12:00 PM ET, November 9, 2013
BB&T Field, Winston-salem, NC
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- No. 2 Florida State finally discovered a defense that can cool off Jameis Winston and the Seminoles' high-powered offense.
Florida State tied a school record with six interceptions, returned turnovers for touchdowns on consecutive plays and gave the offense short fields throughout a 59-3 rout of Wake Forest on Saturday that clinched a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game.
"For us to be a great team, both (offense and defense) have got to be clicking," Winston said. "When they're getting turnovers and scoring touchdowns just like that, sometimes it is hard (to stay in a rhythm) but obviously, I've got to do a better job of commanding the team and leading us."
The Seminoles (9-0, 7-0) claimed the inside track to a BCS title game berth with No. 2 Oregon's loss Thursday. They kept firm grasp of it by forcing seven turnovers and breaking the stadium record of 56 points they set in 1994.
"Everything's falling into place now," defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. said, "like (coach Jimbo Fisher) said it would."
Winston threw two touchdown passes while leading an offense that gained just 296 total yards -- well off its ACC-leading average of 549.
Fisher said the offense "on the day did not play as well" but that was largely because the defense and special teams put up the points and regularly gave the Seminoles short fields.
Florida State held Wake Forest (4-6, 2-5) to 166 total yards and turned those turnovers into five TDs and a field goal.
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Chad Hedlund's 23-yard field goal with 9:07 left helped the Demon Deacons avoid being shut out for the second straight week and for the third time in four meetings with Florida State.
Kermit Whitfield returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for the TD that gave the Seminoles the BB&T Field scoring record.
Price threw three interceptions on four attempts before he was pulled. The first two were returned into the red zone and Andrews took the third back for a score.
"Today," coach Jim Grobe said, "was just a comedy of errors."
In matching the team record of six interceptions set against Louisville in 1991, Florida State proved there was no Hurricane hangover for these Seminoles after routing rival Miami 41-14 last week.
Now the challenge the rest of the way might be to avoid boredom: Boston College is the only team to either hang within 14 points of the Seminoles or score more than 17 points against them. Nobody has held them to fewer than 41 points, either.
None of their final four opponents entered this week with a winning record.
"If they ever believe in our system, if they ever believe in eliminating the clutter," Fisher said, "then now is the time."
They're headed to the ACC title game for the third time in four years and had little trouble claiming the voter-impressing blowout that kept them in the thick of the national championship race.
After they went 80 yards in 13 plays on their first drive -- capped by Wilder's 5-yard touchdown run that made it 7-0 -- the Seminoles ran only four offensive plays while stretching their lead to 35-0.
The Demon Deacons helped them out by giving them short fields with turnovers on four consecutive possessions.
"We were down 35-0, maybe, and I don't think the defense had hardly been on the field," Grobe said.
That included a remarkable effort by Edwards, who somehow pulled in the second interception of Price while being bear-hugged by Wake Forest offensive tackle Josh T. Harris.
Winston found Benjamin over the middle for a touchdown two plays later, and the defensive scores came quickly after that.
"We start stopping the offense and turning the ball over, it gives you momentum and it kills their momentum and makes them not want to play anymore," Edwards said.
Wake Forest, which didn't advance deeper than the Syracuse 42 in a 13-0 defeat last week and lost go-to receiver Michael Campanaro to a broken collarbone, didn't get past the Florida State 44 until the fourth quarter.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Florida State got the ball. The Seminoles broke the stadium record of 56 points they set in 1994 on their way to the win.
Gameball goes to... Jameis Winston. The QB was 17-of-28 for 159 yards, including an 18-yard TD pass to Kelvin Benjamin, in a little more than two quarters.
Stat of the game... Six. The Seminoles tied another school record by notching six interceptions in the duration of the game.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-15||5-17|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||0-0|
|TD||07:15||James Wilder Jr. 5 Yd Run (Roberto Aguayo Kick)||7||0|
|TD||06:25||Devonta Freeman 1 Yd Run (Roberto Aguayo Kick)||14||0|
|TD||02:10||Kelvin Benjamin 18 Yd Pass From Jameis Winston (Roberto Aguayo Kick)||21||0|
|TD||14:15||Nate Andrews 56 Yd Interception Return (Roberto Aguayo Kick)||28||0|
|TD||13:56||Jalen Ramsey 23 Yd Fumble Return (Roberto Aguayo Kick)||35||0|
|TD||00:11||Chad Abram 2 Yd Pass From Jameis Winston (Roberto Aguayo Kick)||42||0|
|TD||12:03||Karlos Williams 5 Yd Run (Roberto Aguayo Kick)||49||0|
|FG||08:24||Roberto Aguayo 42 Yd||52||0|
|FG||09:07||Chad Hedlund 23 Yd||52||3|
|TD||08:52||Levonte Whitfield 97 Yd Kickoff Return (Roberto Aguayo Kick)||59||3|
As of the 11-minute mark in the 2nd quarter, Florida State has already scored 28 pts off turnovers at Wake Forest... It's the most by Florida State in a single half (1st or 2nd) over the last 10 seasons. Entering today, the most by an FBS team in 2013 is 43 by Tennessee against Western Kentucky in the 1st half on Sept. 7th.
From Elias: Both Baylor and Florida State have outscored their opponents by at least 40 points per game this season (Baylor: 45.6 PPG, Florida State: 40.0 PPG). FROM ELIAS: The last team to outscore its opponents by at least 40 PPG over an entire season was Oklahoma in 1956, at 41.5 PPG(466-51 in 10 games).
Wake Forest's Tanner Price went 1-4 with 3 interceptions today against Florida State. He is the 2nd player since 2000 to throw for 3 or more interceptions on 5 or fewer pass attempts. The other player was UConn's Zach Frazer, who went 0-4 with 3 interceptions against Pittsburgh in 2008.
Jameis Winston now has 26 pass TD, setting the ACC freshman Pass TD record. It was previously set by Philip Rivers in 2000 (25).
Jameis Winston continues to be almost perfect when forced to convert on 3rd down this season... A Next Level look shows that Winston's Total QBR of 99.6 on 3rd down this season stands as the highest single-season mark in such situations over the last 10 years.[+]
Florida State is the only team in last 10 seasons to have two 42-0 shutouts in the 1st half of a conference game in a season
FSU has 4 straight games with multiple interceptions. They entered the game tied with North Texas and TCU for the longest active streak in the FBS.
Florida State scored 42 points in the first half of their game at Wake Forest today. It is the 2nd time this season that the Seminoles have scored 40 or more points in the first half (also had 42 in 1st half vs NC State Oct. 26). In addition, Florida State has averaged 28.3 PPG in 1st half this season - only Baylor (39.9), Ohio State (31.3) and Oregon (28.6) currently have higher 1st half scoring averages among FBS teams.
This is the 6th time in their 32 meetings vs Wake Forest that Florida State has put up 50+ pts in a game (2nd time in Winston-Salem):[+]
Florida State Most Pts In A Game vs Wake Forest
FSU has 2 defensive touchdowns in a game for the 2nd time in the last 10 seasons, and 1st time since Dec 27, 2008 vs Wisconsin when they had 2 fumble ret TD
Florida State held Wake Forest's three quarterbacks to a combined 0.001 Total QBR. All three quarterbacks had a Total QBR of 0.6 or lower as they combined for seven completions and six interceptions. In the last 10 seasons, no team has had a lower Total QBR in a game than Wake Forest.[+]
Lowest Total QBR
ESPN Stats & Information