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Key Matchups of the Week: FSU at Wake Forest

The Wake Forest offense has a chance to give FSU plenty of trouble.

Florida State will visit the Wake Forest Demon Deacons this weekend after a brutal loss to Jacksonville State. It was a disappointing game from start to finish and some believe it was the worst defeat in school history. Head coach Mike Norvell and company will have a chance to get things back on track, as fans are beginning to become restless with the trajectory of this team. 

The Seminoles and Demon Deacons will kick off at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. Here are my three keys to victory for the 0-2 Noles'.

FSU DB's vs Wake Forest WR's

The Florida State secondary has given up several big plays in two games this season. Wake Forest's offense isn't known for making "big plays". It's a well-balanced unit and can hit a big play occasionally if it's there. Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman doesn't make many mistakes and hasn't thrown an interception in two games this season. He spreads the ball around, and some would call their passing game a dink and dunk style of offense. 

FSU's defensive backs will need to key in on the short to intermediate routes this game. The Demon Deacons have a trio of receivers they utilize, and they all play very well together. It's crucial to keep the big plays to a minimum while also challenging the Wake Forest wide receivers, forcing them to make tough, contested catches.

FSU running game vs Wake Forest run defense

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Wake Forest gave up 145 rushing yards in its opening week vs Old Dominion University and 141 yards on the ground last weekend vs Norfolk State University. One of the biggest positives for Florida State this season has been the rushing attack. The Noles' ran for nearly 500 yards through two games this season. 

If FSU is going to pull this out on the road, it'll need a big performance from Jashaun Corbin and Treshaun Ward.

PENALTIES, PENALTIES, AND MORE PENALTIES!!!!

Florida State recorded 19 total penalties over its first two games. The sloppy play was one of the biggest reasons Jacksonville State was able to pull off the big upset. It also seemed as if the penalties happened at the worst possible moment. Each time the defense came up with a stop, a dumb penalty kept the drive going. The offense has also had its fair share of mental mistakes with false starts, holding calls, and ineligible men down the field. These types of penalties usually put a halt to any momentum on the offensive side of the ball. 

Discipline has been an area of concern for the past few seasons and so far, it looks like it could continue in 2021. FSU must find a way to stop hurting itself late in games and clean up the sloppy mistakes that we have been accustomed to seeing in recent years.

The Noles' have a chance to get things on track with a conference win this weekend. Every game this season has come down to the wire and I expect this one too as well.