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Wake Forest’s Offense Struggles as Florida State Defeats the Demon Deacons 17-6

Wake came up short in Tallahassee.

NCAA Football: Wake Forest at Florida State Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Wake Forest competed extremely hard against the Florida State Seminoles, but the offense could not get it going, and the Seminoles beat the Demon Deacons 17-6. Wake Forest dropped to 5-2 on the season, including 2-2 in the ACC, while Florida State improved to 5-2 (2-2 ACC).


John Wolford did not have his best showing on Saturday afternoon. He completed just 16 of 34 passing attempts for 184 yards and 2 interceptions. He was also sacked 5 times. As a result, Wake generated just 252 yards (3.8 yards/play). To be fair to him, the younger receivers need to do a better job of getting open, but he still has to play much better. The leading Wake Forest receiver was Cortez Lewis, who hauled in 6 receptions for 109 yards. He is coming on as of late, and that’s a great development moving forward.

Kendall Hinton will likely return from injury in two weeks when the Deacs host Army. Wolford has been extremely tough and made some good plays in relief of Hinton, but I expect this to be Hinton’s job when he’s healthy.

The Wake Forest defense was very impressive today. The Seminoles entered the contest averaging 38 points per game and the Deacs limited them to just 17. Running back Dalvin Cook ran for 115 yards on the day. While that may seem like a lot, Wake limited him to an average of just 4.6 yards/carry, and his average entering the game was 5.9 yards/carry.

Wake also did an excellent job of getting pressure on quarterback Deondre Francois and sacked him 3 times. Marquel Lee continued his excellent play and finished with 9 tackles, 1 sack, 2.5 tackles for loss, and 2 forced fumbles.

The defense kept Wake in this game and played well enough to win. They forced two turnovers, but it’s just nearly impossible beat a team like Florida State by putting up just 250 yards off offense and being sloppy. In addition to Wake’s turnovers, long snapper Garrett Wilson had another bad snap this week, that led to Florida State recovering the ball deep in Wake Forest territory. It cannot continue to happen moving forward, and it must be resolved. It could have cost Wake the game last week, and it directly led to 7 Florida State points on Saturday.

Outside of the sloppiness, this game also came down to red zone execution. Florida State scored during all 3 trips to the red zone, including 2 touchdowns. Wake Forest, on the other hand, scored on just 2 of 3 red zone opportunities, and both were field goals. Wake has to come away with touchdowns against teams of this caliber, because there won’t be as many opportunities.

Travis Rudolph led Florida State with a whopping 238 receiving yards on 13 catches. Deondre Francois threw for 319 yards and a touchdown.

Florida State has a bye next week before hosting #3 Clemson. Wake Forest also has a bye next week and will host Army on October 29th.