Thursday Football

Thursday Football

Thursday's College Football TV Capsule
Associated Press

Thursday Oct. 11

Thursday Oct. 11

Opening Line: Florida State by 4 1/2.

Series Record: Florida State leads 21-3-1.

Last Meeting: 2006, Wake Forest 30-0

Last Meeting: 2006, Wake Forest 30-0

Bobby Bowden is 14-1 lifetime against Wake Forest, with his first loss coming last year. ... The Seminoles lead the ACC in scoring defense (15.6 points per game). ... Florida State is 11th in the nation in rushing defense (81.8 yards per game). ... The Seminoles have won four straight since a season opening loss to Clemson. ... Wake Forest is fourth in the ACC in scoring offense (27.6 points per game). ... Wake Forest has returned an interception for a touchdown in each of its last three games. ... Wake Forest RB Kenny Moore is one of just three players in the FBS Division to lead his team in rushing and receiving. Moore is the ACC's leading receiver with 38 catches (7.6 catches per game), and leads the ACC in all-purpose yards (161.8 yards per game).

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Re: Thursday Football

Wake Forest preparing for FSU's best shot after last year's rout
October 9, 2007

Associated Press

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Last year in Tallahassee, the scoreboard said it all -- Wake Forest 30, Florida State 0.

But that one-sided result is worthless these days to Kenneth Moore. The Demon Deacons receiver figures it's still plenty meaningful for those embarrassed and now No. 21 Seminoles.

"That was big last year, but it's over," Moore said Tuesday. "They'll look back at it. I'm sure they're looking at it all week ... putting it in their mind, 30-zero, 30-zero."

Of all the statements and rallying points Wake Forest could brag about during its unlikely run to last season's Atlantic Coast Conference title, none grabbed the nation's attention quite like the prime-time drubbing the perennial underdogs dished out to what usually viewed as the league's most dominant team.

A year later, the Demon Deacons (3-2, 2-1) have adjusted to their role as defending ACC champions and are bracing each week for their opponent's best shot. But they're expecting extra determination this week from a Florida State team that suffered its first home shutout loss under Bobby Bowden at their hands.

"Every team we've played uses last year's ACC championship as a motivating theme, but ... because Florida State has such great tradition and Wake Forest's football tradition has not been real, real good, I'm sure there was a great level of embarrassment to lose last year to Wake Forest," coach Jim Grobe said.

"So you've got kind of the combination of, 'They want to go get the ACC champs,' but also they don't expect to lose to Wake Forest," he added.

Nobody expected the Demon Deacons to dismantle the Seminoles. Wake Forest entered that game having won its previous four ACC games by a combined 17 points, and Florida State hadn't been blanked since its 1988 opener against Miami.

But the Demon Deacons picked off four passes and used several big plays -- Rich Belton's 33-yard touchdown run, Riley Skinner's 18-yard pass to John Tereshinski, Kevin Patterson's game-sealing 48-yard interception return -- in a game that quickly got out of hand.

They scored 17 points in the second quarter and 10 in the third to give to give the Seminoles their worst home defeat since 1981 and put themselves in control of the Atlantic Division.

"Just losing to Wake Forest, for them, is enough," Moore said. "So they're definitely going to come ready -- whether it was by one, by 10, by 100. Losing to Wake Forest? Oh man, that can't happen. So they're going to come ready to play."

That dominating performance also raised a compelling question: Was Wake Forest suddenly that good -- or had Florida State become that bad?

The Seminoles (4-1, 1-1) -- who joined the ACC in 1992 and promptly won or shared 11 of 12 league titles -- have started this season strong, suggesting they've regained a measure of their swagger. They've won four straight after a season-opening loss at Clemson.

A telling stat: Since last year's rout, no team has scored 30 points against Florida State.

"In this day and age, it's hard to maintain the level that Florida State had for so many years," Grobe said. "They were probably the most remarkable football team ... for a long period of time, and that's just hard to do today, to maintian that level.

"I know they've gone through some years where, for some teams, (it) would be considered a successful season," he added. "Where they look at (it), if they're not ACC champions or in the national picture, they look at it as a down year. So from their perspective it may be a little tough to swallow, but boy, they look awful good right now."

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Re: Thursday Football

Seminoles take on Demon Deacons in Thursday night affair
October 10th, 2007

Winston-Salem, NC (Sports Network) - The 21st-ranked Florida State Seminoles try to continue their winning ways this Thursday, as they invade Winston- Salem to do battle with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in a key ACC showdown.

The Seminoles enter the contest on a roll, as they have posted four straight victories following a season-opening loss to Clemson (24-18) that dropped them out of the national rankings until this week. FSU was able to earn its way back into the Top 25 this past week courtesy of a 27-10 triumph against NC State over the weekend. The win was the 370th of Bobby Bowden's head coaching career and it also helped the Seminoles pull to an even 1-1 in conference play. FSU will now gun for its first five-game winning streak since starting off the 2005 season with five wins in a row.

As for Wake Forest, it also comes into the tilt with a good deal of momentum on its side following three straight victories. The most recent of those wins came this past weekend, when the Deacons held off Duke, 41-36. With the triumph, the team moved over .500 overall (3-2) and in league play (2-1) for the first time this season.

As far as the all-time series is concerned, FSU owns a commanding 21-3-1 advantage over Wake Forest, including a 14-1 mark under Bowden. That lone loss however, came last season, when the Deacons blanked the Seminoles, 30-0, at Doak Campbell Stadium. It was their first win over FSU in 33 years.

Making his first start of the season, Xavier Lee threw for a touchdown and ran for another to lead FSU to a 27-10 win over NC State last weekend. Lee, who replaced Drew Weatherford and led the team to a victory over Alabama the previous week, completed 16-of-28 pass attempts for 257 yards last weekend. The versatile Lee has the mobility Weatherford lacks and that is important when considering Antone Smith leads the club with just 290 rushing yards for the season. Smith posted 55 of those yards last week for FSU, which gained 124 rushing yards as a team. Greg Carr has started to emerge thanks to the strong arm of Lee and he put forth another big effort last weekend, catching four balls for 140 yards and a score. For the year, Carr now has 17 catches for a team-best 400 yards and two touchdowns. The Lee to Carr connection is going to have to stay hot if FSU is hoping to improve on its modest scoring average of 23.2 ppg.

As has been the case all season, the Seminoles were solid on defense last weekend, holding NC State to just 268 total yards of offense. The unit forced four turnovers, including three interceptions, and also recorded six sacks. Stopping opponents from scoring (15.6 ppg) and gaining yards (302.6 ypg) isn't new for FSU, but creating big plays is a different story. Coming into last weekend, the Seminoles had registered just six turnovers and eight sacks, and while those numbers aren't awful, they aren't indicative of how good this unit has been this year. Slowing down opposing ground attacks has been a real strength of this defense, which is giving up just 81.8 rushing ypg thus far. Derek Nicholson leads the team with 38 tackles, and Geno Hayes is next in line with 36 stops, to go along with his eight TFLs and three sacks. Hayes recorded two of those sacks and 10 tackles in last weekend's win.

The Deacons enter the contest averaging 27.6 ppg and 338.0 total ypg of offense, and those are some pretty good numbers, especially when considering this unit has turned the ball over 14 times already. Last weekend however, Wake Forest did a nice job protecting the ball, as it committed just one turnover in a 41-36 win over Duke. The Deacons racked up 336 total yards against Duke, which isn't exactly known for its defense. Wideout Kenneth Moore did it all for Wake Forest last weekend, as he rushed for 84 yards and two scores, in addition to catching 11 passes for 100 more yards. Moore leads the team with 38 catches and 360 receiving yards on the season, and despite just 23 attempts, he also leads the squad with 245 yards and three scores on the ground. Putting the ball in the hands of Moore is quarterback Riley Skinner, who completed 22-of-30 tosses for 221 yards and interception in last weekend's win. For the year, Skinner has completed an efficient 70.6 percent of his tosses, but he has thrown for just two touchdowns against seven interceptions. He will need to limit his mistakes if the Deacons expect to move the ball against this stingy Seminoles' defense.

Defensively, the Deacons have fared well against the run (111.0 ypg), but they could stand to improve against the pass, allowing 247.4 ypg through the air. The unit however, has made up for some of those passing yards allowed by recording 14 turnovers (nine interceptions) and the same amount of sacks. Last weekend, the Deacons forced two turnovers and four sacks and that helped them overcome the 386 total yards gained by Duke. The defense also put some points on the board, as Alphonso Smith picked off his third pass of the season and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. Jeremy Thompson added a sack in the win and he leads the Deacons with seven TFLs and six sacks on for the season.

Both teams come into the game with a full head of steam and that should make for a close contest. FSU however, has the edge on both sides of the ball, especially on defense, where it should be able to dominate for the victory.

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Re: Thursday Football

Game Preview for Florida State vs Wake Forest

GAME NOTES: The 21st-ranked Florida State Seminoles try to continue their winning ways this Thursday, as they invade Winston-Salem to do battle with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in a key ACC showdown. The Seminoles enter the contest on a roll, as they have posted four straight victories following a season-opening loss to Clemson (24-18) that dropped them out of the national rankings until this week. FSU was able to earn its way back into the Top 25 this past week courtesy of a 27-10 triumph against NC State over the weekend. The win was the 370th of Bobby Bowden's head coaching career and it also helped the Seminoles pull to an even 1-1 in conference play. FSU will now gun for its first five-game winning streak since starting off the 2005 season with five wins in a row. As for Wake Forest, it also comes into the tilt with a good deal of momentum on its side following three straight victories. The most recent of those wins came this past weekend, when the Deacons held off Duke, 41-36. With the triumph, the team moved over .500 overall (3-2) and in league play (2-1) for the first time this season. As far as the all-time series is concerned, FSU owns a commanding 21-3-1 advantage over Wake Forest, including a 14-1 mark under Bowden. That lone loss however, came last season, when the Deacons blanked the Seminoles, 30-0, at Doak Campbell Stadium. It was their first win over FSU in 33 years.

Making his first start of the season, Xavier Lee threw for a touchdown and ran for another to lead FSU to a 27-10 win over NC State last weekend. Lee, who replaced Drew Weatherford and led the team to a victory over Alabama the previous week, completed 16-of-28 pass attempts for 257 yards last weekend. The versatile Lee has the mobility Weatherford lacks and that is important when considering Antone Smith leads the club with just 290 rushing yards for the season. Smith posted 55 of those yards last week for FSU, which gained 124 rushing yards as a team. Greg Carr has started to emerge thanks to the strong arm of Lee and he put forth another big effort last weekend, catching four balls for 140 yards and a score. For the year, Carr now has 17 catches for a team-best 400 yards and two touchdowns. The Lee to Carr connection is going to have to stay hot if FSU is hoping to improve on its modest scoring average of 23.2 ppg.

As has been the case all season, the Seminoles were solid on defense last weekend, holding NC State to just 268 total yards of offense. The unit forced four turnovers, including three interceptions, and also recorded six sacks. Stopping opponents from scoring (15.6 ppg) and gaining yards (302.6 ypg) isn't new for FSU, but creating big plays is a different story. Coming into last weekend, the Seminoles had registered just six turnovers and eight sacks, and while those numbers aren't awful, they aren't indicative of how good this unit has been this year. Slowing down opposing ground attacks has been a real strength of this defense, which is giving up just 81.8 rushing ypg thus far. Derek Nicholson leads the team with 38 tackles, and Geno Hayes is next in line with 36 stops, to go along with his eight TFLs and three sacks. Hayes recorded two of those sacks and 10 tackles in last weekend's win.

The Deacons enter the contest averaging 27.6 ppg and 338.0 total ypg of offense, and those are some pretty good numbers, especially when considering this unit has turned the ball over 14 times already. Last weekend however, Wake Forest did a nice job protecting the ball, as it committed just one turnover in a 41-36 win over Duke. The Deacons racked up 336 total yards against Duke, which isn't exactly known for its defense. Wideout Kenneth Moore did it all for Wake Forest last weekend, as he rushed for 84 yards and two scores, in addition to catching 11 passes for 100 more yards. Moore leads the team with 38 catches and 360 receiving yards on the season, and despite just 23 attempts, he also leads the squad with 245 yards and three scores on the ground. Putting the ball in the hands of Moore is quarterback Riley Skinner, who completed 22-of-30 tosses for 221 yards and interception in last weekend's win. For the year, Skinner has completed an efficient 70.6 percent of his tosses, but he has thrown for just two touchdowns against seven interceptions. He will need to limit his mistakes if the Deacons expect to move the ball against this stingy Seminoles' defense.

Defensively, the Deacons have fared well against the run (111.0 ypg), but they could stand to improve against the pass, allowing 247.4 ypg through the air. The unit however, has made up for some of those passing yards allowed by recording 14 turnovers (nine interceptions) and the same amount of sacks. Last weekend, the Deacons forced two turnovers and four sacks and that helped them overcome the 386 total yards gained by Duke. The defense also put some points on the board, as Alphonso Smith picked off his third pass of the season and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. Jeremy Thompson added a sack in the win and he leads the Deacons with seven TFLs and six sacks on for the season.

Both teams come into the game with a full head of steam and that should make for a close contest. FSU however, has the edge on both sides of the ball, especially on defense, where it should be able to dominate for the victory.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Florida State 23, Wake Forest 13

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Re: Thursday Football

FSU out for revenge at Wake Forest
October 10, 2007

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -Andre Fluellen never thought any team could beat mighty Florida State by 30 points - let alone perennial pushover Wake Forest.

A year after the Demon Deacons' shocking 30-0 rout in Tallahassee, the No. 21 Seminoles are out for revenge.

``I would never imagine Florida State getting beat by anybody shut out at home by 30,'' the Florida State defensive lineman said. ``I would never think that would happen.''

It did, and now the Seminoles (4-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) are looking to prove Thursday night that their swagger is back after last year's humbling loss to eventual league champion Wake Forest (3-2, 2-1).

It was the program's first shutout loss at home under Bobby Bowden and one the winningest coach in major college football described as ``the only real bad licking we took last year.''

``They just blew us out quickly,'' Bowden added. ``A lot of it was self-destruction, but that's the way they play football (at Wake Forest). They're a very opportunistic team that just dares you to make an error. That was a big awakening for us.''

Since that rout, the Seminoles haven't allowed a team to score 30 points. They're ranked ninth nationally this season in scoring defense, 11th against the rush and 17th in total defense, and after four straight wins have rejoined the national rankings for the first time since the preseason.

And if the offense gets rolling, look out. Last week against North Carolina State, Xavier Lee was turnover-free and threw for 257 yards in his first start of the season. His favorite target, 6-foot-6 receiver Greg Carr, has nine catches for 247 yards and a touchdown in the last two games.

``Unless you've got a 6-6 cornerback out there, you've got issues,'' Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe said.

Lee - whom Bowden said will start despite missing a midweek practice because of an academic conflict - must avoid mistakes against a Wake Forest defense that has returned interceptions for touchdowns in its last three games, and in last year's matchup picked off four passes and returned one for a score.

``Teams that typically have 21 players as good as anybody else in the country, and they've got inconsistent performance at quarterback, they're generally not a great football team - that's everybody, not just Florida State,'' Grobe said. ``If you get really good quarterback play at the so-called traditional powers, you're going to be in the national title hunt ... if your quarterback play's not real, real good, you're going to have trouble winning big games.''

The Demon Deacons must shake receiver Kenneth Moore free against the Seminoles' tough defense. Moore - one of three Bowl Subdivision players to lead his team in both receiving and rushing - caught one scoring pass and rushed for the game-clincher in last week's 41-36 victory against Duke.

Bowden says Moore reminds him of a star multipurpose threat from his second national title-winning team, wideout Peter Warrick.

``You don't see many like that,'' Bowden said.

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Re: Thursday Football

What bettors need to know: Florida State at Wake Forest
Covers.com

Florida State Seminoles at Wake Forest Demon Deacons

FSU seeks revenge

Almost 11 months ago on a cold and wet night in Tallahassee, FSU suffered one of its worst defeats in school history. Wake Forest shut out the Seminoles in a shock 30-0 victory and Florida State’s players still cringe at the thought.

"I don't even want to talk about it," Seminoles receiver Greg Carr told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel this week. "Seriously. Because it just – I don't know. It's hard to describe or explain."

FSU cornerback Tony Carter is just as blunt. "It was just nasty, man," he said. "I just remember the fans leaving and feeling like we disappointed a lot of people, and people didn't believe in us anymore. Hopefully we can go up and make their fans feel that."

FSU opened this season with a disappointing 24-18 loss to Clemson but bounced back to win its last four games. It’s not just revenge that the Seminoles have to play for on Thursday. They broke back into the Top 25 this week and will be eager to cement their place in the rankings with another win.

Mistakes hurting Seminoles’ defense

The Florida State defense is ranked 18th in the league in yards (302.6) and ninth in points (15.6) per game, but it comes into this week’s clash on the back of a poor performance.

The defense allowed 10 points in the first quarter of Saturday’s 27-10 win against North Carolina State. Although Florida State held the Wolfpack scoreless for the rest of the game, repeated mistakes made life difficult for the Seminoles.

They had 24 missed tackles against N.C. State, and were hit with two pass interference penalties and three penalties overall.

“You pay for it on the scoreboard,” Mickey Andrews, FSU's defensive coordinator, said of the errors in the Tallahassee Democrat. “I don't think we were totally prepared for getting in a fight.

Andrews said his players were not disciplined in the first quarter.

“After that we played pretty good football. We still haven't played 60 minutes. We're going to have to this week.”

The Seminoles face a Wake Forest offense that boasts an effective ground game and scores an average 27.6 points per contest.

Deacons’ go-to guy

When in need of something special, Wake Forest usually looks to its proven playmaker – Kenneth Moore. In Saturday’s hard-fought 41-36 win over Duke, the wide receiver once again came up with the big play when his team needed it.

With the Deacons clinging to a 34-29 lead in the fourth quarter against rallying Duke, Moore ran for 53 yards and a TD to clinch the win.

"He has the ability to change a game around real quickly," Wake quarterback Riley Skinner told the Raleigh News & Observer. "We try to get the ball to him as many times as we can because something good's going to happen."

Moore also scored a TD in the second quarter of that game and caught 11 passes for 100 yards. He has 38 catches for 360 yards and a team-leading four touchdowns for the season, and ranks among the ACC's leaders in all-purpose yards.

History favors FSU

Wake Forest produced a famous win in Tallahassee last season, but that went against the historical trend in this matchup. Florida State has a dominant 21-3-1 record in the overall series, and had defeated the Demon Deacons 14 straight times before they met in 2006.

FSU still owns a five-game win streak in Winston-Salem, home of the Demon Deacons. The Seminoles haven’t lost there since 1973.

But Wake Forest does have the edge in ATS statistics. The Deacons have covered the spread against the Seminoles in three consecutives games.

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Re: Thursday Football

FSU at Wake Forest
October 11, 2007
By Christian Alexander
VegasInsider.com


#21 FSU (4-1, 1-1 ACC) at Wake Forest (3-2, 2-1 ACC)
Thursday, October 11
7:30 PM ET on ESPN
Groves Stadium (Natural Grass)

I got a lot of e-mails from Kentucky fans prior to last Thursday night's game between the Wildcats and South Carolina. How could I possibly be backing the Gamecocks? Didn’t I know about the mighty Andre Woodson – the QB for Kentucky who apparently already has the Heisman sewn up?

Unfortunately for those Kentucky fans, my Thursday night record was extended to 4-2 last week as South Carolina and Steve Spurrier’s defense – that’s right, defense – was too much for the Wildcats as the home team pulled away for a 38-23 win.
   
As I told several people, I don’t think Kentucky was exposed as a fraud, it just ran up against a tough defense that was playing at home. It’s really that simple.

Of course, the SEC isn’t the only conference where it’s tough to win on the road. That rule certainly applies to many conferences across the land and the ACC is no exception. Then again, I think someone forgot to remind coach Jim Grobe and Wake Forest of that last year when they traveled to Tallahassee to face Florida State.

In that game, Wake Forest took Bobby Bowden and the Seminoles out to the woodshed like few teams have done over the past 20 years. When the dust settled, the Demon Deacons walked out of Doak Campbell Stadium with a 30-0 win.

As you can imagine, as the Seminoles prepare to face Wake this Thursday night, the visitors from the state of Florida would like nothing better than to serve up a little revenge to the reigning ACC champs.

Still seems weird to think of Wake Forest as ACC football champions. After all, it wasn’t long ago that the title seemed to have a permanent resting place on Bobby Bowden’s desk.

But times have changed and the balance of power in the ACC has certainly shifted – not so much to any one program but it has been spread around and at the moment there is a tremendous amount of parity in the league.

You don’t need any further proof of just how average FSU has become than to consider that last week's 27-10 victory over North Carolina State ended an eight-game losing streak for the Seminoles against Atlantic Division programs. For those scoring at home, that streak consisted of losses to Clemson (three times), N.C. State (twice), Boston College, Maryland and Wake Forest dating back to the 2005.

At the same time, Wake has risen from the annual cellar dweller in the league to the status of contender – and in 2006, champion.

So with that fairly intriguing back drop, we turn to the facts of the case this Thursday night in Winston-Salem.

Both teams have been fairly average when it comes to offensive production – and that’s probably being kind.

The Seminoles rank 88th in the nation in total offense, although things seem to be getting better. That’s because the Drew Weatherford experiment finally seems to be over.

Once a very promising QB for Bobby Bowden, Weatherford gradually began to get bogged down by one mistake after another. Finally, after a poor performance in a win at Colorado earlier this year, Florida State offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher and Bowden decided to shake things up and insert 6-4, 235-pound redshirt junior Xavier Lee during the second quarter of the following game, against Alabama.

The spark to the Seminoles offense from the multi-dimensional Lee was obvious to all and now the 2003 winner of “Mr. Football” in the state of Florida has a stranglehold on the job.

The improvement of the FSU offense, along with a typical suffocating Seminoles defense (currently ranked 17th the nation) has Bobby Bowden thinking of regaining his perch atop the Atlantic Division standings. Of course, Boston College might have something to say about that on November 3rd but first things first. FSU must take care of business at Wake Forest.

On the other hand, the Demon Deacons, who lost to Boston College by 10 to open the season, know they must win this game if they are to have any realistic chance of returning to Jacksonville to play for the ACC title - not to mention the opportunity to play in back-to-back bowl games for the first time in their history.

To do so, Wake certainly knows they must get a big effort from QB Riley Skinner, RBs Micah Andrews and Josh Adams and senior WR Kenny Moore.

Thursday Night Factoids:

--Florida State is 2-3 ATS this season, 1-1 ATS in away games. Wake Forest is also 2-3 ATS this season and has a 2-1 ATS mark at home.

--FSU holds a 21-3-1 advantage in the all-time series with Wake Forest which dates back to 1956.

--The 30-0 victory by Wake Forest last year in Tallahassee snapped a 14 game winning streak by FSU.

--Jim Grobe is 1-5 all-time against FSU.

--Bobby Bowden is 14-1 all-time against Wake Forest.

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