Plant The Spear: Wake Forest
Plant The Spear is a weekly column previewing the upcoming matchup for the Florida State Seminoles. As a newly anointed father, I decided that it would be best to talk about the things that really matter to fans – tailgating, food, out-of-town watering holes, weather, betting lines and of course, cheerleaders – never forget the cheerleaders. If you’re looking for your typically stuffy and recycled game preview that practically every other sports website has, don’t read this. Go somewhere else. However, if you enjoy a take on college football that’s mixed with pop culture references and a little witty banter all smothered in sarcasm, we’ll get along just fine.
*Author’s Note* As always, this is a No Homer Zone. Regardless of my membership with the Seminole Boosters, or my being a Florida State fan since I was 10 (I’m 32 now), or the fact that my wife is an FSU grad – I’m a college football fan above all else. Consumption of Seminole Kool-Aid will not be tolerated.
Breakdown: Given the fact that it’s Wake Forest on the chopping block this week, I think I’ll mail-in this edition of Plant The Spear. Hopefully the Noles don’t do the same, but let’s just say that worrying about this game is near the bottom or completely absent from my list of things to do this weekend. Don’t be fooled, I’ve got a pretty nice little Saturday lined up. We’re going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don’t know – I don’t know if we’ll have enough time.
Seminole fans do have Wake Forest to thank for setting in motion the events that would eventually lead to FSU now being in the driver’s seat for a spot in the BCS national title game. Way back in 2006, the Demon Deacons rolled into Tallahasse and stomped a 30-0 mudhole in a Florida State team that was a shell of its once powerful self. This prompted the firing of then offensive coordinator Jeff “Rainbow” Bowden, opening the door for FSU to hire a new offensive coordinator and future head coach, Jimbo Fisher. The rest, as they say…
The Seminoles roll into Winston-Salem with an unblemished 8-0 record and a #2 BCS ranking. Last week, the Noles demolished arch-rival and then #7 Miami on the prime time stage to the tune of 41-14. With Oregon’s loss to Stanford on Thursday, the Noles control their own destiny on the path to Pasadena and the BCS title game.
Wake Forest has always been well coached under Jim Grobe since he arrived in 2001. The 2006 season that we talked about earlier was by far the best season in Wake Forest history – The Deacs crushed FSU, won the ACC, played in the Orange Bowl and finished the year at 11-3. Grobe was named the AP coach of the year that season, but Wake hasn’t reached that level of success since. Newsflash: it’s not 2006. The 2013 version of Wake Forest limps in with a 4-5 record, although they did have Miami on the ropes until the Canes pulled out a last second victory a few weeks back. The last time the Noles entered the hostile confines of BB&T field, they left as big fat losers, 35-30. Saturday’s game is another nooner, so a Kegs n’ Eggs fiesta is in order yet again.
What Wake’s Working With:
Why FSU Will Win: This is pretty simple, really. FSU has one of the best (if not the best defense in all of college football), while Wake Forest has the absolute worst offense in the ACC. It’s hot garbage. Throw in the fact that Wake just lost their top playmaker, WR Michael Campanaro, and the day just got a little longer for the Deacon offense. On offense, the Noles of course bring Jameis Winston and his slew of weapons to the table. After Oregon’s Marcus Mariotta played like an 8th grader against Stanford on Thursday, look for Jameis to make a statement on Saturday. I almost feel bad a little bit about what he might do against the Wake secondary. Almost. Too much talent on the FSU sideline for this to be a contest for more than a half, if that.
What Worries Me: I guess maybe the only thing you could point to is the fact that Oregon slipped up and is now out of the national title race. How the Noles come out and respond on Saturday will say a lot about Jimbo Fisher’s squad. Does FSU get complacent now and think that a trip to Pasadena and the BCS title game is basically in the bag? I’m going to venture out and say no. This team seems to be wired differently than in years past, and the focus is more on the next opponent than the final one. The Noles aren’t in Pasadena yet, and I’m sure they are well aware of what needs to be done to get there.
Watch Out For: There isn’t really anyone on this team that FSU needs to fear. I guess out of respect and my high levels of sportsmanship, I’ll run with Wake senior QB Tanner Price. He’s been at Wake Forest almost forever and he has 12 TD passes this season. He even caught a TD pass. That’s cool, right? Can’t say I didn’t try…
What I’d Like To See: We talked earlier about FSU now controlling their championship destiny with the elimination of Oregon from the BCS equation. Regardless of this, I want to see the Noles continue to do what they’ve been doing all season long- dominate an inferior opponent, crush their will and play like the best team in the land. Saturday should be no exception.
Weather: 63* at kickoff (Winston-Salem, NC) – Mostly Sunny
Vegas: FSU -35.5 / Over-Under: 55
Prediction: The Noles are just too much for Wake Forest. Jameis Winston was fitted for contacts earlier this week, so now he will be playing at cyborg-esque levels as he makes his case for the Heisman. He would be the first non-human to win the award, which is a pretty big deal. Noles roll big.
FSU 48 Wake Forest 10
Tailgate Food Of The Week: (Kegs N Eggs Edition)
Last Week’s Prediction:
FSU 38 Miami 20
FSU 41 Miami 14