TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Kevin Patterson scored on a 48-yard interception return and No. 18 Wake Forest beat Florida State 30-0 Saturday night to become the first team to shut out the Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium in Bobby Bowden's 31 seasons as coach.
The resurgent Demon Deacons (5-1, Atlantic Coast Conference) improved to 9-1 for the first time in school history with their first win over Florida State in 23 years. Wake Forest last won in Tallahassee in 1959.
The struggling Seminoles (5-5, 3-5), meanwhile, hit a new low. Florida State hadn't been shut out since in 232 games, dating back to the 1988 opener at Miami.
Wake Forest can earn a spot in next month's conference championship game with wins over Virginia Tech and Maryland in its final two games while Florida State needs a win over either Western Michigan or Florida to be bowl eligible.
Things started poorly for the Seminoles and then got worse.
The Demon Deacons picked off Florida State's Xavier Lee on successive passes deep in Seminoles territory early in the second quarter and the turnovers led to 10 points.
Wake Forest had a 6-0 lead on a pair of Sam Swank field goals, the second set up by Alphonso Smith's interception that gave them the ball at Florida State's 9.
Swank nailed his third field goal from 51 yards - his fifth of the season from 50 or more - to give Wake Forest a 23-0 lead with 3:31 left in the third quarter.
Wake dominated the opening half, rolling up 211 yards to just 77 for Florida State, which switched quarterbacks after Lee's second interception.
Drew Weatherford, who replaced Lee, was 4 of 15 for just 52 yards and two interceptions. Lee finished 5 of 13 for 61 yards. Both were picked twice and the inept Florida State offense produced just 139 yards on 51 plays.
When Patterson grabbed a tipped pass thrown by Weatherford and raced down the left sideline to give the Demon Deacons a 30-0 lead in the final minute of the third quarter much of a disgruntled home crowd of 77,785 bolted as well.
Florida State players wore the #95 on their helmets Saturday night in memory of Miami defensive end Bryan Pata, who was shot to death earlier this week. His brother, Edwin Pierre-Pata, is a senior walk-on at Florida State.