Strong Defensive Effort Carries Florida State Over Wake Forest

(Photo courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – On a day when top-ranked Florida State never quite found its offensive rhythm the Seminoles rode a dominating defensive effort and the right leg of sophomore kicker Roberto Aguayo to a 43-4 victory over Wake Forest.

Aguayo matched a Florida State single-game record with five field goals and linebacker Reggie Northrup stripped Demon Deacons tailback Isaiah Robinson of the ball and returned it 31 yards for a touchdown as the Seminoles scored 43 unanswered points to extend their winning streak to 21 games.

In the process the Noles delivered head coach Jimbo Fisher his 50th career win in his just his 60th game. Fisher becomes just the 10th coach in major college history to reach 50 victories in his fifth season.

Aguayo was 5-for-5 on field goal attempts, setting and extending his school record for consecutive conversions to 21. His streak dates back to an errant attempt from 43 yards at Wake Forest on Nov. 9 of last season and included nine successful attempts to close the National Championship season and his first 11 attempts this year.

The five field goal performance is the first by a Seminole kicker since Gary Cismesia did it against Miami in 2007.

Florida State blew the game open in the second half scoring landslide, which began with Aguayo’s 52-yard field goal and finished with his 32-yarder with 4:53 remaining. In between the Noles received touchdown contributions from Northrup, tailback Mario Pender (5-yard run) and freshman receiver Travis Rudolph’s 59-yard touchdown pass from Jameis Winston.

In the face of a furious FSU defense, Wake Forest (2-4, 0-2) managed just 126 total yards, including 40 rushing yards on 39 carries and just 86 yards through the air. The Seminoles amassed a season-high 11 tackles for loss and added an interception in addition to Northrup’s fumble return for a touchdown.

The Seminoles scored 13 unanswered points for a 13-3 halftime, with 10 of those coming in the final 1:03 of the half.

The first of two first half field goals by Roberto Aguayo – a 43-yarder with 11:46 remaining – pulled the Seminoles even at 3-3.

Following a three-and-out series on their next possession, the Seminoles marched 50 yards in six plays, highlighted by Winston’s 18-yard pass to Jarred Haggins. Winston finished off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run and Aguayo’s point-after put the Noles in front for the first time, 10-3 with 1:03 remaining.

With the defense rising to the occasion and Jimbo Fisher utilizing FSU’s three remaining timeouts, Wake Forest was forced to punt. The Noles took over at the Demon Deacons’ 40 with 32 seconds remaining and a pair of Winston-to-Jesus Wilson completions netted 27 yards.

Aguayo closed out the half with a 40-yard field for a 10-point margin at intermission.

Two first half turnovers contributed to a lethargic start by the Seminoles, who spotted the Demon Deacons a 3-0 lead when Mike Weaver converted a 36-yard field goal with 1:20 remaining in the first quarter. The Demon Deacons’ first points at Doak Campbell Stadium since 2008 came at the end of a 23-yard drive following a Karlos Williams fumble.