September 23, 2010

Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Florida State Seminoles Trends and Free Picks



Wake Forest Demon Deacons
(2-1, 1-2 ATS)

Florida State Seminoles
(2-1, 2-1 ATS)

Both the Florida State Seminoles and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons are 2-1 this year, but no one is confusing the fact that these teams belong in the same breathe. The Deacons are clearly overmatched and have the NCAA football odds stacked against them.

There isn’t much to complain about this year for HC Jim Grobe’s offense. Pretty much everyone knew that this was going to be a work in progress a year after virtually the entire offense had to be rebuilt from scratch after having so many years together under the direction of QB Riley Skinner. QB Tanner Price, also a freshman, is going to follow in the footsteps of Skinner and try to lead this team for all four years in college. He has thrown for 270 yards and rushed for 138 more on the year, accounting for five TDs against two picks. The problem is that neither he nor backup QB Ted Stachitas has a clue how to throw the football. Neither is completing even 50 percent of their passes this year. Still, thanks to the fact that both QBs are very mobile and that RBs Josh Harris, Devin Brown, and Brandon Pendergrass have each accounted for at least 80 yards this season, Wake Forest is averaging a very healthy 430.7 yards and 43.7 points per game. When push comes to shove though, allowing 48 points to the Duke Blue Devils and 68 to the Stanford Cardinal in back to back weeks isn’t a good sign going into Tallahassee this weekend.

The Noles are still a work in progress this year, but this is the first step towards this team’s return to glory if it has one coming in 2010. The win over the BYU Cougars last week was a solid one, and it once again proved how dynamic this team can be. In spite of the fact that RB Jermaine Thomas and WR Taiwan Easterling were really nowhere in sight for the entire game, the garnet and gold rolled to an easy 34-10 victory. The ‘D’ kept the Cougs down, something that just didn’t happen the previous week in Norman. FSU can still rest easily that it ranks in the top half of the country in every major defensive category, a tremendous improvement from last year’s team which ranked in the bottom 25 in most categories. QB Christian Ponder badly needs a good game to get some confidence going into the ACC campaign. He has yet to really put a full four quarters together, as he was yanked after just a half of ball in a romp over Samford and was ineffective against Oklahoma. Last week, one of the best pro prospects in the land went 14-of-21 for 149 yards and a TD, but that didn’t really show what he has the ability to do when he has a full game to work with.

We haven’t seen the best from Florida State yet. We might have already seen the best out of Wake Forest. This was a team that was thrashed on the road last week at Stanford, and now coming to Tallahassee probably isn’t what the doctor ordered. Don’t think for one second that HC Jimbo Fisher isn’t reminding his Seminoles that Wake has marched into Doak Campbell Stadium twice in the L/5 years and walked out victorious, 12-3 in 2008 and 30-0 in 2006. It’s payback time for the garnet and gold.

Selection: Florida State Seminoles -18

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