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Wake Forest vs. Florida State: Next Day Reaction

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After some time to digest yesterday's game, I share my thoughts on Wake's loss to Florida State.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday's game against Florida State started about as well as any Wake Forest fan could have reasonably expected. The Demon Deacons had a 3-0 lead after the first quarter, and were only down 10 points at halftime. Unfortunately, things escalated quickly in the second half and the Seminoles ultimately covered the large spread and won 43-3.

The Positives
  • Our defense played exceptionally hard and forced two first quarter turnovers. This Deacon defense has shown up in every contest, and only break down towards the end due to our offense's inability to generate first downs and maintain first downs.
  • Mike Weaver continues to be perfection streak of made field goals.
  • Dez Wortham, albeit against non-starters, ran hard at the end of the game and finished with 68 yards on 12 carries. I'd like to see him get some more carries against Syracuse and throughout the remainder of the season. We may need to look at transitioning Orville Reynolds to a slot receiver to allow him to get the ball in space. He has really struggles running between the tackles this season.
  • Pass protection appeared to be much better yesterday than it was against Louisville. I certainly wouldn't call it good, but it was improved.
Areas of Improvement

  • Penalties. Antonio Ford had two holding penalties by himself, which are complete drive killers. It's hard enough to overcome a 10-yard penalty for good offenses, but our anemic offense has zero margin for error with penalties. Zeek Rodney also had an illegal block and Cory Helms had a false start. These types of penalties have to improve.
  • Run blocking has to improve. Part of the reason we are last in the nation in rush is our utter inability to generate any push up front. Our backs are getting hit before they can even get back to the original line of scrimmage. Along this same line, I'm not a huge fan of the delayed rushing attack.
  • Quarterback play. I know John Wolford is young, but he has to do a better job limiting turnovers. He had a poor interception and he did not do a good enough job of securing the ball and was strip sacked early on in the contest.
Moving Forward

Moving forward I'm very intrigued by our upcoming matchups. We took our lumps against two very good teams in Louisville and Florida State. We clearly exceeded expectations against Louisville, and we came ready to play against FSU, but just weren't good enough.

Now we have two weeks to prepare for a Syracuse team who looked awful against Louisville on Friday night. After that we face Boston College in #TheRivalry, who recently lost to Colorado State at home. There are winnable games remaining on the schedule, it's time to see if the Deacons can seize the opportunities.