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September 17, 2012

Revisiting the five keys

No. 4 Florida State (3-0, 1-0 ACC) embarrassed Wake Forest (2-1, 1-1 ACC) in every meaning of the word Saturday's 52-0 bludgeoning of the Demon Deacons in Tallahassee, Fla.

If it is any condolence the Seminoles are the clear favorite to win the ACC and are a national championship contender.

Here is a look at how the Deacs faired in the "Five Keys" against the Noles.

1) Protect Price

--- Tanner Price absorbed the bulk of the beating Wake took at quarterback from Florida State's ferocious defense before Kevin Sousa replaced him with 6:17 remaining in regulation.

The Seminoles recorded four sacks, and made five hits on the quarterback, rendering Price ineffective. The junior from Texas completed a porous 8-22 passes for 82 yards.

2) Knock the Noles off balance

--- Entering the game FSU averaged 226 yards rushing and 283.5 yards passing. The Seminoles did more than keep pace with its usual output, gaining 385 yards on the ground and 227 yards through the air against the helpless Demon Deacons.

3) Rattle Manuel

--- While Wake sacked E.J. Manuel three times the senior from Virginia Beach, Va. at times effortlessly made plays whether it was with his arm or legs.

In three quarters Manuel completed 15-24 passes for 176 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, and carried eight times for 48 yards and a touchdown.

4) Eliminate mistakes

--- Except for a flurry of penalties on its opening possession Wake Forest kept from making drive-killing mistakes. The Demon Deacons did not turn the ball over once either. Florida State just dominated the Deacs in every facet of the game, winning the battle at the line-of-scrimmage on both sides and overwhelming them with game-breaking speed.

5) Spread the wealth

--- After Michael Campanaro's strong start and the emergence of Sherman Ragland and Brandon Terry versus North Carolina wide receiver appeared to be a strength going into Tallahassee.

However, the Noles secondary put Campanaro on lockdown, limiting him to two receptions for eight yards. Wake did not have a single receiver make more than two catches. Combine that with the offensive line's inability to protect Price and the result was anemic passing game.


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