Florida State has been extremely impressive in two soft matchups, and now the Seminoles will start ACC play against Wake Forest.
Against Murray State and Savannah State, the Seminoles scored 124 points and allowed three. The offensive output is even more eye popping considering the game against Savannah State was called due to weather shortly after the third quarter began.
The Demon Deacons will carry momentum from their comeback victory over North Carolina into Tallahassee and provide the first real test for a Florida State team with national-championship aspirations.
Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming game.
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Fla.
When: Saturday, September 15, 12 p.m. ET
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Betting Line: Florida State -25.5, according to Sports Book
Wake Forest Injury Report (via USA Today)
Zach Thompson—junior defensive end is day to day with an eye injury.
Devin Bolling—junior offensive tackle is day to day with a knee injury.
Neil Basford—sophomore tight end is out for the season with an Achilles injury.
Florida State Injury Report (via USA Today)
Chad Abram—junior fullback is questionable with an ankle injury.
Nick O’Leary—sophomore tight end is questionable with a bruised thigh.
Bryan Stork—junior guard is questionable with a neck injury.
Moses McCrary—senior defensive tackle is questionable with a concussion.
Daniel Foose—sophomore offensive lineman is questionable with back issues.
Josh Gehres—junior wide receiver is questionable with a strained hamstring.
Brandon Jenkins—senior defensive end is out for the season with a foot injury.
Dan Hicks—junior tight end is out for the season after surgery to repair a microfracture in his right knee.
Derrick Mitchell—freshman defensive tackle is out for the season after back surgery.
Mario Pender—freshman running back is out for the season with a groin injury that will require surgery.
BCS/Top 25 Implications
Florida State moved into a tie with Oklahoma for No. 5 in the AP Top 25 this week, but the Seminoles are still untested.
Murray State and Savannah State are both FCS teams, and Wake Forest will be the first team capable of providing the Seminoles with a challenge. If this game is close, Florida State will likely slide down the rankings, even if it wins.
What They’re Saying
ESPN’s Heather Dinich put the Seminoles on “upset watch” and noted Wake Forest’s past success against FSU:
The Seminoles have home-field advantage, but the Deacs have the schedule advantage because they’ve been tested already against FBS competition and are confident from a league win over UNC. FSU looks good on paper with a padded stat sheet after two routs of FCS opponents, but it has struggled with Wake Forest in the past. Wake Forest won, 35-30, last year, and has won four of the past six games in the series.
Coley Harvey of the Orlando Sentinel notes that the Seminoles who were with the program last season will be supremely motivated against the Demon Deacons:
Last fall, losses in consecutive weeks to Oklahoma, Clemson and Wake Forest spoiled the Seminoles' ACC title hopes and completely dashed their national title dreams. This fall, with some believing those aspirations will be obtained this season, FSU features a September gauntlet that includes the likes of the Demon Deacons and Tigers once again. In order to live up to lofty expectations, the Seminoles must avenge their previous losses to those teams.
Wake Forest Player to Watch: Tanner Price, Quarterback
Tanner Price was clutch against North Carolina. With the pressure on him, he passed for a career-high 327 yards, and while he did not pass for a touchdown, he scored twice with his legs.
His second rushing touchdown came with just over two minutes remaining in the game, capped off a 93-yard drive and put the Demon Deacons up by one point.
Similar heroics will be required for his team to pull off an upset against FSU.
Florida State Player to Watch: Bjoern Werner, Defensive End
Werner came into the 2012 season slimmed down and more agile, and he showed how disruptive he could be in the Murray State game, racking up four sacks.
With another sack against Savannah State, he is now the nation’s leader in that category. Werner will be a nightmare for the Wake Forest offensive line on Saturday.
Key Matchup: Florida State Defensive Ends vs. Wake Forest Offensive Line
As noted by NewsObserver.com, Wake Forest has four new starters on the offensive line this season. This could prove to be a fatal weakness for the team as the line attempts to protect Price against Werner and Tank Carradine, who appears ready to have a fine season after filling in for injured starter Brandon Jenkins.
These DEs are capable of completely overwhelming Wake Forest’s line. If this happens, it will be a long and frustrating day for the Demon Deacons offense.
Key Storyline: Florida State vs. an FBS School
Florida State was supposed to play West Virginia, but the Mountaineers backed out of the game just before switching from the Big East to the Big 12. This put the FSU administration in a pinch to find a team to fill the schedule, and Murray State was the best it could do.
This put the team in the position of starting the year against two FBS teams and having to wait until Week 3 for its first true test.
This game will start to show if Florida State is a legitimate national-championship contender.
Who will win?
Prediction: Florida State 45, Wake Forest 13
The Seminoles defensive line will wreak havoc in this game as the offense continues to roll, leading to a convincing victory for Florida State.