By AMANDA NEPPL / Staff Writer
Saturday’s game proved to be a much-needed self-confidence booster for our Seminoles. With a 17-6 win over the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest, the homecoming game was without-a-doubt a success.
The first half held multiple surprises, including what could have been an additional touchdown for the Seminoles, a fumble by running back Dalvin Cook during the second quarter, and a field goal from Wake Forest’s Mike Weaver that tied the game 3-3. Florida State got the ball back on a turnover, after place kicker Dom Maggio of the Deacons dropped the ball during the 4th down and 5. Deondre Francois completed the 2-yard run and broke the tie, scoring one of the ‘Noles two touchdowns.
As for those last few seconds of the first half: no words, but a lot of yards. Travis Rudolph displayed a career-high of 238 receiving yards and, according to an ESPN article by David Visser, “He (Rudolph) had six receptions for 141 yards in the first half, including a 58-yard catch on a Hail Mary where he was stopped at the Wake 1 on the last play of the first half”, causing the stadium both uproar and awe. Just before the play, Bobo Wilson left the field with a foot which possibly motivated the ‘Noles to make that next play legendary.
In total, Dalvin Cook made two fumbles in the game, one slightly more shocking than the next. Wake Forest took control after FSU lost the ball, and the Deacon’s Weaver kicked another field goal, increasing their score by three. Florida State followed with a magnificent catch by Auden Tate after catching a slanted throw by Deondre Francois, allowing the ‘Noles to advance to an 11-point lead.
The remainder of the game included a sack on Deondre Francois by Deacon linebacker Marquel Lee, followed by a 39-yard advance from Wake Forest defensive lineman Josh Banks, who picked up Francois’ unavoidable fumble. Dalvin Cook went for the tackle, keeping it at the Seminole 20 yard line. An unsuccessful 40-yard field goal was made by Weaver, thus leaving the possible three points for the Deacons off the scoreboard.
Although the game was rough, the ‘Noles made something of it – another win. The ACC recognized both Rudolph and Francois as players of the week based on their game performance. In the ACC comments on Rudolph (Receiver of the Week) that “His receiving yardage ranks as the fifth most by any player in the nation in a game this season” and “his 238 yards are the fourth most in one game by a Seminole”. Francois (Rookie of the Week) “threw for 319 yards on 22-of-37 passing with one touchdown and added a rushing touchdown in the Seminoles’ 17-6 victory”.
Florida State proved that the season is not over with their victory over Wake Forest, not to mention the triumphant win over the Miami Hurricane the previous weekend. “The defense continues to get healthy, especially the line”, writes ESPN on the Takeaway. We shall certainly see about that, especially against Clemson, who is undefeated, on the 29th.