No one could have anticipated an undefeated Wake Forest team hosting a winless Florida State team, but unpredictability is the life blood of college football. However, the Seminoles’ path to winlessness was altered by Hurricane Irma, which canceled or postponed some of their games. In addition, their leader and star, Deondre Francois, suffered a season ending injury in game one, causing the team to readjust on the fly. The Demon Deacons would bring on an unexpected challenge.
Activity and anticipation fluttered around BB&T Stadium for this soldout matchup. Fans lined up around the Deacon Statue for the Deacon Walk as the band blasted “O Here’s To Wake Forest.” They cheered on their team as they made their walk into the stadium. Some fans expressed doubts for today’s outcome as comments were whispered like, “I hope the team looks as good as the band does.”
Tailgating spreads deep into parking lots with personalized license plates such as “GO DEACS” and “DEACMOBL” decorating cars and trucks. The Demon Deacon tipped his tall black top hat to passerby fans, and cheerleaders and band members entertained the tailgating masses.
As the stadium filled with old gold and black, it became noticeably clear that a strong contingent of garnet and gold made its way up from Tallahassee. Both fan bases would have much to cheer about.
Wake Forest got off to a quick start, but Florida State made it a tennis match as both teams traded leads in the second half. The Seminoles would eventually tie the ballgame at 19. When the Demon Deacons failed to convert on third down deep in their own territory, groans began to replace cheers as Wake fans have seen this story before. The Seminoles would get great field position and pass a quick strike to the endzone that silenced BB&T and ushered fans to the exits.
No doubt the game was a classic with Florida State winning 26-19.
A frustrating ending, though, for a Wake Forest team that felt like they had something special going. On the other side, Florida State may have found their something special that could rebound this team from turbulent to tremendous.