FSU vs. Wake Forest: 10 Things We Learned in Seminoles' Win
Florida State continued its dominating streak this season, beating Wake Forest 59-3 in Winston-Salem. The scary part is that this game could have been much, much worse for the Demon Deacons, as the Seminoles dominated from kickoff to the final whistle.
For their national championship hopes to continue, the Seminoles need to continue embarrassing teams like they did Wake Forest. Multiple things were learned Saturday about the 'Noles. Here are 10 things we learned about the makeup of this potential national champion.
Jameis Winston Will Take a Hit to His Heisman Campaign Despite Playing Well
Outside of a poor read on an interception when the Seminoles were up by 42 points in the third quarter, Jameis Winston had a good, efficient game where he showed leadership and efficiency within the offense. However, the Heisman isn't about leadership and efficiency; it's about stat-padding.
And a game where he went 17-of-28 for 159 yards, two touchdowns and threw an interception isn't going to pad his stats. His season numbers til now of 166-of-240 (69.2 percent) for 2,661 yards, 26 touchdowns and seven interceptions will still keep him in contention.
But the fact that he didn't dominate the box score against Wake Forest could truly hurt him when they compare him to Johnny Manziel and other Heisman candidates like Bryce Petty. Don't let this fool you, though. Winston is definitely as good as advertised and the best quarterback in all of college football.
FSU May Have the Deepest Running Back Corps in the Country
Between Devonta Freeman, James Wilder and Karlos Williams, the Seminoles have three running backs who could start for almost any team in the country. All of them have good size and speed. But they make their bones with excellent vision and understanding of running lanes.
Wilder is the battering ram of the three-headed monster, while Freeman is closer to an all-around back along the lines of a Ray Rice or Maurice Jones-Drew. Williams is unique in that he was once a defensive back. The trio combined for 109 yards on 24 carries versus the Demon Deacons to give FSU a clock-grinding rushing attack.
An NFL Offensive Coordinator Will Love Chad Abram
The unsung hero for the Florida State rushing attack comes in the form of a 6'0", 229-pound battering ram named Chad Abram. But while he's one of the best blocking fullbacks in all of college football, he showed that he can provide value in the passing game running underneath outlet routes.
An NFL offensive coordinator is going to love having him on his team in 2014 because of how good he is in all the different facets of the offense. He can get short yardage needed on crucial downs, and his blocking alone makes him worthy of at least a draft pick.
FSU's Offensive Line Has Trouble with Quick, Undersized Defensive Lines
While FSU was expected to just road grade all game, it did show some issues going against one of the smaller, quicker defensive lines in the ACC. Losing Bryan Stork for the game wasn't helpful in any way, but it has to prove that it is deep enough for that to not affect them.
Wake's Nikita Whitlock did have a good game early against the first string FSU offensive line and continually beat Austin Barron and Tre' Jackson inside despite registering just one sack on the day against the first team. Luckily, FSU will play bigger defensive lines for the rest of the season.
Despite a Lack of Sacks, FSU Harasses Quarterbacks All Day and Created Turnovers
Wake quarterbacks were smashed around all day. Florida State had just one sack all game. However, it forced six interceptions because of the poor decision-making made by the Wake Forest quarterbacks under pressure.
Two of the interceptions could have been ruled fumbles because the ball was released as they were getting crushed by either Mario Edwards or Christian Jones. With the Florida State defense creating pressure and causing turnovers, the Seminoles are almost unbeatable.
Nate Andrews Is Going to Be a Thorpe Award Candidate Before He's Done
Nate Andrews is a 5'11", 208-pound safety. And he's proved that he's one of the best freshmen in the country with his ability in both coverage and as a run defender against Wake Forest. His two interceptions and one forced fumble against Wake were just scratching the surface of what he could do.
He doubled his interception total on the season in Saturday's game, but don't be fooled, he will have the best career of any current Florida State defensive back. He has instincts that will never be taught and should end up competing for the Jim Thorpe Award for best defensive back in the country when all is said and done.
Roberto Aguayo Missed His First Kick of the Season
Roberto Aguayo hadn't missed a kick all season until the Wake Forest game. But the kick that he missed wasn't egregious by any means. The Seminoles were already up 35-0, and it was from 43 yards out and on the right hash mark.
That's a tough kick for even professional kickers. However, he was perfect on every other kick on the day and has looked like the Lou Groza Award semifinalist that he is. He was also amazing on kickoffs booting all of his kickoffs deep and angled well.
Levonte Whitfield Is Probably the Fastest Player in College Football
While Karlos Williams had the one poor return of the game for just four yards, Levonte Whitfield Jr. proved that he may be the fastest player in college football on his 97-yard return for a touchdown in the middle of the fourth quarter.
The freshman—who goes by the nickname Kermit—was able to score a touchdown on two plays, but unfortunately, the swing pass from Sean Maguire that he caught was called back for a holding penalty. The freshman has a bright future. Especially if he can learn to be more than just a specialist.
Kickoff Coverage Was Just as Good
While Roberto Aguayo was giving them all day to run under his kickoffs, the Seminoles turned in amazing kickoff coverage. On the 10 kickoffs that Aguayo booted, only three of them were returned while seven were downed for touchbacks.
On the three that were returned, the average starting position for the Demon Deacons started at their 17, their nine and their 36. And when they started at their 26, it was only because Aguayo kicked a squib down the middle of the field. When you dominate field position, it's easier to dominate the game.
Another Fast Start Leads to More Coasting by the End of the Game
Start fast. Look amazing. Get up by six touchdowns at halftime.
Sleep til the end of the game.
That's the Florida State way this season. It also doesn't hurt that it has demolished any team it's played. It does give questions to Florida State's depth, but when a team doesn't have a philosophy of kill every single team the way a team like Baylor does, it is somewhat refreshing.
Jimbo Fisher is a class act, and his team has played like it this season. It would just be more fun to see a team actually show it could compete with the Seminoles.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.
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