Just as North Carolina State was an important game for Florida State as the win over Clemson, the game against Wake Forest now becomes just as important.
Actually every game now is as important as any already played for the Seminoles.
Following the 41-14 victory over Miami, FSU must rely on winning its remaining games and counting on an Alabama or Oregon loss to secure a spot in the national title game.
At 4-5 on the season you would not figure the Demon Deacons to be trouble for FSU, but stranger things have happened. Last season’s loss to North Carolina State wasn’t expected, but it cast the stone that kept the team from title contention.
If you are looking for some kind of new game plan by head coach Jimbo Fisher and his coaches, you will not find one. Everything will remain the same. The ball will be in the hands of freshman quarterback Jameis Winston and the team will also rely on a potent running game and solid team leadership on defense that has stifled both Clemson and Miami in the last month.
The Demon Deacons are trying to become bowl eligible – however that will be tough against a team that shut the Hurricanes out in the second half last week.
Here are three things you need to know about this contest.
Jameis Winston is human
There, I said it. Winston had some issues in the first half of the game against Miami. The Hurricanes did a good job of confusing the freshman and taking him out of his rhythm all during the first half. That led to two first half interceptions.
Look for Winston to come out firing on all cylinders this week, proving to everyone that he can move the ball at will down the field. If he can do that and the Seminoles come out scoring like they did against North Carolina State, this could be another huge game for the freshman and the Noles.
Forget the others
What I mean about that is very simple. By the time the Noles play, Oregon will have already played against Stanford and as we all know, LSU and Alabama is the featured game on Saturday night. FSU can only take care of itself and pray to the college football gods that either team trips up or tumbles a bit.
Florida State has made it a point to forget scores and other teams this season and focus on the games they play. That has been the difference in their season over last year.
The running game rolls
The great thing about the Seminoles' offense is the running game is emerging as a potent option to the passing game.
Devonta Freeman, James Wilder, Jr. and Karlos Williams are all viable threats to move the ball. Then there is Winston who can beat you with his arms and legs.
I suspect Freeman has a 100-yard running game. There could be two runners who eclipse the century mark on Saturday.
If the running game gets going early, it could also open passing lanes for Winston to have a monster afternoon.