So here we are, Florida State Fans. It's been 28 days since the #23 Seminoles saw a victory and the Unconquered stand 2-2. At this point we hoped the Noles would be cruising until the Miami game, but now every week has that much more desperation to get the W.
The Noles are still on the road this week and luckily, it's Wake Forest. But it's not last year's Wake Forest.
In 2010, the Noles shut out the Deacons 31-0 and sent then freshman quarterback Tanner Price packing with a concussion. This year, Wake Forest has been wildly better than any of us expected. They are 3-1, 2-0 in the ACC - taking down Boston College and N.C. State. (The loss was to future ACC member Syracuse.)
On offense, Price is a southpaw with enough power to throw the length of the field. He can be erratic, and if he loses his cool the team suffers, but his arm is a significant threat. For both teams the running game is relatively non-existent thus far. Wake Forest is 16th in passing yards, 99th in the rushing yards. FSU is 13th in the air, but 115th on the ground. As the top two passing teams in the ACC, expect much of the same today.
Whether it will be a complete shootout is yet to be seen. Seminole quarterback E.J. Manuel, who injured his non-throwing shoulder three weeks ago with a third-degree sprain said that he expects to play, but coach Jimbo Fisher has declined to say if Manuel or redshirt freshman Clint Trickett will start. If it's Trickett, we'll have our gun show. Manuel could post a significant running threat, but the Noles likely want to keep his shoulder protected.
In regards to defense, Tomahawk Nation:
To say that FSU represents a step up in the quality of defense Wake will face tomorrow is an understatement. Few, if any players from Syracuse, Boston College, or N.C. State who played against Wake could earn significant snaps on this FSU defense. Make no mistake, Wake's offense has grown up and it's nothing like it was last year. But it's also untested as of yet.
Florida State is certainly favored, and they're looking for redemption. You can expect an angry, talented team ready to shut down a young opponent. While it shouldn't be the 31-0 shutout from last year, it won't be a challenge, but it will be fun.
Staff Prediction: Florida State wins, 41-28