Another week, another big win for Florida State. There were huge plays from virtually every sector of the defense during Saturday’s 59-3 win over Wake Forest, but the offense remained relatively pedestrian. That makes the helmet stickers a little more difficult to hand out this week.
The freshman safeties: No Tyler Hunter? No Terrence Brooks? No problem for Florida State. The Seminoles started two true freshmen at safety, and they were both exceptional. Nate Andrews, getting his first career start in place of Brooks (concussion), picked off two passes, forced a fumble and scored a touchdown. Ramsey recovered the fumble and scored, too. By halftime, FSU’s freshman safeties had created more turnovers (three) than Wake Forest had completions (two). Ramsey was a five-star stud coming out of high school, and his success was expected -- albeit a bit sooner than Florida State might’ve anticipated. Andrews has been a revelation. The three-star recruit now leads the team with four interceptions this season, despite a small role so far.
DE Mario Edwards Jr.: It’s no coincidence that the emergence of Florida State’s defense has coincided with the improving health and productivity of the sophomore defensive end. Edwards had just two tackles on Saturday, but he was a fixture in the Wake Forest backfield, and he added an interception for good measure. Since returning from a hand injury against Maryland, FSU’s first-team defense has allowed 21 points in five games.
RB James Wilder Jr.: Someone on offense has to get a pat on the back, and it might as well be Wilder. The junior tailback finished with 49 yards on six carries, but his 22-yard run was the longest play of the day by the FSU offense. He scored one of the team’s five offensive touchdowns, and he converted three third-and-short carries. In all, it was a lackluster day for the FSU offense; its 296 yards were FSU’s lowest output since the 2011 Champs Sports Bowl against Notre Dame. But when the starters rarely see work in the second half, it’s hard to find much fault.
Hat tips to: Christian Jones continues to shine at defensive end; Karlos Williams and Devonta Freeman each found the end zone again, giving them 17 between them on the ground, tops for a pair of teammates in the ACC; Jameis Winston set the ACC record for touchdown throws by a freshman with his 26th of the season, passing NC State’s Philip Rivers.