Florida State football vs. Wake Forest: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Seminoles battle Demon Deacons

Deondre Francois #12 of the Florida State Seminoles throws a pass in the first quarter of the game against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Doak Campbell Stadium on September 3, 2018 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Deondre Francois #12 of the Florida State Seminoles throws a pass in the first quarter of the game against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Doak Campbell Stadium on September 3, 2018 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – It's back to football for Wake Forest and Florida State as they meet in Tallahassee on Saturday after a long two weeks stewing over disheartening losses. The Demon Deacons could do nothing right their last time out, closing out a five-game homestand with a humiliating 63-3 loss to undefeated Clemson, while the Seminoles seemed to be in the driver's seat at rival Miami only to watch two third-quarter turnovers open the door for the Hurricanes to storm back from a 20-point second-half deficit to win 28-27.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2. LINE: Florida State -10.5.


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"Our guys put it behind them and came to practice with the right attitude, and the attitude was to get better," first-year Seminoles coach Willie Taggart told reporters. "And I think that all started in meetings, not just in practice. But our guys being able to bounce back and come with the right mentality to try to get better. ... It's a learning lesson for our football team and a hard way to learn, but we gotta take those things and make sure we practice and prepare and make sure that those things don't happen again."

Adding to the Seminoles' angst during the bye week was the arrival of Hurricane Michael, a Category 4 storm that hit less than 100 miles away and caused major destruction to the area, leading some to question whether this homecoming game should be played. For Wake Forest, the week off was spent not only getting healthy, especially defensively, but also trying to figure out what went so wrong against Clemson, resulting in the most points Wake Forest ever gave up at BB&T Field. "Right now, we're hanging on by a string," said Demon Deacons coach Dave Clawson. "You find out a lot about your football team and coaching staff in games like this. ... There's no other choice. We've got to get better. We've got six ACC games left."


The team's big-play star, receiver Greg Dortch (101 career catches in 14 games), had 10 receptions last year against Florida State -- tied for his most against an ACC opponent -- but he may be slowed by an ankle injury suffered in the Clemson game. Dortch's expected return should help quarterback Sam Hartman, who got off to an impressive start this season, becoming the first Demon Deacons freshman with two games of 300 or more total yards, but he hit on only 7 of 20 passes for 74 yards against Clemson and former starting quarterback Kendall Hinton is now waiting in the wings after missing the first three games due to suspension. The offense will have to come through in a big way unless the defense can dramatically turn things around after giving up an ACC-high 31 offensive touchdowns and a league-worst 36.8 points per game, including at least 40 points in each loss.


The Seminoles had high expectations for running backs Cam Akers and Jacques Patrick coming into this season but the ground attack (ACC-worst 2.7 yards per carry) has struggled behind an unsettled offensive front, producing just two 100-yard outings, neither of which came against Power 5 opponents. Quarterback Deondre Francois has had his ups and downs running Taggart's offense, ranking second in the conference in passing yards (1,506), but more plays may be designed to use his feet after he had some success against Miami on a season-high 11 rushes. Florida State boasts the top rushing defense in the ACC (101.2 yards per game) after recording 13 tackles for loss at Miami but the unit will be challenged by a Wake Forest ground game averaging 232.8 yards, fourth best in the conference.


1. Florida State leads the series 29-6-1, including six wins in a row, but last year's 26-19 Seminoles' victory marked the most points scored by Wake Forest during that streak.

2. The Seminoles have held their opponent to 30 points or less in 10 straight games, the fourth-longest active streak in the nation.

3. Wake Forest has committed just 20 penalties this season, the fewest in the ACC and the third fewest in all of the FBS.

PREDICTION: Florida State 33, Wake Forest 16

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