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Rapid Reaction: FSU 59 Wake Forest 3

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If you were looking for one individual to give a gameball to this week, Florida State's head coach, Jimbo Fisher, wouldn't be a bad choice.This may have been one of the most difficult weeks of Fisher's coaching career.

That sounds absurd, but think about it. In the last four weeks FSU has played two rivals -- both unbeaten and ranked in the top ten -- and a school that embarrassed them a year ago. They've been up and down in the BCS rankings -- second, third, second -- and have watched their young quarterback get bombarded with Heisman trophy hype. Then on Thursday they watched Oregon lose to Stanford and all but pave their road to the BCS title game. It was a lot of clutter, a lot of emotion to process.

Historically, this is the game FSU sleepwalks through and loses. This is an opponent that has upset Florida State before.

This was a trap game.

But you would have never known it judging by how Florida State came out and destroyed Wake Forest. 16 minutes into this game it was already 35-0. By the half -- when it was 42-0 -- FSU had removed all doubt. And once again it was FSU's youth that finished out the game on both sides of the ball as the starters made an early exit.

It seems the only defense capable of stopping Jameis Winston is Florida State's. Jameis Winston didn't even attempt a pass from the 7:15 minute mark of the first quarter until 10:31 into the second. That's over 12 minutes of gametime between passes.

FSU's redshirt freshman quarterback still finished 17/28 for 159 yards, two touchdowns and a pick, but it was clear he was out of rhythm after standing on the sideline for so long.

The real story was the Seminole defense though.

FSU forced seven turnovers -- including six interceptions. For some perspective, the Seminoles had 11 picks all of last season (they had a top ten defense last year too, by the way).

Nate Andrews had two picks (including a 56-yard touchdown return on one) in his first career start. Jalen Ramsey scored on a fumble. Christian Jones caused two picks, one of which he hauled in himself -- Mario Edwards caught the other. Terrance Smith and Marquez White also intercepted passes. 

Tanner Price, Wake's starting QB, lasted just four passes. His backup didn't have any more success -- both threw three interceptions. On the day the Demon Deacon offense finished with just 166 yards -- including just 81 in the first half.

Overall it was a suffocating performance from the Florida State defense, the offense played its part and FSU rolled 59-3. They are now 9-0 and have clinched the Atlantic division of the ACC.

Statistical Leaders:

Passing: Jameis Winston (17/28, 159, 2 TD, INT)
Rushing: James Wilder Jr. (6-49, TD)
Receiving: Rashad Greene (5-47)

 

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