Saturday, September 15, 2012
Wake gives FSU first big test
By David M. Hale
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State has opened the year with big expectations before, but, for the past six seasons, that early hype has worn off by Week 3.
The Seminoles haven't opened a season 3-0 since 2005, and, to snap that streak this year, they'll need to get by a Wake Forest team that has won four of its past six meetings with Florida State.
"They’re much more athletic than people think," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. "Wake’s got good players."
Despite the history and Fisher's words of warning, Florida State remains a four-touchdown favorite for the game.
Perhaps a bigger concern for the Seminoles is the fact that their starters have played only about three quarters through two games, both blowout wins over FCS opponents. Wake Forest represents by far Florida State's biggest test thus far as well as the opening of conference play.
"I don't think the fact that we haven't played a whole lot will bother us at all," quarterback EJ Manuel said. "I think if I still played, I'd have had the same focus and mentality. I don't think it's going to affect us. If anything, it's going to help us because we're more rested. Those guys have had two dogfights."
Florida State right tackle Menelik Watson missed several practices this week with an ankle injury, but he was on the field for warm-ups and Fisher said he expects the junior to be available for the game. Still, fellow junior college transfer Daniel Glauser will get the start at right tackle.
Wake Forest, on the other hand, will be without starting nose guard Nikita Whitlock, who had seven tackles and a sack in last year's win over the Seminoles.