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Wake Forest Football: Previewing the Florida State Offense

A quick look at the FSU Offense

Florida State v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The final game of a very strange 2020 regular season is already here. The Deacs were supposed to play Louisville as the last game of the season, then Notre Dame after the Duke’s Mayo Classic was postponed, and now the Deacs will play the Florida State Seminoles to finish out the year. The Seminoles have had a tough year again this year, currently sitting at 3-6 overall and 2-6 in conference play. Let’s take a quick look at how their offense has fared this season.

The Florida state offense has been pretty mediocre so far this season. Through 9 games, the Seminoles are 85th in the nation in scoring offense with 25.8 points per game and 64th in the nation in total offense with 396.7 yards per game. In terms of efficiency, the Noles are 78th in the nation this season, averaging 5.5 yards per play. Much of that is due to the ineffectiveness of the passing game, as FSU is actually one of the better team in FBS this season running the football; the Seminoles are averaging almost 200 yards per game (31st in the nation) on the ground with 5.1 yards per carry (27th in the nation) and 2.1 rushing touchdowns per game (39th in the nation). The passing game, on the other hand, has really struggled. The Noles are 111th in the nation in completion percentage, completing just 54.5% of their passes, and 96th in the nation in passing yards with just 196.8 yards per game. They have also allowed 29 sacks for a loss of 213 yards in 9 games and turned the ball over 17 times this season.

One of the biggest problems for the FSU offense this season has just been a lack of consistency due to injuries and transfers. James Blackman started the season at QB for the Noles, but after being benched in favor of freshman Tate Rodemaker in the 3rd game of the season, he decided to opt out and transfer. Rodemaker went on to be replaced by redshirt sophomore Jordan Travis. Travis then missed the NC State game due to injury, so freshman Chubba Purdy replaced him—Purdy unfortunately broke his collarbone in that game and Travis has been starting ever since. The Seminoles also lost redshirt junior WR Tamorrion Terry, who caught 60 passes for 1,188 yards and 9 touchdowns a season ago, due to conflicts with the coaching staff. His departure left FSU without a real threat at wide receiver; FSU currently has just 1 player—Ontario Wilson—with over 30 receptions and no players with over 400 yards receiving this season.

The two players the Deacon defense will need to focus on this Saturday are quarterback Jordan Travis and running back Lawrance Toafili. While Travis has completed just 55% of his passes for 1,056 yards, 6 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions, he is leading FSU in rushing with 97 carries for 562 yards and 7 touchdowns. Lawrance Toafili hasn’t gotten a ton of carries this season, but he is averaging 9.6 yards per carry and is coming off of a 7 rush, 117 yards, 1 TD performance against Duke last weekend.

Let’s hope the Wake Forest defense can finish the season off strong and keep the Florida State offense in check.