Grading Seminoles after Wake Forest victory
#Grading #Seminoles #Wake #Forest #victory,
The good times continued to roll as No. 4 Florida State defeated Wake Forest for the first time since 2018.
The Seminoles’ 41-16 victory Saturday is the 14th straight win for FSU, coming in front of 31,288 fans at Allegacy Federal Credit Union Stadium, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
FSU’s (8-0, 6-0 ACC) offense dominated from kickoff to victory formation, accumulating 508 yards of total offense and five touchdowns.
By halftime, FSU had 351 yards of offense compared to Wake Forest’s (3-2, 1-4) 75. It was a balanced and nearly perfect first half for the Seminoles.
While FSU did allow its first second-half points for the first time since facing Virginia Tech, the Seminoles were able to cruise to a 25-point victory. Saturday was also FSU head coach Mike Norvell’s first win over Wake Forest.
“Today was not a perfect game and there’s a lot of things we’re going to have to clean up, and continue to improve upon, but I’m proud of our football team,” Norvell said. “Not just because they won the game, but because of who they are, the mindset that they bring and the way they fight for each other.”
The Seminoles are 8-0 for the first time since 2014, the same season they qualified for the first-ever College Football Playoff. The first set of College Football Playoff rankings will be released on Tuesday, Oct. 31.
Here is how the Seminoles graded out in their first win in Winston-Salem since 2018.
This wasn’t quarterback Jordan Travis’ Heisman Game, but it definitely puts him back in the race. Last week we saw him lean a little more on his rushing game and he continued that right out of the gate Saturday. He rushed for 29 yards on seven attempts and found the end zone once. Really boosting the offense when the passing game wasn’t going.
Tate Rodemaker was able to come into the game late, passing for 23 yards on one attempt.
The passing game picked up and Travis once again was able to find multiple targets. Eight different players made receptions, with running back Trey Benson leading the effort with 100 yards receiving. Keon Coleman followed with 66 yards and two touchdowns for nine on the year.
The rushing game passed triple figures for the first time since Syracuse as the group has 126 yards on the ground, led by Benson with 55 yards on 10 attempts and a touchdown.
It was debatably the Seminoles’ most complete effort on offense. So why the minus?
Early on, FSU was struggling was Wake’s secondary as the Demon Deacon’s defense had four pass breakups. Wake’s defense also had five quarterback hurries on Travis. There was also a pair of bad snaps in the first quarter.
With Johnny Wilson out as well, the Seminoles leaned a little hard on running backs and tight ends to make catches instead of the rest of the receiving corps. Coleman kept his game consistent, but receivers Ja’khi Douglas and Kentron Poitier should’ve made more grabs.
The defense also had a pretty rounded showing but had a few more blips than the offense did throughout the game. Early on, it was once again struggling to defend the rush. Wake Forest had three big plays on the ground which accumulated for 87 yards.
At the end of the first quarter, it was nearly pushing 100 rushing yards. By the end of the game, Wake Forest had rushed for a team total of 128 yards and two touchdowns. Defending the rush isn’t something that’s become a glaring issue for FSU, but it’s something it may need to lock up on going deeper into the schedule.
However, at the end of the day, the defensive unit got the job done. The defense combined for 73 tackles and five sacks, with Tatum Bethune recording an impressive nine tackles. Defensive back Renardo Green was clutch in the secondary, recording three pass breakups and three tackles.
FSU gave Wake Forest quarterback Mitch Griffis little to no room to operate as he threw the ball only 16 times, completing six passes for just 82 yards. While Wake’s rushing numbers were a little higher, the Seminoles’ defense limited the Demon Deacons to just 210 yards of total offense.
“We know what our goals are and we can’t get comfortable, ever,” defensive end Jared Verse said. “We know how good some of these teams are that we play. We play great teams and we know each team is capable of beating us, but the only way they’re capable of doing that is us allowing them to.”
Special Teams: A-
This would’ve been an “A” if it weren’t for the missed field goal. Nothing to take away from kicker Ryan Fitzgerald as he was 2-3 on the day and is now 10-11 on the season. He was good from 46 yards, 34 yards, but missed from 29 yards.
It’s a small scratch on what has been a superb season for the Seminoles kicker.
“Unfortunately, we had the first missed field goal of the season that went off the upright, but I still love Ryan’s [Fitzgerald] response to it. We were working there late in the game, he was ready and his number was called.”
Punter Alex Mastromanno was efficient again, averaging 43.8 yards on five punts. One of his punts rolled inside the Wake Forest 10 and Jarrian Jones was able to keep it out of the end zone, starting the Demon Deacons’ drive at their own 1-yard line.
It was debatably the top special teams play of the day.
When it came to returns, we didn’t see too much from Deuce Spann (kickoff) or Coleman (punts). Coleman returned three punts for 24 yards, averaging 8 yards. Spann returned two kickoffs for 74 yards, averaging 37 yards.
Overall, outside of the miss, everyone did their job on special teams.
For the first time this season, we didn’t see Norvell go for it on fourth down. Granted, there weren’t too many situations where FSU was fourth and short, but it was a little surprising that he didn’t call it once. Wake Forest went for it once, but could not convert.
FSU converted on four of five attempts in the red zone, the missed attempt being only the second time this season the Seminoles did not score in a red zone trip.
Norvell and the coaching staff really didn’t push too much today and played pretty straightforward, which makes sense.
It really wasn’t a game where tricky or bold play calling was needed considering the lead the Seminoles had built up.
Was this the most complete game that FSU has played this season? It was pretty close. The Seminoles scored in three of four quarters and limited Wake Forest to just 16 points.
FSU also eclipsed 40 points for the fourth time this season. It hasn’t scored less than 31 points this entire season.
We’re really starting to see how elite this team is, but this wasn’t the game where they dominated from top to bottom. The rushing defense needs to be cleaned up a little more and the receiving corps needs to step up a little more when its stars aren’t available.
Overall, this was a strong showing by the Seminoles. This team is very close to hitting its stride. It’ll be interesting to see how a wide win will impact FSU on Tuesday when the first College Football Playoff rankings are released.
Jack Williams covers Florida State athletics for Tallahassee Democrat. Contact him via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @jackgwilliams.
thank youf or watch : Grading Seminoles after Wake Forest victory
Grading Seminoles after Wake Forest victory