Florida State was hoping to show the nation this weekend that they were indeed "back" when they played Wake Forest. The offense came out flat, turning the ball over in two of its first three possessions. That series of plays set the tone for the game as they would go on to turn the ball over 7 times. For the young signal callers this was their first real action against a BCS opponent.
The offense's poor play put the defense into many tough situations. Overall the defense did its job, holding the Wake offense to 4 field goals, as well as shutting them down in the red zone (Wake was 2 of 6). The play of the defense was good enough that it kept FSU in the game up until the final 2 minutes.
After the game NoleDigest spoke to a few of the players to get their thoughts on the game. Overall the sentiment was the same: you can't make all of those mistakes and expect to beat a well coached team like the Demon Deacons.
Senior cornerback Tony Carter was all over the field Saturday night. Overall he had a good game, setting a career high in tackles at 7 and recovering a fumble. For Carter the individual performance meant nothing because the team didn't come out on top.
"We fought hard and had good effort as a team," said Carter, "but with the penalties and miscues we didn't help ourselves."
The team as a whole made mental lapse after mental lapse as the Noles had 139 yards in penalties. As the offense was shooting itself in the foot the defense felt like they needed to make a play to help the offense out. According to Tony the defense felt some extra pressure to make that happen.
"Wake did a good job of preparing for this game," stated Carter. "We felt more pressure to make a play because the offense wasn't able to get going. We played our hearts out and really wanted to make up for the offense and help them out. We are a team and we lost this game as a team."
With the game behind them Carter says now they have to learn from their mistakes and move on. With a bunch of players coming back for Colorado Carter feels good about the rest of the season.
"They had the ball 6 times down in our territory and each time we kept them out (of the end zone)," explained Carter. "You have to feel good about that. Now we have to create more turnovers and score some points. We can improve as a team, and we will. We are getting guys back. We've been on a high for 2 weeks but now we just need to get past that and move on."
With the suspension of Dekoda Watson and the inconsistent play of Kendall Smith, Kenny Ingram has made the most of his opportunity this year to help the defense and make plays. Last week he had one of the best plays FSU has seen over the past couple years, and this week he made a few crucial plays like the pass break up on 4th down that kept the Seminoles in the game. According to Ingram he thinks he could have done better.
"As a defense," said Ingram, "we were in some bad situations that we were able to get out of. It just didn't happen for us today so we have to be ready to go next week. We have to watch the film on Monday and as a team get ready for Colorado."
Kenny told NoleDigest that the game left a bad taste in his mouth and that he feels this team still can make this year a success. He feels that they are just getting started as a team.
"We faced a tough test against a good offense in Wake and I think we passed it," said Ingram. "This week we get the guys back so we'll be at full strength. With these new additions I don't think we have come close to piquing as a team. This game was disappointing for us; now we have a lot to prove."
"This game was just tough," continued Ingram. "We stopped ourselves with the penalties and mistakes. We couldn't get anything good going."
Coaches and fans of FSU felt good after the first two weeks about the quarterback situation this year. Both Christian Ponder and D'Vontrey Richardson had played well leading up to this game; therefore many thought they'd play well against Wake. After 7 turnovers, 3 points and less than 250 yards of total offense, questions now rise on just how stable are the quarterbacks at FSU. D'Vo says that they came in well-prepared, but that the players just weren't able to execute.
"I was well prepared for this game," said Richardson. "Coach Fisher got us ready for this game, but we didn't execute. We had too many missed assignments and penalties tonight."
After sitting out the first half Richardson came in to provide a spark to an offense that only produced 100 yards of total offense. While he was able to move the ball and led the Noles on their only scoring drive, D'Vo made several mistakes that eventually cost them the game. Richardson says that looking back maybe he was trying to do too much.
"I think towards the end I was trying too hard to make something happen instead of letting it flow," said Richardson. "I was thinking too much and trying to do too much with the ball. The missed assignments and mistakes we made killed us."
Richardson says that he isn't going to hold himself down with this performance, but that he is going to use it as a learning point and motivational tool.
"The next game I believe we'll come back more focused," said Richardson. "I think we were a little too amped up for this one. We have to learn from our mistakes and build and play a better ball game."
"We have to practice harder and prove to everyone that we are really a talented team," continued Richardson. "We are not far away as a team. If we can take care of all of the mistakes we made I think we'll show that we are ready."