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No. Florida State cruises to 43-3 win against Wake Forest as offense sputters again

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TALLAHASSEE, Florida — The Wake Forest offense showed why it's the worst in the Atlantic Coast Conference with another subpar performance against No. 1 Florida State on Saturday.

The Demon Deacons managed just 126 yards in a 43-3 loss with a nonexistent offense.

Florida State remained undefeated despite its own lackluster day from quarterback Jameis Winston and the FSU offense.

"Right now against a team like that we just get overwhelmed," Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said, "especially when we're on offense and they're on defense."

The Wake Forest defense held Florida State to just 105 passing yards in the first half as the Demon Deacons trailed 13-3 at halftime. The lone FSU touchdown of the first half came after another offensive drive went nowhere and allowed the Seminoles to begin their drive at midfield.

Wake Forest only gave up two touchdowns on defense, one more than the offense allowed after a fumble was returned for a score. The offense punted nine times and turned the ball over three times.

"The game started off the way we wanted it to defensively and offensively," Wake Forest linebacker Brandon Chubb said. "We just have to put it together for four quarters.

"We can't get happy going into halftime 13-3. You've got to think of it as zero-zero."

Part of the problem was that Florida State (5-0, 3-0 ACC) regularly took over in good field position after the offense gained minimal yards. Wake Forest (2-4, 0-2 ACC) managed just 126 yards, including 40 on the ground. And that was a light improvement for the ACC's worst offense that had averaged 29.2 yards per game and had been held to negative rushing yards in three of five games this season. Quarterback John Wolford was held to 58 yards passing and an interception.

PHOTO: Florida State's Karlos Williams is knocked out-of-bounds by Wake Forest's Thomas Brown during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday Oct. 4, 2014 in Tallahassee, Fla.  (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)
Florida State's Karlos Williams is knocked out-of-bounds by Wake Forest's Thomas Brown during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday Oct. 4, 2014 in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

"A lot of it's on me as quarterback," Wolford said. "It's really where the whole thing starts. ... It's a learning process. I'm trying to be as patient as possible."

The FSU defense flat-out ruled the day for the Seminoles. Linebacker Reggie Northrup had the highlight of the day when he forced and recovered a fumble and ran it 31 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. That put FSU up 30-3. It was the first time the Seminoles held a team to three points or less since a 59-3 win against Syracuse on Nov. 16, 2013.

"Totally dominated the game," Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. "Defense got some turnovers, which we've been waiting on.

"Everybody's been asking that question, so you can quit asking that question."

A lackluster effort from quarterback Jameis Winston and the offense allowed kicker Roberto Aguayo and the defense to star. Winston threw for 297 yards with a touchdown and an interception while Aguayo kicked a career-high five field goals in a single game. The reigning Lou Groza Award winner also set a school record with 21 consecutive field goals.

"I didn't know (about the record) until after the game," Aguayo said. "I did think about it three weeks ago ... but I didn't think about it coming into this game."

The game took its toll on Florida State as leading receiver Rashad Greene (concussion) and starting center Austin Barron (arm) both left and did not return. Defensive lineman Derrick Mitchell Jr. and linebacker Terrance Smith did not play due to injuries.

The Seminoles were their own worst enemy in the first half as the offense racked up the yards, but failed to capitalize at the end of drives. Two turnovers didn't help, either.

"We played well enough on defense and created some plays to stay in the football game," Clawson said. "We're struggling on offense. We've struggled all year."

The Demon Deacons put up their only score of the day when Mike Weaver finished the seven-play drive with a 36-yard field goal with 1:20 left in the first quarter. Those were the first points Wake Forest has scored in Tallahassee since 2008.

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