TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Wake Forest was poised to make a run at its first Atlantic Coast Conference win over Florida State. Drew Weatherford had other ideas.
Weatherford threw a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes and 351 total yards through the air as Florida State remained perfect against the Demon Deacons in ACC play with a 41-24 victory. When the dust settled the Seminoles racked up 587 total yards of offense.
"I thought our offense, for the first time in a while, enabled us to win a ball game," head coach Bobby Bowden said. "The offense really came through today."
In FSU's last outing, freshman Greg Carr didn't get a pass thrown his way but more than made up for it recording three catches for 129 yards against the Deacons. His first catch came on a 28-yard toss from Weatherford late in the first quarter to put the 'Noles up 17-7. But it was his final catch that was the difference maker.
With Wake Forest (2-4, 1-2 Atlantic) cutting FSU's advantage to 20-17 following a 31-yard TD by Chris Barclay, and FSU facing a third and 15 from its own 16-yard line, Weatherford again went to the 6-foot-6 freshman who was in one-on-one coverage. Carr not only came down with the catch and shook off the tackler, he ran for several more yards carrying Deacon defenders Kevin Patterson and Aaron Mason at least 20 yards before he was dragged down at the 16-yard line.
"I just go out there and try to make plays," Carr said. "That is kind of what I was brought here to do. I just go up and get the jump ball. That's what I feel like I have to do every time the ball is in the air. When the ball goes up in the air I have to feel like it belongs to me."
On the next play, Fred Rouse hauled in a 16-yard scoring strike from Weatherford to cap a four-play, 74-yard drive that took just 33 seconds.
In addition to all the offense turned in by freshmen, veterans Leon Washington and Lorenzo Booker came up big in the second half. Washington took a screen pass from Weatherford for a 61-yard touchdown to effectively put the game away midway into the fourth quarter. On FSU's next series, Booker turned in a 52-yard run to set up the 'Noles' final touchdown of the day. The two veteran tailbacks combined for 272 total yards of offense.
On the other side of the ball, FSU's normally dominating defense had their share of problems against Wake Forest's misdirection offense. The Deacons got 125 yards rushing from Barclay and Kevin Marion added 69 yards and a pair of TDs but it wasn't enough to keep them from dropping to 2-21-1 against the Seminoles all time and 0-15 in ACC play.
"They are always tough on us," Bowden said of Wake Forest. "Last year we went up there and got behind and we were able to come back. Today we got ahead and stayed ahead. I've always felt that his staff does a better job preparing than anyone we play."
Even though FSU got the win, they likely lost their best offensive linemen for the season. Senior guard Matt Meinrod was carted off the field in the third quarter after there was a scramble for a loose ball. He was later diagnosed with a dislocated ankle and a fractured fibula (left leg). Redshirt freshman Cornelius Lewis filled in and will likely be the starter at right guard for the rest of the season.
The Seminoles (5-0, 3-0 ACC Atlantic) will travel to Virginia this weekend to take on the Cavaliers (3-2) for a 7:45 p.m. kickoff.