WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — James Blackman shook off a struggle-filled day to connect with Auden Tate on a 40-yard touchdown throw with 53 seconds left, helping Florida State rally past Wake Forest 26-19 on Saturday for its first win.
Blackman — the freshman pressed into a starting role due to injury earlier this season — had thrown for just 81 yards entering that final drive for the Seminoles (1-2, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). But after the FSU defense forced a three-and-out, Blackman was perfect with the downfield shot to Auden.
The win allowed the Seminoles to avoid their first 0-3 start since 1976.
FSU: The Seminoles closed a tough first month, from the crushing opener against top-ranked Alabama that included a season-ending injury to starting quarterback Deondre Francois to an altered schedule following Hurricane Irma. But the preseason No. 3 team and ACC favorite is headed into October with a desperately needed win — one that maybe can help the Seminoles regain their shaky footing.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons were trying to reach 5-0 for the first time since their unexpected ACC championship run in 2006. Their defensive front gave FSU fits, but the Demon Deacons struggled to run the ball and made too many mistakes — most notably losing two turnovers after committing just one through the first four games and giving up a big kickoff return to set up FSU’s first touchdown.
FSU: The Seminoles host No. 14 Miami on Oct. 7 in a game rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons visit second-ranked and reigning national champion Clemson on Oct. 7.