- David M. Hale, ESPN Staff Writer
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By the time EJ Manuel completed his second pass of Saturday's game, Florida State was already up 28-0, and from there it was easy.
But while the Florida State offense soared to its third consecutive game with at least 50 points, Jimbo Fisher found plenty of points of concern when he broke down the film, particularly in the passing game.
Start with the offensive line.
Daniel Glauser got the start at right tackle over a dinged-up Menelik Watson, and on the first play of the game a miscommunication on the right side of the line forced Chris Thompson to go down in the backfield.
Fisher said communication improved as the game progressed, noting that Glauser "gave up a couple things here and there, but for the most part, I was pleased."
Watson should be a full participant in practice today, Fisher said, after getting some late work with the No. 2 offense Saturday.
"He'll be ready to roll this week," Fisher said.
The offensive line flubbed two plays on the goal line in the second quarter, too.
Florida State had a first-and-goal from the 2 and was stuffed on three consecutive plays. The first was the fault of running back James Wilder Jr., who failed to make a proper cut.
"It's a walk-in and he missed the cut," Fisher said.
The next two plays were missed signals by the offensive line, which opened gaps for Wake Forest to stuff the run.
The goal-line issues plagued Florida State a year ago, and Fisher said it will be a primary area of focus this week as FSU prepares for Clemson.
While the line wasn't perfect in pass protection either, Fisher said a number of the problems were actually the result of mistakes by receivers, backs and tight ends.
While Fisher noted that protection broke down a few times early, Manuel's designed runs and option plays helped neutralize Wake Forest's blitz, but the Seminoles still failed to capitalize on some big-play opportunities.
On the second play of the game, Kelvin Benjamin dropped a quick pass over the middle that could have been a big gain, something Fisher attributed to a young receiver trying to do too much before securing the football.
"That's something Kelvin's got to go through," he said.
Greg Dent should have been open for an easy score on a deep ball in the first quarter when Wake was in a cover zero defense, too, Fisher said, but he ran into the corner and Manuel was forced to throw the ball away.
Several bubble screens might have gone for big yards, too, but the blocking from the wide receivers -- which had been excellent on Thompson's two long TD runs -- was noticeably absent.
"One of those, EJ had to take a sack on what might have been a 90-yard bubble play," Fisher said.
Given that FSU had unveiled only a small portion of its passing attack in the first two weeks -- just "three percent," Manuel guessed -- and Wake Forest ran an unusual 3-4 scheme against the Seminoles, the early miscommunications and missed assignments weren't a complete surprise.
What was encouraging, Fisher said, is that the the passing game improved as the game progressed. If Florida State can open this week's game already firing on all cylinders, there's a chance for a lot of plays to be made.
"When we started blocking and running where we're supposed to run," Fisher said, "we're throwing, we're catching, we're doing it."
5dDavid M. Hale
5dDavid M. Hale