Florida State Football: Winners and Losers from the Week 3 Game vs. Wake Forest
Florida State and Alabama have something in common—both won 52-0 yesterday.
Yes, it's about time the Seminoles can fairly call themselves equals with the Crimson Tide.
The Seminoles completely destroyed Wake Forest in this shutout, beating my own prediction of a 49-14 victory. Just as in any game, there were winners and losers.
All the winners happened to be Garnet and Gold.
Winner: Chris Thompson
Chris Thompson is this week's most obvious winner, rushing for 197 yards and two touchdowns in the atomizing of Wake Forest. Each touchdown came from a great separation and elusiveness on Thompson's part. Pretty awesome showing against the team that broke his back last year.
Chris retired by halftime, but was a couple yards away from becoming the first Seminole back to go for 200 yards in a game since Sammie Smith in 1988.
He also had two receptions for 23 yards.
Loser: Wake Forest Defense
What makes the difference between a stellar defense and one that is as porous as Swiss cheese is 612 yards.
Wake Forest's was the latter.
The Demon Deacons allowed 227 yards through the air and 385 on the ground, permitting Florida State to gain 27 first downs.
Winner: EJ Manuel
EJ Manuel continued to look like a poised and polished passer and runner.
Early in the game, Wake Forest's punts landed multiple times near the Florida State end zone. Despite this obstruction, Manuel ran and threw from this danger area to not only prevent safeties, but gain first downs.
Manuel's most impressive pass was a laser to Rashad Greene for 30 yards. EJ's timing was perfect, as a second later a Demon Deacon would have intercepted the pass for a touchdown.
His mind-boggling run would have to be when he received a high snap in the Seminole end zone and then rushed for 22 yards in the second quarter. This came right after Manuel fumbled the ball, proving Manuel won't make the same mistakes as before in games. It was the only dent in an otherwise invincible performance.
Stats: 15-of-24, 176 yards, 2 TDs
Loser: Wake Forest Running Back Josh Harris
Jim Grobe mixed Tanner Price's arm with Josh Harris' rushing game. Though Harris temporarily gave the Seminole D headaches, Harris provided the icing on Wake Forest's shutout.
Harris first broke free for a 34-yard gain when Anthony McCloud overplayed his coverage. From then on, though, No. 25 of the Demon Deacons was held in check. He only gained 17 yards on 14 more carries.
Winner: Tank Carradine
Tank Carradine out-sacked (is that a word?) Bjoern Werner against Wake, going for 2.5 sacks. He had three tackles, two of them solo tackles. He's making Brandon Jenkins proud.
Loser: Offensive Line
For a team that was blanked 52-0, Wake Forest still played very aggressively. Jim Grobe had his boys play a five-man front that challenged EJ Manuel throughout the first half.
Daniel Glauser's taking over for Menelik Watson at right tackle was another reason for the only adequate line play.
Wake also stiffened in their own end zone. Runs by James Wilder, Jr., Lonnie Pryor and Wilder again couldn't break the plane for six.
Though Florida State outplayed Wake Forest, FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher knows the line can still improve. He supports their progress, but the line must shore up for Clemson's visit next week.
The 'Noles can't risk a repeat of last season.