The Florida State Seminoles‘ offense has received a majority of the attention from the media this year, but it might be their defense that wins them a national championship.
On Saturday, the Noles defensive unit was stifling as they shut down an injury-riddled Wake Forest offense during a 59-3 route.
From the outset, it was obvious that Wake Forest was outclassed, and in some serious trouble. For the game, the Demon Deacons managed just 166 yards of total offense, converted 5-of-17 third-down chances, and turned the ball over seven times.
Yes, seven times.
Six of those turnovers were interceptions, including one that was returned 56 yards for a touchdown by Nate Andrews. The true freshman wasn’t done for the day, as he later made another diving interception in Wake Forest territory. Andrews wasn’t a highly-coveted prospect coming out of high school, but he’s been tremendous at the start of his college career.
Converted defensive end Christian Jones was outstanding on the day, and was in the middle of two turnovers, as well. On the first, he got pressure from the outside and hit Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price just as he released the ball. The ball popped up into the air and was intercepted by fellow defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr. deep in Wake territory.
Later, Jones was able to intercept a pass of his own after defensive tackle Jacobbi McDaniel batted it into the air.
The Demon Deacons tried three different quarterbacks, but none of them were effective. Price had one of the worst stat lines you’ll ever see, going 1-for-4 for three yards with three interceptions.
The Florida State defense scored again when true freshman safety Jalen Ramsey scooped and scored a play after Andrews’ interception return for a touchdown.
Admittedly, Wake Forest is not an offensive juggernaut, but Florida State had a defensive performance that looked like a team that could win the national championship.