The Florida State Seminoles sat for two weeks after losing a heartbreaker to Miami (Fla.), a game they led by three scores in the second half. That wait, though, focused their anger and their target was the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Doak Campbell Saturday.
This 38-17 win is the seventh straight against Wake Forest and gives the Seminoles their third win in the last four games this season. It was the best offensive performance of the season with the most passing yards of the season and second-most rushing yards. Not only did the offense have a good game, but defense and special teams excelled, too.
That being said, it wasn’t a perfect game by the ‘Noles. Wake Forest jumped out to a 10-0 lead thanks to punts on the first three FSU drives. Thanks to one of the better blocking games by the offensive line, the offense got it together and scored a touchdown just before the end of the first quarter.
With 353 passing yards, it is the most yards Florida State has had through the air this season. 132 rushing yards is the second-best rushing performance for the team, just two yards less than they had against Samford. It is also only the second time this season the offense hasn’t allowed a sack, the only other time against Louisville.
This was a huge with they desperately needed if they want to become bowl-eligible for the 37th consecutive season. It was a great all-around team effort, but there were quite a few notable performances from all three sides of the ball.
6. Logan Tyler
The performance of a punter is quietly important. You might not realize it until the punting is awful. But Logan Tyler had a good performance in a game when he was asked to punt seven times. He racked up 308 yards on punts, a 44 yard average on the day. He had a long of 52 yards midway through the second quarter. His average would have been much higher if not for a 36 yarder with about two minutes remaining in the game.
Tyler is currently sixth in the country with 2,079 yards punting this season, but that doesn’t say much about the offense since he is also tied for sixth in number of punts.
5. Brian Burns
Once again, Brian Burns is a force and makes a home in the opposing team’s backfield. Burns has had at least 1.5 sacks in every game against a power 5 team this season. This is the third time he has had two sacks in a game, the first two times against Syracuse and Miami. He is now second in the country in sacks with nine. He only trails Jaylon Ferguson of Louisiana Tech.
4. Nyqwan Murray
This was Nyqwan Murray’s best game as far as catches and receiving yards. His only other game this season that compares is against Louisville when he had six catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns. But his eight catches for 131 yards and a score was the main target on a season-best passing day.
Murray has been by far the best receiver for the ‘Noles this season. He leads in catches and yards with 35 catches for 487 yards. He is second on the team with three receiving touchdowns, only Tamorrion Terry has more with five. Murray’s biggest catch of the season was also his longest of the season, a 58-yard catch and run to take the lead with less than two minutes against Louisville.
3. Cam Akers
The former freshman-phenom has struggled early on in his sophomore campaign, but this was the type of game he needed. He not only had a big run, but he also was able to average almost four yards on his other 11 carries. with 96 yards and two touchdowns, this is definitely his best game of the season with the highest rushing total and most touchdowns so far. His second best game was against Virginia Tech when he had 82 yards, but that all came on one carry.
Akers is vital to the Florida State offense. They him to put some fear in the defense when it comes to breaking big runs and also using the play-action. He now has 460 yards and three touchdowns on just 101 carries.
2. Deondre Francois
The team wouldn’t have had as much success as they did if not for the success of Deondre Francois. The junior quarterback had his second-best performance of the season on 28-of-38 passing with 341 yards and also threw for two touchdowns with no interceptions. Francois also did a great job of not getting sacked. He has had trouble with protection throughout his entire career, so staying upright is always huge.
Francois now has 1,859 passing yards and 13 touchdowns compared to just six interceptions. He has been sacked 18 times throughout the season, this being the second time this season without taking a sack.
1. Stanford Samuels III
Stamford Samuel III was in the right place at the right time for an interception to give the ‘Noles great starting field position. After Keith Gavin fumbled the ball into the end-zone while trailing 10-7, Samuel came up huge. Florida State would then score on a Jacques Patrick 2-yard-run.
Samuel wasn’t in the right spot just by luck. He was near the ball all game. He led the team in tackles with six solo tackles and eight total. Entering the game, he was fifth on the team in tackles. He is now tied for the lead on the team with two interceptions on the season.