Road to Tampa Bay: Game 10 - Wake Forest

When Florida State heads to Winston Salem this season to play the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest, the Seminoles will be looking to win their first game in the series since 2005. Wake Forest has taken the last two games in Tallahassee and the meeting at Wake Forest two years ago.

Offensively, the Deacons return Riley Skinner at quarterback, who is undefeated against FSU. Skinner is going to be a fourth year starter and is one of the best quarterbacks in the ACC. He did lose two of his key weapons at receiver in D.J. Boldin and Chip Brinkman but will look to receiver Marshall Williams to step up and help make plays this season.

As far as the Wake Forest backfield goes, they should be pretty well off. Running back Josh Adams had a stellar freshman season two years ago before battling the injury bug for the majority of last season. He will be back there with Brandon Pendergrass who rushed for 528 yards filling in last season. They will be running a lot of misdirection plays which have hurt Florida State in recent years. Discipline has not been a staple of the Seminole defenses lately and it is a must to keep the Deacs in check on the ground.

Although Wake does have a nice group of talented skill players, they may not be able to showcase their full ability unless their offensive line can greatly improve from last season. It was the weakness up front that largely attributed to the Deacons averaging just 21 points a game last year. By this time in the season, Florida State's defensive line should be coming into their own if players like Moses McCray, Everett Dawkins and Markus White can begin to blossom like most feel they will.

Defensively, Wake Forest has a lot of holes to fill as they lost seven of their starters from last season, four of which were taken in the first four rounds of the NFL Draft this past April. Two of which include Alphonso Smith and Aaron Curry, who most consider two of the best players to ever wear old gold and black. If players like nose guard Boo Robinson and cornerback Brandon Ghee don't fulfill the lofty expectations left behind and lead a defense looking for answers, it will be open season for Christian Ponder and his group of receivers that could be very impressive by this point in the season.

What Florida State must do to win: Take advantage of Wake's weaknesses. On offense, FSU should be able to throw the ball at will. Although the Tribe will look to be a run-first team, this is a game that could make them look like the Seminoles of old with an air attack that seemingly can't be stopped. Defensive, if the front four can penetrate what is still an unproven offensive line, they will take the game out of the hands of the Deacs' skill players making it tough for them to move the ball on FSU.

NoleDigest way to early prediction: Florida State does to Wake what so many teams have done to the Tribe in recent years; kick them while they're down. FSU will hold the upper-hand in almost every unit battle in this game and it should show early if the 'Noles show up to play, and they will. With the ball, the offense should be able to move the chains consistently and control the game while the defense does a good job of keeping the ball out of Wake's hands.

FSU 27 Wake Forest 13

*FSU 8-2 (5-2 ACC) Stay tuned to NoleDigest as we wrap up ACC previews with our next installment looking at the Maryland Terrapins.

* Based on NoleDigest way too early predictions.

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