TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A lackluster effort from quarterback Jameis Winston and the Florida State offense allowed kicker Roberto Aguayo and the defense to star in a 43-3 victory over Wake Forest on Saturday.
Winston threw for 297 yards with a touchdown and an interception while Aguayo kicked a career-high five field goals in a single game. The reigning Lou Groza Award winner also set a school record with 21 consecutive field goals.
The FSU defense dominated the overmatched Demon Deacons (2-4, 0-2) and held them to 126 offensive yards, including 40 rushing. Linebacker Reggie Northrup forced and recovered a fumble and ran it 31 yards for a touchdown that put Florida State up 30-3 in the third quarter.
Wake Forest quarterback John Wolford was held to 58 yards passing and an interception.
The game took its toll on Florida State (5-0, 3-0) as leading receiver Rashad Greene (concussion) and starting center Austin Barron (arm) both left and did not return.
“When our offense struggles a little bit, we definitely come in strong,” FSU cornerback P.J. Williams said. “We know we have to make a play for them so they can get back on the field.”
Freshman defensive end Lorenzo Featherston was a surprise star for the Florida State defense after making his first career start. He posted seven tackles, including 2 1/2 for loss and a fumble recovery. Wake Forest could not block him early in the first half.
Wake Forest entered as the worst offense in the ACC and one of the worst in the country — and that was exactly what Florida State needed to work out some bugs. The Seminoles missed more than 30 tackles last week and had allowed 300 yards passing in two of three games against FBS opponents this season. That didn’t happen at all in 2013.
The Seminoles were their own worst enemy in the first half as the offense racked up the yards, but failed to capitalize at the end of drives. The turnovers didn’t help, either.
“Offensively, we never got in rhythm,” FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said.
Winston tried to force the ball into tight coverage on Nick O’Leary and safety Thomas Brown tipped the ball to corner Merill Noel, who recorded his second interception of the game.
Wake Forest quickly gave the ball back when Mario Edwards forced a fumble by Wolford that was recovered by Featherston. Four plays later, FSU running back Karlos Williams gave it back on a fumble.
The Demon Deacons responded with their only score of the first half as Mike Weaver finished the seven-play drive with a 36-yard field goal with 1:20 left in the first quarter. Those were the first points Wake Forest has scored in Tallahassee since 2008.
Florida State dominated the rest of the day despite a clunky effort by the offense. The Seminoles got on the board with 11:46 left in the first quarter on a 43-yard Aguayo field goal. The offense bogged down at the end of the 11-play drive.
The floodgates open in the second half as Mario Pender punched in a three-yard touchdown and freshman Travis Rudolph caught a 59-yard touchdown from Winston. The score was the first of his career for the receiver who was ranked at the top of his class by several recruiting sites.