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Wake Forest Football: Previewing the Florida State Defense

A quick look at a not so great FSU defense

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

We touched on the Florida State offense yesterday, so it’s only right that we take a look at the defense today.

It should not come as a shock that a team that is currently 3-6 overall is not setting things on fire on the defensive side of the ball. The Seminoles are currently 106th in the nation in scoring defense, giving up 36 points per game, and 108th in total defense, giving up 456 yards per game (half a yard fewer per game than Wake). The Noles also give up 6.5 yards per play, which ranks them at 106th in the nation in defensive efficiency. The Florida State defense has been equally bad against the run and the pass this season—in fact, the Noles are 99th in the nation in both passing and rushing yards allowed per game. Through the air, FSU is allowing opponents to complete 66.4% of their passes (114th) for 257.1 yards per game; To make matters worse, the Seminoles have just 10 sacks this season, ranking 120th out of 127 teams in sacks per game. Against the run, the Noles are allowing 199.2 yards per game and 5.1 yards per carry (104th). Defensively, the Seminoles and the Deacs are having pretty similar seasons, which is definitely not a good thing for either team.

Like the offense, the Florida State defense has struggled with injuries, transfers, and opt outs. Senior Marvin Wilson, who recorded 44 tackles, 5 sacks, and 8.5 tackles for loss in the 2019 season, only played in 6 games this year and is out for the season due to a leg injury. Redshirt junior DT Cory Durden opted out after 3 games. He accounted for 39 total tackles, 5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss in 2019. Junior CB Asante Samuel Jr. opted out at the end of November after recording 30 total tackles, 3 interceptions, and 2 fumble recoveries in 8 games. Even at full strength, the FSU defense was struggling this season, but with all the attrition, the Deacs will likely be facing a far less experienced defense without a lot of depth on Saturday. That could become a big factor in the game simply due to the pace of the Wake Forest offense.

Let’s hope the Wake Forest offense can finish the season off strong and help Wake Forest beat the Noles for the 2nd straight season.