Defending the Doak: Florida State Seminoles Defense Primed For Wake Forest

Jeff KessockFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2010

The FSU Defense hopes to continue putting pressure on young Quarterbacks like Jake Heaps this season.
The FSU Defense hopes to continue putting pressure on young Quarterbacks like Jake Heaps this season.

Florida State is far from being a top-tier defensive unit this season, and the remarks of some players (who will remain nameless) suggesting that the Noles' D will be as good as the likes of Alabama or "better"—well that's pretty much absurd.

But FSU showed in a bounce-back performance against a very talented and mature Brigham Young team that they have found ways to keep points off the board against capable opposition.

Sure, any critic can argue that Florida State has only done this through one contest, and that measuring stick may be a bit short, but one thing that is glaringly obvious to fans and pundits alike is that this FSU team seems to have more of a trial-and-error mentality. "We got it all wrong? Okay, we'll go back out there, make some adjustments, and show we can get it right." 

After limiting the Cougars to a mere 10 points offensively, and only 191 total yards; the 'Noles did not allow a single 2nd Half score, and only allowed a mere three first downs. 

This weekend, Florida State will face a much different and uncertain opponent in Wake Forest. Al Groh's squad returns for the 2010 sans Riley Skinner in what seemed to be a rebuilding year. After starting 2-0 with wins over Presbyterian and Duke, the Demon Deacons paid a visit to Heisman hopeful Andrew Luck's Stanford Cardinal and lost badly in a 68-24 shellacking.

What is noteworthy about this year's Wake Forest squad is its ability to put points on the board. Through their first three contests, they are averaging over 40 points per contest—good enough for 12th best in the country.

But with FSU showing vibrancy in its outing against the Cougars, paired with Wake's offensive output being primarily against very weak defenses, Florida State should show the ACC this weekend that it can limit the big play much better than it did a season ago. 

With Xavier Rhodes and Greg Reid turning in impressive performances for the cornerbacks unit last week, look for the same type of performance this week. If Nigel Bradham and company can support the pass defense in the early going, the front four should have plenty of opportunities to stop Wake on the ground. Jacobbi McDaniel has shown bursts of talent on the inside, leading to several broken plays by BYU just a week ago. 

With any luck, the 'Noles zone coverage will turn in its second complete performance of the season against a formidable FBS foe. If they do not, this could be a very long and winding road for the Seminoles.

Florida State comes away with the big "W."

Florida State 45, Wake Forest 17