Game ball: goes to Travis Rudolph, who cemented his place in Florida State history with a 13-catch, 238-yard performance that rates as the fourth-best in school history. The only Seminoles with more receiving yards in a single game are FSU Hall-of-Famers Ron Sellers (260 yards and 259 yards in 1968) and Peter Warrick (249 in 1997).
Even more impressive, Rudolph became just the third Seminole with multiple 200-yard receiving games (joining Sellers and Craphonso Thorpe) and continued a streak of four straight seasons with a 200-yard receiving game for FSU. Rudolph’s 13 catches were also the fifth-most in a single game by an FSU receiver.
Play of the game: The biggest chunk of Rudolph’s 238 yards came on a Hail Mary-style play at the end of the second quarter. With two seconds to play in the half and the ball at his own 41-yard line, quarterback Deondre Francois launched a deep ball toward the end zone that, at first, looked like it might be intercepted. Instead, it deflected off one Wake Forest defender and then another before finally making its way to Rudolph. He caught the ball at the 3-yard line and barreled his way toward the end zone. But, with the goal line crowded by Demon Deacons, Rudolph was swarmed and brought down just a yard short of pay dirt.
The play still gained 58 yards and gave the Seminole some offensive momentum going into the break.
Turning point: Midway through the third quarter, FSU found itself leading by just four points after turning the ball over on two consecutive possessions. Making matters worse, the Demon Deacons had just downed a punt at the Seminoles’ 4-yard line. But Francois and the Seminoles seized control with their most impressive drive of the game, a six-play, 96-yard march that took just 2:38 and ended with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Auden Tate. Francois was 5 for 5 on the drive, which was the first of 11 straight completions following his interception.
It was over when: Wake Forest kicker Mike Weaver’s 40-yard field goal attempt clanked off the left upright. FSU led 17-6 at the time, and, while the Seminoles’ defense had been stout, a field goal would have cut the lead to one score with about five minutes to go in the game. Instead, the Seminoes took over and, although they didn’t score, they still managed to drain nearly four minutes off the clock. By the time FSU finally punted the ball back to the Demon Deacons, there was no time left to mount a rally.