Stretch Run

FSU is not supposed to struggle with the Atlantic Coast Conference's bottom-feeders. The Seminoles escaped from Wake Forest on Saturday 20-17, when <b>Xavier Beitia</b> nailed a 22-yard field goal with 1:03 to play. Up next is Saturday's road game at Maryland. FSU has averaged a whopping 46.7 points in its 14 meetings with the Terps, including 40.8 points in games played in College Park Md. "I never thought growing up we would have to sneak one out of Wake Forest," QB Wyatt Sexton said.

Florida State survived a close call Saturday at Wake Forest.

But such is life in college football these days, according to Seminole coach Bobby Bowden.

While others across the country also are grateful for escaping tight spots, Bowden simply breathed a sigh of relief on Sunday.

It's time to focus on the struggling yet competitive Maryland Terps.

"We just as easily could be 7-0 right now as we are 6-1," Bowden said.

"And we could just as easily be 5-2 or 4-3. I think we probably should feel pretty fortunate that our record is as good as it is under the circumstances."

FSU remains in good position heading into the season's final month.

The four remaining teams on FSU's schedule -- Maryland, Duke, North Carolina State and Florida -- are unranked and have a combined 12-16 record. The three Atlantic Coast Conference teams remaining are a combined 4-9 in the league.

Still, FSU needs help if it wants to overtake fourth-ranked Miami, which leads the ACC and is in line for a Bowl Championship Series berth.

The Hurricanes, who have a one-game lead (plus the head-to-head tiebreaker) on FSU in the league standings and is coming off a victory at North Carolina State, have ACC games remaining against North Carolina, Clemson, Virginia, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech.

Bowden didn't sound optimistic about catching the Hurricanes, pointing to the improved play of quarterback Brock Berlin.

"I don't know if anybody can beat Miami," Bowden said. "If we can win the rest of our games. ... that's all I can ask for. I won't worry about it one bit."

FSU continues to rely on its impressive defensive play this season.

FSU is ranked eighth nationally in overall defense.

The Seminoles are allowing just 68.7 yards per game rushing, less than 200 yards per game passing, just over 265 yards of total offense per game and only 13.4 points.

Wake Forest scored its two touchdowns off FSU turnovers. The Seminoles defense did not allow Wake Forest to drive inside their 20 during the entire game.

The Seminoles' offense, meanwhile, has struggled in every road game this season.

Bowden had looked to make a quarterback change at halftime, giving senior Chris Rix an opportunity, but offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden and quarterbacks coach Daryl Dickey talked Bowden into remaining with Sexton.

Sexton tossed two second-half touchdowns, helping FSU rally from a 14-3 deficit. Florida State's offense, meanwhile, has stuggled in every road game.

"I see that offenses are fickle, which I've always said," Bowden said.

"Hate to depend on them. Hot one day and not hot the next (game). That don't alarm you anymore. I'd rather have a defense I can depend on."

Nole Digest Top Stories