Week 11 - Florida State at Wake Forest

Posted Nov 6, 2013

Week 11 Fearless Prediction & Preview - Florida State at Wake Forest

Florida State (8-0) at Wake Forest (4-5) Nov. 9, 12:00, ESPN

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Now comes the really hard part. Maintaining the right focus until end of the regular season.

Florida State cleared another hurdle to a national championship last week, escaping Miami with a 20-0 second half. The ‘Noles have beaten Clemson and the ‘Canes, and have essentially padlocked the ACC Atlantic. They also swapped spots with Oregon to move into No. 2 in the BCS standings. FSU's objectives the rest of the month will be to stay sharp, avoid complacency and seek out style points, because the Ducks have a higher ceiling with the voters and the computers. Wake Forest's season has turned in a hurry. The Deacons have slipped below .500 following losses to the Hurricanes and to Syracuse. Not only were they shut out in the Carrier Dome, but irreplaceable WR Michael Campanaro suffered a season-ending break to his collarbone.

Why Florida State Might Win: If there are weakness on this roster, the first two months of the season have yet to reveal them. The ‘Noles are markedly better in all phases than the Deacons. Wake Forest will have an especially difficult time moving the ball now that the offense has to be reinvented without Campanaro around. It's averaging 2.9 yards per carry, a number that won't improve against an FSU that ranks No. 7 in the country. QB Tanner Price won't be able to manufacture much against the speed and physicality of the ‘Noles.

Why Wake Forest Might Win: The Deacon D has kept the program in a lot of games this fall. It'll need to do so again this Saturday. Yeah, Wake Forest got roughed up by Clemson on Sept. 28, but it's only yielded an average of 16 points in the other eight games. Linemen Nikita Whitlock and Zach Thompson and Merrill Noel and Kevin Johnson lead a feisty, fundamentally-sound unit that's capable of catching the Seminoles napping. At a minimum, there's no doubt that the Wake won't see the best that Florida State has to offer this weekend.

Who To Watch Out For: Moving Karlos Williams from the secondary to the backfield in September was a stroke of coaching genius by the Seminoles. The junior has responded with an average of eight yards a carry, and will keep getting more snaps as the season unfolds.

- Price will need new weapons on the outside to develop, such as Matt James, Jonathan Williams and Sherman Ragland. It'll be tough no matter what to move the ball through the air on a Lamarcus Joyner-led pass defense that's third nationally in yards per attempt allowed.

- FSU rookie QB Jameis Winston will be looking to bounce back from his most average performance of the year, in which he was picked twice in a game for the first time. Those Wake Forest corners can be sticky, but Winston has a slew of quality targets, including TE Nick O'Leary on the underneath stuff.

What Will Happen: Florida State can't possibly match last week's intensity against Miami, but it won't matter to the outcome. The ‘Noles will outclass the Deacons on both sides of the ball, overcoming the possibility of a slow and lackluster start to the game. Not having Campanaro completely alters the Wake Forest offense, while derailing any hopes for a longshot upset bid.

Prediction: Florida State 47 … Wake Forest 13
Line: Florida State -35 o/u: 54
Must See Rating: (5 The Wolf of Wall Street – 1 Ass Backwards) … 3
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