Wake Forest offense sputters for 2nd straight game in 59-3 loss to No. 3 Florida State

Wake Forest just can't get anything going on offense without receiver Michael Campanaro.

The Demon Deacons were held without a touchdown for the second straight week and threw six interceptions in a 59-3 loss to No. 3 Florida State on Saturday — their most lopsided in BB&T Field history.

"Today," coach Jim Grobe said, "was just a comedy of errors."

Wake Forest (4-6, 2-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) turned it over seven times and didn't get past the Florida State 44 until the fourth quarter.

Only a 23-yard field goal by Chad Hedlund with 9:07 left allowed the Demon Deacons to avoid their first consecutive shutouts since the 1974 team was blanked in five straight.

Campanaro, who has accounted for nearly 30 percent of Wake Forest's total offense, broke his collarbone last week in a 13-0 loss at Syracuse in which the Demon Deacons didn't advance further than the Orange 42.

Nobody expected anything to be easier against a Florida State team that's on track for a spot in the BCS title game.

But they didn't expect this self-destruction, either.

"Obviously, that's a great team," offensive guard Frank Souza said. "But on offense, we just kind of killed ourselves. A bunch of turnovers. We've got to take care of the ball better."

Florida State's six interceptions tied a school record, and the Seminoles returned turnovers for touchdowns on consecutive plays in clinching an ACC title game berth.

Nate Andrews took an interception 56 yards for a touchdown one play before Jalen Ramsey returned a fumble 23 yards for another score — keeping the yardage down but the point total way up.

The Seminoles (9-0, 7-0) claimed the inside track to a BCS title game berth with No. 2 Oregon's loss Thursday. They kept firm grasp of it by breaking the stadium record of 56 points they set in 1994.

"Everything's falling into place now," defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. said, "like (coach Jimbo Fisher) said it would."

Jameis Winston threw two touchdown passes while leading an offense that gained just 296 total yards — well off its ACC-leading average of 549.

Fisher said the offense "on the day did not play as well," but that was largely because the defense and special teams put up the points and regularly gave the Seminoles short fields.

Florida State held Wake Forest (4-6, 2-5) to 166 total yards and turned those turnovers into five TDs and a field goal.

Winston was 17 of 28 for 159 yards in two-plus quarters with an 18-yard TD to Kelvin Benjamin and a 2-yarder to Chad Abram that made it 42-0 at halftime.

James Wilder Jr. and Devonta Freeman had early scoring runs 50 seconds apart. The Seminoles, 35-point favorites, scored their first three touchdowns in a 5:05 span of the first quarter.

Wake Forest's first two quarterbacks, Tanner Price and Tyler Cameron, combined for six completions and 66 yards passing.

Price threw three interceptions on four attempts before he was pulled. The first two were returned into the red zone and Andrews took the third back for a score.

After Florida State went 80 yards in 13 plays on its first drive — capped by Wilder's 5-yard touchdown run that made it 7-0 — the Seminoles ran only four offensive plays while stretching their lead to 35-0.

The Demon Deacons helped them out by giving them short fields with turnovers on four consecutive possessions.

"We were down 35-0, maybe, and I don't think the defense had hardly been on the field," Grobe said.

That included a remarkable effort by Edwards, who somehow pulled in the second interception of Price while being bear-hugged by Wake Forest offensive tackle Josh T. Harris.

Winston found Benjamin over the middle for a touchdown two plays later, and the defensive scores came quickly after that. Andrews took Price's airmailed throw for a pick-six, and on the Demon Deacons' next snap, Josh Harris fumbled and Ramsey added his scoop-and-score.

"We start stopping the offense and turning the ball over, it gives you momentum and it kills their momentum and makes them not want to play anymore," Edwards said.


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