TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Drew Weatherford threw for 351 yards and three touchdowns as fourth-ranked Florida State blew open a close game with three quick scores in the final quarter to defeat Wake Forest 41-24 Saturday.

Florida State (5-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) rolled up 585 yards and 27 first downs, but its nationally ranked defense struggled all day against the pesky Demon Deacons. Though the Seminoles never trailed, they were in trouble heading into the last quarter.

Wake Forest (2-4, 1-2) closed to 20-17 on the final play of the third quarter on a 31-yard touchdown run by Chris Barclay, the ACC’s leading rusher who finished with 125 yards against a rush defense that was ranked sixth nationally.

But the Seminoles scored three touchdowns in the next nine minutes to take a 41-17 lead. It took a clutch play by freshman receiver Greg Carr, who was celebrating his 20th birthday, to get Florida State out of trouble.

Faced with a third-and-15 at his own 21, Weatherford escaped a heavy rush and threw the ball long for the 6-foot-6 Carr, who caught it near midfield and ran to the Wake Forest 16 for a 63-yard gain.

On the next play, Weatherford found Fred Rouse for a 16-yard score to give Florida State a 27-17 lead. Florida State scored on a long swing pass on its next drive when Leon Washington went 61 yards for a 34-17 lead. The same play worked a week earlier when Lorenzo Booker went 71 yards for a score.

Backup quarterback Xavier Lee scored the final touchdown for the Seminoles with 5:38 left.

Weatherford, who completed 20 of 31 passes, also scored on a 1-yard run that gave Florida State a 7-0 lead. Wake Forest’s Kevin Marion, on his first carry of the season, went 67 yards for a touchdown to pull the Demon Deacons to 10-7. Wake Forest scored with 20 seconds left in the game on a 1-yard run by Marion.

Florida State’s victory came with a price. The Seminoles lost senior guard Matt Meinrod, arguably their best offensive lineman, when he broke his fibula and dislocated the ankle on his left leg in the third quarter.

Seminoles linebacker Ernie Sims was also taken off the field with a sprained left knee.

AP-ES-10-08-05 1606EDT


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