There was clearly no letdown for Florida State. The Seminoles will be at the very least be in the N0. 2 slot in all the polls including the all important BCS rankings. It short if Florida State wins out, including the ACC Championship and they will be playing in the BCS Championship Game in Pasadena.
Coming off last week’s thorough victory over Miami-Florida, the third-ranked Seminoles went into Wake Forest and dominated the Demon Deacons from start to finish in a 59-3 rout.
Jameis Winston threw for 159 yards with a pair of touchdowns on 17-of-28 passing in just over two quarters of play and got plenty of help from the Florida State defense, which accounted for a pair of scores. The Seminoles came up with six interceptions, including two by Nate Andrews, who returned one for a touchdown.
“The defense all day…what, seven turnovers, six interceptions and short fields,” Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “They were just outstanding…playing the run, playing the pass…they were absolutely amazing.”
Jalen Ramsey also scored on a fumble return for Florida State (9-0, 7-0 ACC), which clinched a berth in the ACC Championship Game and will close its league slate next Saturday at home against Syracuse before playing Idaho in a tune-up for the annual regular-season finale against Florida.
James Wilder Jr. and Devonta Freeman rushed for touchdowns in still another lopsided victory for the Seminoles. Florida State has scored at least 41 points in each of its nine games and has surrendered more than 17 just once.
The Demon Deacons (4-6, 2-5), coming off a 13-0 loss at Syracuse last week, got a fourth-quarter field goal to avoid a second straight shutout. Wake Forest hasn’t been blanked in consecutive games since an incredible five-game stretch during the 1974 season.
Wake Forest’s three quarterbacks struggled all day, as the trio combined for just seven completed passes and six picks.
Starter Tanner Price completed each of his four passes on Saturday, but three went into the hands of the Florida State defense, while Tyler Cameron wasn’t any better. He connected on just 5-of-19 throws for 63 yards with three picks. Patrick Thompson finished up with a 1-for-2 effort for minus-three yards.
Wake didn’t turn it over on its first possession, but went three-and-out and Florida State marched 80 yards on 13 plays with its initial series for a touchdown. Winston completed each of his first four passes and Wilder finished the set with three straight carries — the first for 22 yards to convert third down and the last a 5-yard scoring run.
Things only got worse for the Demon Deacons from there.
Price was picked off on the first play after the kickoff and Terrance Smith’s 32-yard return set up Freeman’s scoring run from the one two plays later to make it 14-0. Mario Edwards Jr. intercepted Price on the next Wake series, leading to Winston’s 18-yard scoring toss to Kelvin Benjamin two plays later.
Andrews then picked off Price on the second play of the second quarter and rumbled 56 yards to the end zone for a 28-0 lead. The next play from scrimmage also resulted in a Florida State defensive touchdown, as Ramsey scooped up a Josh D. Harris fumble and raced 23 yards for a score.
Cameron took over at quarterback for the Demon Deacons, but he was also intercepted late in the second quarter. Andrews’ second pick of the day didn’t produce any points, as Roberto Aguayo missed a 43-yard field goal, but the Seminoles got the ball one more time toward the close of the half and Winston connected with Chad Abram from the two for a score to make it 42-0 at the break.
Winston started the third quarter under center and drove the Seminoles across midfield before he was picked off by Ryan Janvion. The Demon Deacons, however, gave it right back on the next play when Christian Jones intercepted Cameron. Karlos Williams cashed in the very next snap with a 5-yard TD run and still one more interception, this one by Marquez White on the next Wake series, led to a 42-yard Aguayo field goal for a 52-0 cushion.
“I mainly would like to think that it was our mistakes, but I think we played a really good football team,” Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe said. “One of the things that hurt us so badly today was that the turnovers were backed up.”
After Chad Hedlund’s 23-yard field goal in the fourth quarter got Wake on the board, Levonte Whitfield returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a score to account for the final margin.
Quotes from this story were obtained from Associated Press