Page last updated on Fri Mar 07 14:15:20 EST 2014
11/09/2013 5:25 PM EST
Winston, defense lead No. 3 FSU past Wake, 59-3
FLORIDA ST 59, WAKE FOREST 3
By JOEDY McCREARY
AP Sports Writer
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- No. 3 Florida State finally
discovered a defense that can cool off Jameis Winston and the
Seminoles' high-powered offense.
Florida State tied a school record with six interceptions,
returned turnovers for touchdowns on consecutive plays and gave
the offense short fields throughout a 59-3 rout of Wake Forest
on Saturday that clinched a spot in the Atlantic Coast
Conference title game.
Nate Andrews took an interception 56 yards for a touchdown one
play before Jalen Ramsey returned a fumble 23 yards for another
score, keeping the yardage down but pumping the point total way
"For us to be a great team, both (offense and defense) have got
to be clicking," Winston said. "When they're getting turnovers
and scoring touchdowns just like that, sometimes it is hard (to
stay in a rhythm) but obviously, I've got to do a better job of
commanding the team and leading us."
The Seminoles (9-0, 7-0) claimed the inside track to a BCS title
game berth with No. 2 Oregon's loss Thursday. They kept firm
grasp of it by forcing seven turnovers and breaking the stadium
record of 56 points they set in 1994.
"Everything's falling into place now," defensive end Mario
Edwards Jr. said, "like (coach Jimbo Fisher) said it would."
Winston threw two touchdown passes while leading an offense that
gained just 296 total yards - well off its ACC-leading average
Fisher said the offense "on the day did not play as well" but
that was largely because the defense and special teams put up
the points and regularly gave the Seminoles short fields.
Florida State held Wake Forest (4-6, 2-5) to 166 total yards and
turned those turnovers into five TDs and a field goal.
Winston was 17 of 28 for 159 yards in two-plus quarters with an
18-yard TD to Kelvin Benjamin and a 2-yarder to Chad Abram that
made it 42-0 at halftime.
James Wilder Jr. and Devonta Freeman had early scoring runs 50
seconds apart. The Seminoles, 35-point favorites, scored their
first three touchdowns in a 5:05 span of the first quarter.
Chad Hedlund's 23-yard field goal with 9:07 left helped the
Demon Deacons avoid being shut out for the second straight week
and for the third time in four meetings with Florida State.
Kermit Whitfield returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for the
TD that gave the Seminoles the BB&T Field scoring record.
Wake Forest's first two quarterbacks, Tanner Price and Tyler
Cameron, combined for six completions and 66 yards passing.
Price threw three interceptions on four attempts before he was
pulled. The first two were returned into the red zone and
Andrews took the third back for a score.
"Today," coach Jim Grobe said, "was just a comedy of errors."
In matching the team record of six interceptions set against
Louisville in 1991, Florida State proved there was no Hurricane
hangover for these Seminoles after routing rival Miami 41-14
Now the challenge the rest of the way might be to avoid boredom:
Boston College is the only team to either hang within 14 points
of the Seminoles or score more than 17 points against them.
Nobody has held them to fewer than 41 points, either.
None of their final four opponents entered this week with a
"If they ever believe in our system, if they ever believe in
eliminating the clutter," Fisher said, "then now is the time."
They're headed to the ACC title game for the third time in four
years and had little trouble claiming the voter-impressing
blowout that kept them in the thick of the national championship
After they went 80 yards in 13 plays on their first drive -
capped by Wilder's 5-yard touchdown run that made it 7-0 - the
Seminoles ran only four offensive plays while stretching their
lead to 35-0.
The Demon Deacons helped them out by giving them short fields
with turnovers on four consecutive possessions.
"We were down 35-0, maybe, and I don't think the defense had
hardly been on the field," Grobe said.
That included a remarkable effort by Edwards, who somehow pulled
in the second interception of Price while being bear-hugged by
Wake Forest offensive tackle Josh T. Harris.
Winston found Benjamin over the middle for a touchdown two plays
later, and the defensive scores came quickly after that.
"We start stopping the offense and turning the ball over, it
gives you momentum and it kills their momentum and makes them
not want to play anymore," Edwards said.
Wake Forest, which didn't advance deeper than the Syracuse 42 in
a 13-0 defeat last week and lost go-to receiver Michael
Campanaro to a broken collarbone, didn't get past the Florida
State 44 until the fourth quarter.
Follow Joedy McCreary on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joedyap
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