Florida State Seminoles vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Date and Time: Saturday, September 30, 2017, 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: BB&T Field, Winston-Salem, NC
Opening College Football Odds: Florida State -7
Florida State vs. Wake Forest TV Coverage: ABC
The fact of the matter is that Florida State has its defense to blame more than anything else for its 27-21 loss to N.C. State last week at home. The Seminoles allowed 365 yards on the day, including a 71-yard score in which a man once thought to be a fringe Heisman Trophy candidate, Derwin James was toasted.
With Deondre Francois out of the fold and true freshman James Blackman under center, the Seminoles really don’t have a choice but to count on their defense. Simply put, they can’t give up 350+ yards and 27 points and live to tell about it all that often at this point, and that’s why their season is already effectively over in September.
Is this Wake Forest team one to take seriously at this point? We already knew that Florida State, Clemson and Louisville had great teams coming into the season, and N.C. State stated its claim to be considered in the ACC Atlantic race this year as well. But can the Demon Deacons be added to that list, too?
Let’s not forget that Wake Forest is off to a 4-0 start. That said, the schedule has been relatively weak for sure. John Wolford has been fantastic as the leader of this team under center, but there’s a big difference between beating Presbyterian, Boston College, Utah State and Appalachian State, then having to play against a Florida State defense that features more than one future NFL player.
Still, 4-0 is 4-0, and the fact of the matter is that this team ranks in the top half of America in every major statistical stat. The Demon Deacons are sure to fall off eventually, but with all of what we’ve seen out of FSU thus far on the season, there’s no reason to think they can’t at least be in this game.
7 – The number of red zone trips Florida State had against N.C. State.
For everything that we could say bad about Florida State, Blackman at least created a few really big plays that set the team up in the red zone. That said, when the frosh got into the red zone, there were all sorts of problems. The Seminoles scored just one touchdown in seven tries to go with five field goal attempts and a lost fumble.
If the Seminoles are going to win and cover this game, they’re going to have to finish off drives when they get close to the end zone. But let’s also remember that they’ll have to sustain some drives, too. That wasn’t a strong suit in Week 4 and will have to be to improve this season.
Florida State vs. Wake Forest Free Picks
It’s easy to sell out on this FSU team right now. All of the top online sportsbooks would have had the Seminoles lined as at least two-touchdown favorites in this game just a couple weeks ago. Now, they’re barely favorites at all.
That said, we’re not sure about Wake Forest. Wolford has had a fantastic season as a passer, tossing eight touchdowns without a pick, and he’s run for 269 yards and three touchdowns. But last year against this FSU defense, the Demon Deacons were held to just 252 yards, and Wolford was picked off twice.
The one thing we’ll say about the Seminoles is that, even though their season is over with at this point, Jimbo Fisher is one of the better coaches in America and won’t let this team quit. We suspect Florida State will get back on the horse and bring Wake Forest down to Earth.
College Football ATS Pick: Florida State -7 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Florida State 23, Wake Forest 10