FSU vs. Wake Forest prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Seminoles and Demon Deacons on Saturday in Tallahassee, FL.
FSU vs. Wake Forest Game Preview
When: Saturday, Oct. 15 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, FL
TV Broadcast: ESPN
The Seminoles (4-2, 1-2 ACC) stopped their bleeding last week by extending their win streak over Miami to seven games, as DeMarcus Walker blocked Michael Badgley’s extra-point attempt with 1:38 remaining to send them to a 20-19 road victory over the Hurricanes. Quarterback Deondre Francois, who was banged-up after taking several hard hits, toughed out another outing and finished with 234 passing yards in the win.
Meanwhile, the Demon Deacons (5-1, 2-1 ACC) are one of the nicest surprises in college football this season. Dave Clawson and Co. picked up a 28-9 home win last week over Syracuse in a game that was played in poor conditions due to Hurricane Matthew. Sophomore defensive back Cameron Glenn returned a fumble 83 yards for a score with 1:30 left to seal it for the Demon Deacons.
In last year’s meeting in Winston-Salem, the ‘Noles escaped with a 24-16 victory in a game that really wasn’t decided until Tyler Hunter intercepted a pass in the end zone with 21 seconds to play. FSU came into that game as a 20-point favorite after having won the previous three meetings in the series by an average of 49 points. So Clawson obviously has Wake on an upward trajectory, and we’ll see what kind of effort his team gives this Saturday in Tallahassee.
What To Know About FSU
Despite already suffering two losses and dropping out of the College Football Playoff conversation, the Seminoles notched a big road win over Miami to give Jimbo Fisher’s squad a potential confidence boost moving forward. Down 13-3 at the half, Dalvin Cook had a 59-yard scoring grab to help spark the Seminoles’ second-half surge. Charles Kelly’s defense had been torched all season, but the unit held the ‘Canes to just 4-of-13 on third-down conversions and 276 total yards. It was a much-needed effort after so many porous outings.
What to Know About Wake Forest
Quarterback John Wolford ran for two touchdowns and a career-best 94 yards, and he threw for 140 more yards in the team’s win last week over the Orange. He played well in the win despite dealing with pain in his right throwing hand for most of the second half. Freshman Cade Carney, who had missed the previous three games with a knee injury, added 104 yards on 29 carries, including a fourth-quarter touchdown for the Deacs. Wake is 5-1 for just the eighth time in program history and the first time since 2006.
Offense: FSU. With Cook at his best and Francois showing toughness each and every week, the ‘Noles are becoming adept at recovering from deficits.
Defense: Even. Wake has the better statistical numbers, but the ‘Noles still have elite talent on that side of the ball. Keep an eye on Demon Deacons linebacker Marquel Lee, though. He had a career-best 15 tackles and a pair of sacks in last week’s win over Syracuse.
Special Teams: Even. FSU’s Ricky Aguayo has missed three field goals between 40-49 yards as well as one beyond 50. Meanwhile, Wake’s Mike Weaver has missed just one, but it was between 30-39 yards.
Coaching: FSU. Fisher has won a national title, but Clawson is doing a very good job in Winston-Salem.
Intangibles: Wake Forest. FSU can still get into a New Year’s Six game if it runs the table, but Wake Forest may believe that the ‘Noles are ripe for the pickin.’
Matchup To Watch
Cook vs. Wake Forest front seven
In last year’s contest, the FSU running back rushed 94 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter before leaving with a left hamstring injury. That scoring run was the third-longest in team history, but the Seminoles looked sloppy after his departure. They gained just 213 total yards in the three-plus quarters after he was hurt, including just 33 yards on the ground. This week he will be going up against a rush defense that ranks No. 23 in the FBS at 118.7 yards per game. Francois has shown that he can put an offense on his back, but he needs a steady diet of productive runs from Cook to open things up in the passing game.
Spread: FSU -21.5
FSU vs. Wake Forest Prediction
Wake Forest is no joke, as Clawson has steadily improved the talent base in Winston-Salem. The true freshmen and other young players that he has played throughout his tenure gained valuable experience, and it’s now paying dividends. This was a close contest last year, and FSU is still dealing with some issues despite last week’s win. But I think the victory over Miami could serve as a turning point of sorts for Fisher’s squad, as the ‘Noles beat a good Wake team at home.
FSU vs. Wake Forest Score Prediction: FSU 34, Wake Forest 23