Despite a hard-fought effort on Saturday, Florida State defeated Wake Forest 26-19 in Winston-Salem. While this game clearly indicates growth for the program, as the Deacs looked like they belonged, head coach Dave Clawson made sure to indicate that this was a disappointing outcome for his team as he claimed that “moral victories do not exist for our program anymore.” Since this game was so closely contested, there was a lot to break down, so without further ado, let’s get into the weekly Good, Bad and Ugly.
Although Wake did not ultimately win on Saturday, they frankly outplayed Florida State, which is obviously a great sign for the program. The offense put up a whopping 367 yards against a terrifying Seminole defense, and freshman Greg Dortch once again proved that he will be a star for years to come, as he posted 10 receptions for 110 yards. Furthermore, the defense had 17 tackles for a loss, which is a staggering figure, and accordingly, Florida State only mustered 108 total yards in the first half. Lastly, Wake took advantage of true freshman James Blackman’s inexperience, which was necessary for them to win the game.
Wake Forest outplayed Florida State, yet allowed the Seminoles to leave BB&T field with a win. Despite having control of the game, Wake could not deliver the knockout blow necessary to end this one, and Florida State’s talented players found a way to win, as good teams tend to do. Wake was unable to finish in the red zone, and the potential touchdowns that turned into field goals ultimately proved to be a backbreaker for the Demon Deacons. Additionally, while the defense was strong, running back Jacques Patrick ran for 120 yards on just 19 carries, averaging 6.3 yards per run. If Wake wants to compete with big programs like Florida State, then their front seven needs to stop both the run and the pass.
Wake ultimately lost because they gave up too many big plays, and could not win the turnover battle. Wake’s two ugly turnovers both sung the game and really destroyed the Deacs’ momentum. Furthermore, Florida State dominated the Special Teams battle, as they had an 81-yard kick return that swung the momentum of the game, while Mike Weaver missed an extra point that had a large impact on the game down the stretch. Lastly, Florida State converted on 3rd and 25 late in the 4th to keep a drive alive, which ultimately was the catalyst for their comeback, and is a play the defense simply cannot allow.
Next week, the Deacs have the daunting task of visiting the defending National Champion Clemson Tigers.