After being away for 9 days with a trip to Palm Desert for some golf and to Pasadena to visit daughter and family I’m in Tallahassee today. I’m approaching the game a little differently today as I am a last minute replacement to do the on-air game updates for the CBS radio national coverage. Since I had not done any radio in several years, I found that to do a proper report I had to look at the game a little differently.
The 4-2 Seminoles are coming in off of the 20-19 victory at Miami. Wake comes to Tallahassee at 5-1 and 2-1 in the ACC. The Deacons came into Doak Campbell and played a very solid game on defense. Finally, after last week’s defensive showing against Miami. the Seminoles showed they have made significant progress on that side of the ball. The offense kept had their issues, at times, as they failed to complete drives. It took until the 3rd quarter for freshman QB Deondre Francois to get his rhythm and hit 11 straight completions. Francois finished the game 22-37 for 319 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception. He was sacked 3 times. To help his numbers he did hit on a 58 yard hail-mary at the end of the 1st half that fell 1 yard short of a TD. The recipient of that pass was junior wide receiver Travis Rudolph who had a career day with 13 catches for 238 yards. To put that in perspective Wake QB John Wolford was 16-34 and 184 yards, 2 interceptions and was sacked 5 times. His numbers were helped by 2 amazing catches by Wake wide-out Cortez Lewis. Both were diving catches of 32 and 31 yards.
Wolford’s 2nd interception was by FSU sophomore CB Tavarus McFadden which was his 5th of the year and put him as the leader in the nation. One other streak was continued as freshman kicker Ricky Aguayo hit 2 extra points to extend the NCAA record to 276 straight. Junior RB Dalvin Cook saw his streak of 200 yard APY streak end he managed a net of 123 yards on 25 carries with a long of only 18 yards. He was also held in check on the receiving end with just 1 catch for 11 yards. Wake had a very good defensive scheme and played a very solid game. All told FSU ran 75 plays for 442 yards while Wake ran 66 for 252 net yards. Another side note: Wake Forest has not scored a touchdown in Tallahassee since the 2006 season when they won the ACC and went to the Orange Bowl.
Just in from the ACC
The Atlantic Coast Conference announced the kickoff time and television for the game between No. 4 Clemson and No. 13 Florida State.
The game will kick at 8 p.m. to a national television audience on ABC.
The Seminoles (5-2, 2-2 ACC) host the Tigers (7-0, 4-0 ACC) after both teams come off a bye week.
FSU lost 23-13 at Clemson in 2015.
Of note, Clemson has not won in Tallahassee since 2006 (27-20).
Jimbo Fisher Post-Game Quotes:
COACH FISHER: First of all, I’d like to say, Wake Forest — like I said coming in, they’re a very good football team. Outstanding deep football team. Offensively, they usually don’t turn it over. We were able to create some turnovers today. Special teams, they did a great job. They’re a veteran team. On defense especially, we knew going in it was going to be very tough. But we didn’t play as well as we need.
Our defense was outstanding. My hat’s off to our defense. They were outstanding. Played the run tremendously well. Pressured the quarterback, contested throws, created turnovers, created opportunities. When they put their back against the wall, they played their tails off. Can’t ask enough. They’re getting healthy. They’re getting better. They’re playing better. Playing with more confidence. Those young guys keep playing, keep adding more guys. Very, very happy with their progress and what they’re doing now.
Offensively, we got yards, didn’t finish drives. Had drives to finish, had a couple guys open the first time, had protection issues, not always offensive line, sometimes a back or a tight end or different things. Had throws we could have made and didn’t finish drives.
I knew that was going to be a key going in because Wake stretches the game out. They get a couple first downs, let you run it, you never hit big plays because of the way they play defense. They play the big umbrella and a lot of things underneath. It milks the clock. If you don’t score touchdowns in the red zone, it gets to be a very tight game. If you score some touchdowns, you win. Hopefully, we can score two or three more touchdowns right down there, we’d have been in great shape, the kind of game would have played out like I thought it was going to.
We’ve got to do a better job. Too much pressure on Deondre up front. He played pretty decent. Had one mistake right there, then had a fumble at the end, which he could have held on. Had a couple of guys come open, which happens. Missed some blocks and didn’t do the things we need to do. At the end of the day, won a football game in a tight situation.
I’m very proud of our guys for that. A lot of young guys that fought through things and kept grinding. Two first downs at the end, two or three first downs at the end were very critical — two or three, I couldn’t remember. We ate a lot of clock up there. Defense played smart, and we managed to get out of the football game.
So good win. Got to heal up now. We’re banged and bruised and have been for a while after last week’s game and this week’s game. Have a week to heal up, clean some things up, and coming down the stretch, we’ve got great football teams coming — Clemson, NC State, Boston College, Syracuse, and Florida. It’s going to be a heck of a run.
This league has turned into, like you say, this is a heck of a football league. There’s a lot of good teams, a lot of good players. You have to play your “A” game every week and get healthy get ready to go.
Q. You mentioned you have to heal up. What about Bobo Wilson? COACH FISHER: I don’t know. Have to wait and see.
Q. Miami lost today. How much did that game take out of those two teams? COACH FISHER: It does. Those games do. That wasn’t it today. That was Wake Forest playing good on our part. I don’t know about Miami-North Carolina. I can’t speak for them. Those games do take it out of you. That’s not an excuse. You’ve got to play them every week. It had nothing to do with our performance today. We had opportunities to make it, and we didn’t make them. Wake made what happened today to us. In their case, I don’t know.
Q. With that in mind, how good is it to get out of here with a win going into the bye week? COACH FISHER: It’s huge. I mean, it’s huge. Every game in college football now, you see them. Everything’s coming to the wire. There’s good football players everywhere. There’s good teams, good coaches. Guys are playing well. And the ability — don’t ever underestimate the ability to win football games. Don’t ever underestimate the ability to win football games.