Florida State needed to build some momentum after a loss to Clemson as the Seminoles began the second half of 2019.
But it all but was washed away in the rain at Winston-Salem, N.C., as Wake Forest pulled out a 22-20 win over FSU. It was Wake Forest’s first win over FSU since 2011.
Ricky Aguayo missed a 50-yard field-goal attempt in the rain, wide to the left, with 2:13 left in the game.
The Seminoles fall to 3-4 and 2-3 in ACC play.
Cam Akers ran for 157 yards on 30 carries and added four receptions for 42 yards. He did everything he could to try and will the Seminoles to a win, but two turnovers (one by Akers) and eight penalties hurt on a night in which FSU had 449 offensive yards.
“This one hurts,” FSU coach Willie Taggart said. “I thought our football team played better in certain areas but again turnovers and penalties hurt us, especially in critical situations. We didn’t find a way to win this ballgame.”
Receiver Ontaria Wilson went down with an injury in the third quarter and is expected to be out for a while, Taggart said.
FSU lost a large number of players due to injury for a majority of or large part of the game. On offense, FSU lost Abdul Bello, Baveon Johnson and Brady Scott. That resulted in FSU using an offensive line of (from left) Darius Washington, Cole Minshew, Andrew Boselli, Dontae Lucas and Ryan Roberts. Note that includes a pair of true freshmen, plus Minshew (coming back from injury), Boselli (quit football only to return) and Roberts (graduate transfer).
The Seminoles traveled to Wake without linebacker Leonard Warner III and defensive back Cyrus Fagan. At times on Saturday, a few players were treated – Marvin Wilson, Stanford Samuels III and Akeem Dent. Those three players returned to the game.
Akers had his fourth 100-yard rushing game in 2019. He has nine 100-yard rushing games at FSU. He had a 2-yard touchdown run and a 19-yard TD reception, both in the second quarter. It was Akers’ second career game with a rushing and receiving TD, following up on his performance against ULM in September. But Akers also had a costly red-zone fumble in the third quarter.
James Blackman started and was the quarterback for every drive. He struggled for much of the night, missing short passes but was also hurt by a number of drops. While a few of those were at the hands of Tamorrion Terry, the duo connected on a 36-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter that put the Seminoles ahead 20-19.
Blackman completed 27 of 43 passes for 280 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Ten receivers caught passes, led by Tre’ McKitty’s five receptions for 44 yards. Akers, Wilson and Terry had four apiece.
FSU kept possession of the ball more often with the offense on the field for 32 minutes, 51 seconds. The Seminoles ran more plays, too: 89-78.
Wake backup quarterback Sam Hartman was 21 of 38 for 308 yards. He connected with star receiver Sage Surratt seven times for 170 yards.
Hamsah Nasirildeen was ejected for targeting on Wake Forest’s first drive. Nasirildeen is FSU’s top tackler (39 through six games). That means the Seminoles played almost the entire game without Nasirildeen, Joshua Kaindoh, Jaiden Lars-Woodbey, Fagan and Warner.
The Seminoles allowed the Demon Deacons to make six trips into the red zone. They resulted in five field goals and a touchdown in the second half.
Freshman Akeem Dent made his first career start. The true freshman was injured in the second quarter but returned to the game and had nine tackles.
Emmett Rice made a career-high 14 tackles.
Nick Sciba kicked five field goals for Wake, tying a school record. His 25-yarder with 4:18 left put the Demon Deacons ahead for good.
Wake quarterback Jamie Newman (shoulder) did not start. The Demon Deacons also lost linebacker Justin Strnad to injury in the second half.
FSU committed eight penalties for 69 yards.
Next up is Syracuse on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. (ESPN2) at Doak Campbell Stadium.