forest 31

Tommy Mire (season record: 4-0)

Whew! What a preface to a game! The pot has been stirred (yes we have food to put in it) and the top-25 matchup is still set to take place on Saturday. I think this will be a high scoring affair depending on if Wake can get their pass game going.

There are a lot of factors going on and off the field with Hurricane Ian but the defensive backs for FSU have looked solid all week which makes me think that all the mesh concept stuff might not be as effective if they can win their one on ones.

Wake is banged up after last weekend’s contest so there should be an advantage but I'm not so sure all the Clawson shenanigans heading into this weekend will either motivate or add to the distractions for FSU. Still, I think this FSU team will remain focused and take the W.

FSU 41, The Wake Forest Clawsons 38


The slow mesh looks like it may cause some issues for FSU but Adam Fuller will focus on keeping Wake Forest’s vertical game from winning the day and by forcing a team that’s not very good at running the ball to go the distance.

On offense FSU’s four-headed monster rushing attack (including Travis) will give a slight beat-up Wake Forest defense absolute fits. When a bunch of corners are out you would think that means pass, pass, but I believe FSU will test just how eager these CBs are willing to get physical in the running game. My prediction is not so much:

FSU 41, Wake Forest 27

Michael Rogner (season record: 4-oh)

In the past 50 years Wake Forest has won one ACC football title (Miami considers them to be a dynasty). Head ball coach Clawson coached scared down the stretch against Clemson which cost them the game, and now Wake could be eliminated with another loss. Well, better luck next year.

FSU 40, Wake Forest 31

FrankDNole (season record: 4-0)

Can’t write much. Almost out of battery. No power for 4 days.

We’ve run out of food and haven’t eaten in 3 days. The streets are flooded, cars and buses are stuck everywhere, yet we can’t find drinking water anywhere.

I’m afraid the other people here with me are thinking about eating me to survive because I am the biggest one here and everyone is starving.

As Floridians, we are accustomed and have learned to live in this manner. I shudder to think how much worse things would be right now if the hurricane had come anywhere close to hitting our area.

FSU will put it away Wake in the second half, as long as the players have food to eat and a couple of hundred fans show up.

FSU Seminoles 45, The Condescending Clawson’s 24

Gwyn Rhodes (season record: 2-0)

Wake Forest doesn’t have a softball team (which they need to) so I have nothing to compare here! However, if they were to suddenly create one in the next 4 months, I think FSU would take a nice W, that’s what I’m seeing football do on Saturday as well. With a rowdy crowd (thanks to an unnamed coach) the environment should be electric for a 3:30 start.

FSU 39, Wake Forest 30

Jon Marchant (season record: 4-0)

Wake’s slow mesh is the talk of the game, and with good reason. It essentially forces defenders into an unwinnable run/pass conflict. The way to beat that is to play a 2-high shell and either use creative blitzes to force Wake’s hand and/or rely on personnel to control the run game without bringing safeties down or being able to cover Wake’s receivers 1v1. While I have faith in Adam Fuller’s ability to dial up some interesting blitz packages, I think execution is the bigger problem. FSU will greatly miss Fabien Lovett and likely Jared Verse’s services in this game and that will be felt throughout the gameplan.

FSU is a slight favorite at home for a reason, but my prediction essentially boils down to Wake being a more experienced team. The first squad to 40 points likely wins, and that could easily be FSU. But in the end I think the Deacons will be more consistent at executing on both sides of the ball and will be more efficient than the ’Noles at taking advantage of the other team’s errors.

Wake Forest 41, FSU 31

Brian Pellerin (season record: 3-1)

Tough, tough game this week. Wake looked like Wake on offense again last week as Sam Hartman dotted up Clemson’s defense. But DJ was able to return the favor to the Wake D. This one is a coin toss to me. One or two bounces will likely be the difference so why not take FSU?

FSU 31, Wake Forest 30

TimScribble (season record 2-2)

I think tomorrow’s game is going to be a high-scoring affair with whichever team holding the ball last winning the game. I’m not fully confident FSU’s defense can stop the mesh enough without a healthy defensive line. I think Wake scores late and takes the game.

Wake 35, FSU 31

Prince Akeem Joffer

Wake is obviously a talented team but it really seems like Jordan Travis has turned the corner. He looks like a serious NFL prospect. Playing at Doak will make a difference as well. I have FSU winning a tight one.

FSU 28, Wake 24

Evan Johnson (season record: 3-1)

I think this will be a pointsy game. Wake Forest is going to get theirs but if FSU can stay patient and force Wake to work their way down the field I think they can get enough stops to win the game. I think the FSU offense will continue to play at it’s high rate and I’m not sold on the Wake back seven. The biggest question for the FSU offense is can they consistently block it up to give those running backs and Jordan Travis a clean go of it.

FSU 42, Wake Forest 35

Matt Minnick (season record 4-0)

Late addition here, but still Friday so it counts. I’m not sure what made Dave Clawson (who by all accounts is an intelligent human) look more like a numbskull: that he seemingly has no idea where Tallahassee is located, or the fact that he continued to poke and poke and poke the bear until the bear decided to do something about it and give away free tickets. Either way, I’m not sure he ever had a real answer for how to stop FSU’s potent offensive attack. Sell out against the run and leave your overmatched secondary in 1 v 1 matchups all day? Or sit back in nickel/dime and get gashed by FSU’s stable of running backs?

I firmly believe Wake is going to put up points. In fact I think the two teams might combine for more than 50 in the first half. But in the end, FSU’s defense finds a way to get some second half stops while Wake’s cannot.

Florida State 48 (missed EP), Wake 34

Perry Kostidakis (season record 4-0)

This feels as much as a toss-up to me as the FSU vs. LSU matchup, but more reflective of the threat Wake poses rather than a lack of confidence in Florida State. The Demon Deacons are good, and very nearly came into this game undefeated as a possible top 12 team had they not fallen short vs. Clemson. FSU is streets ahead of where they were last year when Wake earned a blowout victory, but questions of health on defense might be the deciding factor. Wake is possibly getting a major piece back, while the Seminoles are still trying to get a few players back in the lineup.

Florida State wants to compete for an ACC title this year — this is a chance to prove that it can and legitimately throw itself in the conversation.

FSU 37, Wake 32

Florida State Seminoles vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

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