Florida State vs. Wake Forest


I’m preparing for a fairly high-scoring affair as both teams move the ball at a high level (FSU is averaging 3.18 points per drive, which is 24th nationally, while Wake Forest is 38th in the metric at 2.79 points per drive since Sam Hartman returned). My gut is that FSU will be able to run the ball with success against Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons will sell out to stop the run with an uber-aggressive attacking scheme, which could lead to a lack of consistent production for the ‘Noles…but also, some explosiveness (Wake is 12th nationally in Yards Before Contact/Per Carry vs .P5 teams at 0.92, but 76th in Yards After Contact at 3.22). It’s essential that FSU gets strong performances from the likes of Trey Benson and Treshaun Ward on the ground, and maybe even Jordan Travis.

On the other side of the ball, Wake has a precise quarterback Sam Hartman and a gifted group of receivers with a diverse skill set. There’s potential to be tested here. What gives me optimism is that FSU’s secondary had a great week of practice. I thought the group played remarkably fast and has done so since the second half of the Louisville game. Akeem Dent was excellent this week. Getting Omarion Cooper near full strength is a significant development, and his presence will be necessary against a Wake team that will yo-yo its tempo and try to eat into your depth while testing your patience with its unorthodox offense.

This is a game I thought FSU had a very good chance of winning before the season. Wake has been as good as advertised with Hartman back in the mix, and FSU has exceeded my expectations…so I’ll go with the ‘Noles, even if they end up being without a few key trench players (OT Robert Scott, DT Fabien Lovettand DE Jared Verse all missed last week’s contest vs. BC).

Prediction: FSU 38, Wake 35


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