Teams generally don’t like off weeks early in the season. They prefer the break come later when the team is more banged up and weary.
But for Florida State, having last week off may have been a good thing. The offense, besides running back Dalvin Cook, was sputtering. New quarterback Everett Golson did not appear to be in sync with his receivers and the extra practice time may have been beneficial. Also, the Seminoles played a very physical game at Boston Collegeso there were some bruises that needed to heal.
Florida State at Wake Forest
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET (Saturday)
TV Channel: ESPN
Spread: Florida State -19
Three Things to Watch
1. A Bounce Back by Cook
After gaining only 54 yards on 15 carries against the tough Boston College defense, look for the Seminoles to try and establish their star back once again. The Florida State staff knows that Jordan Howard of Indiana had 168 yards rushing last week against the Demon Deacons. More importantly, Florida State needs Cook to get on a roll with Miami, Louisville, and Georgia Tech following Wake Forest on the schedule.
2. Protecting the Wake Forest Quarterback
Florida State has been looking to build something in the pass rush department and this could be the week. Wake Forest can’t run the ball and they are next to last nationally in sacks allowed. That’s a bad combination. Demon Deacons starting quarterback John Wolford missed last week’s game with an ankle injury and his status is uncertain for this week. Whether it is Wolford or last week’s starter Kendall Hinton taking snaps this week is irrelevant. Neither one can do anything lying on their back.
In four games this season, Wake Forest has not forced a turnover. Not one. Meanwhile, the quarterback pressures have resulted in more than just sacks as the Deacs quarterbacks have thrown seven interceptions. The Seminoles have turned it over just once and have four takeaways. There is no way Wake Forest can hang with FSU if they lose the turnover battle.
Since Wake Forest upset the Seminoles in 2011, Florida State has beaten the Deacs by scores of 52-0, 59-3, and 43-3. Last season, Wake Forest actually held a 3-0 lead going into the second quarter and was in the game at halftime before the Seminoles poured it on in the second half. This Wake Forest team may have a better defense than last year so they may be able to keep a struggling FSU offense from scoring as much. But the Wake offense will not have much of a chance against the Noles. Florida State fattens up in preparation for next week’s Hurricane invasion.
Prediction: Florida State 31, Wake Forest 3
— Written by Jon Kinne, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a college football fanatic. Kinne has been writing about recruiting for the Irish Sports Daily for 10 years. Follow him on Twitter @JonRKinne.