WAKE FOREST GAME SUMMARY

Last Saturday, FSU looked to lick our wounds and recover from a nightmarish end of October in this game in Winston-Salem against Wake Forest, but instead met a team that looked like they were ready to extend and expand on our misery in the first quarter of this matchup.

WAKE FOREST GAME SUMMARY
(C) 2002 Kenny Moore. All Rights Reserved.

FSU 34
Wake Forest 21

Last Saturday, FSU looked to lick our wounds and recover from a nightmarish end of October in this game in Winston-Salem against Wake Forest, but instead met a team that looked like they were ready to extend and expand on our misery in the first quarter of this matchup. Any thoughts that FSU would walk into Grove Stadium and manhandle the Demon Deacons to get back on the winning track were quickly put to rest by an extremely creative and determined Wake Forest offensive attack. This one took everything we had to squeak away with a victory that was not sealed until Nick Maddox scooted and cut around left end for a 34 yard TD run to finally put Wake Forest away.

The bottom line for FSU fans that October and the beginning of November has shown is that we're far from being a team that is back to typical FSU standards. Now with Greg Jones going down to a season ending injury, it looks like it's going to take everything we have to avoid having a worse season than last year with tough upcoming games against resurgent Georgia Tech and Florida squads as well as what is shaping up to be a battle for the ACC title against North Carolina State.

The noteworthy thing about this game was the first career start for Adrian McPherson. Many say this start was a long time coming. I don't find myself in that camp because I think McPherson would have been better served to have to win the job with his on the field performance for more than just a couple of successful series against Notre Dame. I did find myself in the camp that I wanted him to get a lot more minutes on the field to prove himself though, so I don't consider him getting this chance to be completely wrong, just that I think it could have been handled in a better way. But he is now our starter and he has my full support in the position. I was *extremely* excited when he committed to FSU as I think he is going to be a fantastic talent for us that will make more than his share of headlines. For a first start, I think he did well for the most part. A lot of his mistakes were the same sort of mistakes fans grew impatient with from Chris Rix, but perhaps McPherson can learn his way through those mistakes with experience more quickly than Rix. Time will tell. Given that Chris Rix shredded Wake Forest for 40+ points before half-time last year, I'm not so sure that McPherson did significantly better than Rix would have done this year. AD had a solid outing and did a lot of good things out there, including a few things done better than Rix has been doing them, but I'm not yet ready to call what offensive glitches we have had solved by virtue of his performance.

I do know that all the "final piece to the puzzle" type talk from our defense was absolutely ludicrous and embarrassing (for them), especially in light of how they were being humiliated by Wake Forest with their performance early in this game. In a "laughing through my misery" kind of way, I was thinking our D was getting everything they deserved in the first half while still hoping we'd get things turned around. Our defense has and continues to be the primary problem for this FSU team, so for any defensive players to point any fingers at the offense is just another thing to make me shake my head realizing that our team just doesn't get it. It was great to see our D have enough heart to shut out Wake Forest in the second half to greatly aid the effort in this game and avoid total rock bottom, but for anyone to point to a close win over Wake Forest as evidence that we have the ship's course righted is taking more than is there from this game. With Greg Jones out for the year and Montrae Holland out for 2-4 weeks, I hate to say that I'm very pessimistic for the rest of the season. Please prove me wrong team.

NEGATIVES

1. Our run defense was abused for 237 yards on 48 carries by the Wake Forest offense. All in all, that's not nearly as bad as it could have been had we not made the necessary scheme and attitude adjustments necessary after a horrible first twenty minutes or so where the bulk of these yards were surrendered. Our major problems during this part of the game were lining up out of position for the offensive formations we were facing and just not getting anything at all from the defensive line in stopping the run. Once we started showing an ability to stop Wake's interior running, the game turned decidedly in our favor. The lowlights for the run defense included:

--27 yard run allowed by RB Williams: Kendyll Pope was out of position and blocked, Jerome Carter was slow getting off a block from the fullback, Leroy Smith never came up for outside containment, instead watching the play while backpedaling (poorly played by Smith).

--27 yard run allowed by RB Williams on an option play: Kendyll Pope was blocked, Allen Augustin was blocked, Jerome Carter was held. Our D was just whipped on this one, notwithstanding the missed penalty.

--12 yard run allowed by FB Mughelli: Allen Augustin was blocked, Kendyll Pope was blocked, Jerome Carter was slow reacting on run support.

--6 yard run allowed by RB Williams on an option play: Allen Augustin was decleated, Kyler Hall was blocked, Michael Boulware was occupied with a WR at the corner.

--3 yard TD run allowed by FB Mughelli: Michael Boulware and Allen Augustin were unable to stop him at the goalline and no other defenders were near the ball carrier (not very good goal line D here). Our DL didn't make a single play on this entire drive. Not one. I have no idea what our DT's were doing to not even be around the FB on his carries.

--10 yard run allowed by RB Williams on a 3rd and 5 option play. B.J. Ward was destroyed by a WR block, Michael Boulware was blocked. Nobody else was out there. I'm not sure why we using a LB or a safety to cover the slot WR when we needed a CB out there. Our LB and S were getting blocked on these plays with no extra help in run support. If we covered the WR with a CB as you'd normally expect, the CB could take the block leaving the LB or S free to close on run support. We were just in a bad D scheme on some of these early plays IMO.

--16 yard run allowed by QB MacPherson: Jerel Hudson took a bad angle and looked totally lost,, Kendyll Pope was slow reacting and just watched the play, Michael Boulware was slowed by a ref that got in the way, Jerome Carter was slow reacting to the play. The irony here was the announcer of the game quoted Mickey Andrews as saying that for playing Wake we were going to simplify our defense and let our athletes make plays. To me that's indicative that we're still trying to just outtalent folks when the talent just isn't there. 383 yards of offense and 21 points yielded against Wake Forest tells me that our athletes just aren't making enough plays and we need to stop relying so much on outtalenting our opposition from a coaching perspective. Whatever adjustments were made worked, so I'm happy that we were able to get things solved in time to avoid an embarrassing defeat.

--6 yard run allowed by RB Mughelli right up our gut again: Michael Boulware was out wide again, Allen Augustin was dragged for 4 yards on the tackle, Kendyll Pope was blocked and our DL was a no-show for yet another play.

--8 yard run allowed by QB MacPherson: Kendyll Pope was blocked, Allen Augustin was blocked, and Michael Boulware was out wide.

--13 yard TD run allowed by RB Barclay: Kendyll Pope took a bad angle, Allen Augustin was out of position, Michael Boulware ran out of position with a bad read of the play, B.J. Ward with a slow reaction to the run.

--3 yard run allowed on a 2nd and 2 play by FB Mughelli: Michael Boulware stuffed him at the line but let him bull forward for three yards. This wasn't such a bad play, but something I thought I'd note because I'd like to see Boulware get tougher physically and this sort of play is an example of why I think this is needed. When players like Marvin Jones or Derrick Brooks would hit you, you wouldn't push through their tackles for three yards.

--9 yard run allowed on a reverse by WR F. Davis. Alonzo Jackson was fooled and lost containment, Kendyll Pope and Allen Augustin were fooled looking for an inside run, Jerome Carter was decleated.

--9 yard run allowed by RB Williams on a 3rd and 1 play: Kendyll Pope was blocked, Allen Augustin was blocked, Jerome Carter took a bad angle because of a bad read of the play.

--26 yard run allowed by RB Williams: Kendyll Pope was blocked, Jerome Carter was very slow reacting to the play and was out of position, B.J. Ward missed a tackle attempt due to not wrapping up the ball carrier, Bryant McFadden totally whiffed on his tackle attempt. This was just very sloppy defense.

--9 yard run allowed by RB Williams to let Wake Forest back into field goal range: Jerome Carter missed a tackle and Kendyll Pope was blocked.

2. Craphonso Thorpe is hesitating too much on his kickoff returns IMO.

3. Adrian McPherson did well overall, but showed enough of the same sort of problems that Chris Rix has suffered to have me concerned for when we're facing a team with a stiffer pass defense than Wake Forest could field. It was his first start and I am taking that into consideration when saying that. Basically I need for AD to prove it on the field that he's the better option for our team and based on his performance in this game, I'm not yet convinced that we're going to be a better team in our tougher games with him at the helm. Rix did have twenty starts to get over having these sorts of problems and AD has had just one, so my hope is for AD's learning curve to take him to a higher level more quickly than Rix was able to do. Scoring 34 points on Wake Forest certainly should not be seen as a stellar performance. It was a victory, but a very hard fought victory where we didn't have the game in hand until the final two minutes. I would give McPherson a B grade for his performance as part of that outcome. That grade would be higher for a first start, but for overall quarterbacking, there is definitely room for improvement. Here's hoping that he is ready for a jump in quality of passing defense this week against Georgia Tech. The lowlights for McPherson in his first start included:

--Threw an INT on a deep sideline pattern on our first play from scrimmage after Wake pretty much walked through our defense on the way to a 7-0 lead. He needed to put this pass on Talman Gardner's outside shoulder, but left it inside. Gardner probably should have done a better job fighting for inside position as an adjustment to the ball. This was definitely not the way to answer Wake's early score and helped us get into a deeper hole as our defensive collapse continued on the subsequent series for Wake.

--Threw a bad pass intended for Talman Gardner that was almost picked off when he had Anquan Boldin open short at the sideline. He chose to force the pass to Gardner instead and almost turned it over with the decision.

--Overthrew Craphonso Thorpe on an out pattern.

--Threw behind Robert Morgan on a slant pattern due to the ball being tipped at the line of scrimmage.

--Telegraphed an out pattern to Talman Gardner, almost resulting in an INT that possibly could have been returned for a touchdown. Gardner did a good job in breaking up the INT effort.

--Overthrew Boldin on a deep sideline pattern.

--Missed Gardner on deep sideline pattern, throwing the ball out of bounds, probably an overcorrection to his earlier INT.

--Talman Gardner dropped a touchdown on a deep post pattern. This was a good play by the Wake Forest DB to break it up.

--Had another pass batted down at the line of scrimmage.

--Missed Nick Maddox in the flat on a 3rd and 8 pass.

--Overthrew Anquan Boldin out of the back of the end zone.

--Pass tipped at the line of scrimmage where AD was lucky it wasn't intercepted. He has to work on getting his passes up over the linemen, or work on choosing his passing lanes more wisely because at his height he shouldn't have this kind of problem with getting balls tipped at the line.

--Bad throw on a fade pattern in the end zone to Anquan Boldin. This one was surprising as previously Adrian McPherson seemed to be throwing the fade better than Chris Rix IMO. On this one he needed to get the ball to the outside where only Boldin could catch it, but instead he threw inside and allowed the DB to make the play.

4. Our pass defense turned in their best performance of the season against Wake Forest's #99 ranked pass offense, but I would not call this a solid effort. Wake hit us for 12-24 passing for 146 yards, 1 TD and 0 INTs. I would say that's winning the battle for them considering how little they normally rely on their passing game. Had we forced two or three interceptions, I probably would have been happy with this effort, but we didn't, so I'm not. The lowlights for our pass D included:

--10 yard catch allowed to WR Davis beating B.J. Ward and Rufus Brown in zone coverage. I'm not sure if it was Fabian or Chris Davis as I didn't realize I needed to note that at the time.

--12 yard catch allowed by WR Anderson. Leroy Smith with a bad job staying with his man as he went in motion and gave too big a cushion on the snap.

--8 yard catch allowed by WR Young. Normally I wouldn't bring up a catch under 10 yards, but Leroy Smith was giving a 10 yard cushion on this play and had no chance to stop it.

--16 yard catch allowed by WR Young on a 2nd and 14 play beating Rufus Brown and Jerome Carter who looked lost in coverage.

--17 yard catch allowed by WR C. Davis beating Jerel Hudson (who looked like he had lead weights in his pants in coverage), B.J. Ward lost his man at the line due to confusion over motion which forced Hudson to try to cover guy.

--16 yard catch allowed by FB Mughelli beating Kendyll Pope who totally blew the coverage. He didn't go out with the FB at all and completely ignored him. This is partially a symptom of us never using our FB's in our passing game IMO.

--12 yard TD catch allowed on a 3rd and goal pass to WR Anderson beating Bryant McFadden. McFadden had poor technique on this play, mistiming his leap on the jump ball going up awkwardly and way late.

--8 yard catch allowed on 2nd and 7 play to WR Young beating Michael Boulware in zone coverage and fighting through a tackle for a 1st down.

--26 yard catch allowed by WR Young on a jump ball beating Rufus Brown. Young just wanted the ball more than Rufus did. This was a poor job because worst case in this play should have been a pass breakup IMO.

5. Obviously the biggest negative of all from this game was the season ending injury to Greg Jones. Other than that, our rushing offense had a very successful outing. Wake was able to slow us down on the ground on some plays, but we got the best of them overall in this department. We had 14 unsuccessful carries on the afternoon for 23 yards. Of note is the fact that we did not have a single designed running play stopped for a loss that I saw, but given that the newspaper credits Wake Forest with 3 TFLs, it is possible that a couple of the runs I saw as going for no gain were ruled as a loss of one. Somehow the newspaper credits one Wake Forest defender with having two TFL's for a loss of 1 yard combined. I guess those were for a half yard each. The low points for our running game included:

--Greg Jones with a 3 yard run: B.J. Dean with a block, Patrick Hughes didn't block anybody, Ray Willis needed a better block, Montrae Holland pulled and didn't block anybody, Antoine Mirambeau and Todd Williams with a double team pancake, Brett Williams with a block.

--Nick Maddox with a run for no gain: B.J. Dean didn't block anybody, Ray Willis with a block, Montrae Holland with a block, Antoine Mirambeau with a block and knocked his guy down, Todd Williams with a block, Brett Williams was beat to the inside to kill the play.

--Greg Jones with a 2 yard run: Dominic Robinson with a block, Talman Gardner needed a better block, Patrick Hughes with a decleater, Ray Willis with a block, Montrae Holland with a block, Antoine Mirambeau and Todd Williams with a double team block, Brett Williams with a block.

--Nick Maddox with a 3 yard run: B.J. Dean whiffed on a decleater attempt to kill the play, Patrick Hughes with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Montrae Holland with a block, Antoine Mirambeau with a vicious pancake, Montrae Holland with a block, Brett Williams with a block.

--Greg Jones with no gain on a run and a season ending injury--Ugh!: B.J. Dean with a block, Patrick Hughes with a decleater, Ray Willis didn't get a block, Montrae Holland pulled and didn't get a block, Antoine Mirambeau needed a better block and was knocked down, Todd Williams needed a better block, Brett Williams needed a better block, Paul Irons was beat to the inside.

--Anquan Boldin with a 3 yard run on a reverse: B.J. Dean missed his block, Patrick Hughes with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Montrae Holland with a block, Antoine Mirambeau didn't get his block, Todd Williams pulled and knocked his guy down, Brett Williams with a block. Boldin fumbled at the end of this play but managed to recover the ball.

--Nick Maddox with a 2 yard run: B.J. Dean with a pancake, Patrick Hughes with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Montrae Holland with a block, Antoine Mirambeau with a block, Todd Williams with a block, Brett Williams with a block but the guy shed that block to make the play as Maddox ran by.

--Nick Maddox with a 3 yard run: Ray Willis with a block, Montrae Holland with a block, Antoine Mirambeau with a pancake, Todd Williams with a block but got knocked down, Brett Williams and Paul Irons with a double team block.

--Nick Maddox with a 1 yard run: B.J. Dean with a block, Paul Irons with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Matt Heinz with a block, Antoine Mirambeau with a block, Todd Williams with a block, Brett Williams with a block. There was just nowhere to run here as there was no hole created between Willis and Heinz where the play was designed to go.

--Nick Maddox with a 2 yard run: B.J. Dean with a block, Patrick Hughes with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Matt Heinz with a block, Antoine Mirambeau with a block but was beat to kill the play, Todd Williams with a block, Brett Williams with a block.

--Nick Maddox with a 1 yard run: B.J. Dean with a block, Patrick Hughes with a block, Ray Willis needed a better block, Matt Heinz with a block, Antoine Mirambeau with a pancake, Todd Williams missed a block on a LB to kill the play, Brett Williams with a block.

--Leon Washington with a run for no gain: Nick Maddox missed his block to kill the play, Ray Willis with a block, Matt Heinz with a block, Antoine Mirambeau with a block, Todd Williams missed his block, Brett Williams with a block.

--Nick Maddox with a 3 yard run: B.J. Dean didn't get his block as he just ran into the pile, Patrick Hughes needed a better block, Ray Willis and Matt Heinz with a double team block, Antoine Mirambeau and Todd Williams with a double team block, Brett Williams with a block, Paul Irons with a block.

--Nick Maddox with a run for no gain: Patrick Hughes with a light block, Ray Willis with a block, Matt Heinz with a block, Antoine Mirambeau and Todd Williams with a double team block, Brett Williams didn't get his block on a OLB after an initial chip on a DL, Paul Irons with a pancake. This play was stuffed on a good play by the MLB shooting the right gap where nobody could block him.

6. Adrian McPherson did make a few bad run/pass decisions out there and had some plays not very different from the ones leading the boo-birds to come out against Chris Rix. Some of the bad moves for AD on the game included:

--1 yard run on a 3rd and 6 scramble. This was a bad decision as he bailed out of the pocket too quickly under minimal pressure to run when he had pretty much no chance to get the first down.

--Fumbled on a scramble.

--12 yard run on a 3rd and 16 scramble. He couldn't find anyone open on this one so he took off in hopes of being able to get the first down. I think he probably should have tried to buy more time and continue to look for the pass option on this one because it was very unlikely that he was going to pick up the needed 16 yards on the ground. He did well to get as many yards as he did.

--1 yard run on a scramble. This was a bad decision as there was no pressure and AD just bailed on the play unnecessarily.

7. Xavier Beitia had a very rough game missing three field goals from 47, 45 and 38 yards and having a kickoff go out of bounds. The 47 yarder didn't make it to the goal post.

8. Bryant McFadden just sat there watching a live ball after B.J. Ward's blocked field goal. He was out there in position to recover it, but just spectated, letting a Wake Forest player recover the ball and run for a first down. McFadden was bailed out of looking unbelievably boneheaded only by an equally poor decision on the part of the Wake Forest player as he tried an ill advised lateral that was fumbled and recovered by a then alert McFadden. Even when we make a good play, we're still shaky. This one brought back haunting memories of the Miami TD last year on the play that should have been a blocked FG or a huge stop for us. I have no idea what McFadden was thinking in not going after the ball.

9. First quarter statistic: Wake Forest 209 yards, FSU 44 yards. Our D in the first quarter was as bad as I have ever seen it, giving up what projected to be 836 yards of offense over the course of the game if they didn't improve. Fortunately for us, they improved considerably.

10. Our pass protection was very solid for most of the game, but we did have a few breakdowns.

--Pressure allowed by Ray Willis and Greg Jones forced Adrian McPherson to scramble on the play where he fumbled the ball.

--Pressure allowed by Ray Willis not breaking off a double team block to pick up a late blitzing LB forced an incompletion to kill a drive.

11. We had at least three drives killed by play selection of throwing short of the marker on third down passes. We succeeded with this strategy on two other attempts, but it still makes me cringe every time a drive is stopped when we don't even try to throw past the first down marker.

POSITIVES

1. Our starting linebackers had a particularly active game, finishing as our top three tacklers on the day. Michael Boulware led the way with fourteen tackles. Kendyll Pope added nine and Allen Augustin added eight. Kendyll Pope had the best performance with three of his tackles coming behind the line of scrimmage. Early on these guys were getting blocked or schemed out of nearly every play, but as the game progressed we seemed to get things figured out to where they could have more impact. The high points for our LB's included:

--Kendyll Pope with a -4 yard TFL on a run by RB Barclay. Allen Augustin and Alonzo Jackson were also in on the tackle.

--Michael Boulware with a nice pass deflection to cause an incompletion.

--Michael Boulware with an excellent -4 yard TFL on a run by RB Barclay.

--Kendyll Pope with a tackle for no gain on an inside run.

--Kendyll Pope with a -1 yard TFL on a reverse by WR F. Davis.

--Kendyll Pope with an awesome stop for a 1 yard gain on a 3rd and 2 run by RB Williams to force a punt.

--Kendyll Pope and Alonzo Jackson with a -1 yard TFL on a run by RB Barclay.

--Kendyll Pope with a nice pass breakup for a 3rd and 12 stop. He dropped what should have been a sure INT on this on though.

2. Our running game provided 255 yards on 43 carries. We could not have won this football game without the excellent effort of Nick Maddox. Although I hate the circumstances that forced Nick into this all-important role, it was good to see Nick get to be the hero for us in this game. He is a guy that deserves all the success he can get and I hope he's able to lead us to a few more victories before his senior season is done. Pro scouts need to take notice of Mr. Maddox. Even though he was beat out for the starting job by Greg Jones, Maddox has some serious skills of his own that would serve any team well and his team attitude has been one of the few refreshing elements of this year's disappointing FSU effort. Hats off to Greg Jones for being the warrior that he is as well, even if it wasn't the wisest move to continue playing after the initial injury produced a noticeable limp in his step and likely weakened the knee enough to set the stage for the later season ending injury. Watching Jones hobble his way to big gains at critical points of the game says nobody should ever question his heart and will to win (not that anyone was doing so before). Watching our backs do their thing this year has been the primary enjoyment in an otherwise disappointing season so far. We still have some big games left to turn things around and salvage a fair level of success, so don't take my comments here as indicative of this being a season that is over, just that the national title quest is over.

We had 17 carries on designed running plays that gained 196 yards. We had 14 unsuccessful carries on the afternoon for 23 yards. The totals come out to 31 designed running plays gaining 219 yards for an excellent 7.06 YPC average and a 54.8% success rate. The success rate should have been higher for us in this game, but I can't argue with the yards per carry average. The highlights for our ground game included:

--Greg Jones with a 4 yard run and an injury: Craphonso Thorpe needed a much better block as he gave a weak effort as he was thrown aside by the CB that made the hit, Dominic Robinson with a block, Patrick Hughes and Ray Willis with a double team block where Willis needed to get out on a LB instead of doubling with Hughes, Montrae Holland with a block, Antoine Mirambeau with a block, Todd Williams with a block, Brett Williams with a block. I'm not going to blame Thorpe for Jones' initial injury because missed blocks happen and injuries happen, but I do hope Thorpe uses this play as motivation for his run blocking in the future. He hasn't done a bad job in this area previously, but I'd like to see this play propel him into becoming an *excellent* run blocker because this is an area of the game that is all about desire IMO. Use the negative to turn it into a positive Cro.

--Greg Jones with a 23 yard run on a 3rd and 1 play: ESPN2 was late getting back to the play from commercial break, so I unfortunately missed the blocking on this solid run.

--Adrian McPherson with a 15 yard run on a bootleg: We didn't really block on this play as Wake Forest was totally fooled by the fake. Robert Morgan had a downfield block.

--Greg Jones with a 4 yard run: Anquan Boldin with a block, B.J. Dean with a block, Patrick Hughes with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Montrae Holland with a block, Antoine Mirambeau with a block, Todd Williams didn't block anybody until too late (he needed to hit an LB but didn't to kill the play), Brett Williams with a block.

--Greg Jones with a 29 yard run: Dominic Robinson with a block, Talman Gardner with an excellent downfield block, Nick Maddox with a decleater, Ray Willis with a block, Montrae Holland with a block, Antoine Mirambeau with a block, Todd Williams needed a better block, Brett Williams with a block. If Jones wasn't hurt, he probably would have scored on this play as it was wide open.

--Greg Jones with a 15 yard run: Anquan Boldin didn't get a block, Talman Gardner didn't get a block, Nick Maddox blocked the ref nicely, Ray Willis with a block, Montrae Holland with a block, Antoine Mirambeau with a block, Todd Williams knocked his guy down, Brett Williams with a block.

--Adrian McPherson with a 1 yard run on a 4th and 1 play: Patrick Hughes didn't get a block, Ray Willis with a block, Montrae Holland with a block, Antoine Mirambeau with a pancake, Todd Williams with a block, Brett Williams with a decleater, Paul Irons with a pancake. I'm not positive on the blocking for this play because the TV angle made it tough to see.

--Nick Maddox with a 12 yard run: B.J. Dean with a block, Patrick Hughes with a block, Ray Willis with a block and knocked his guy down, Montrae Holland with a block, Antoine Mirambeau with a pancake, Todd Williams with a block, Brett Williams with a block, Anquan Boldin with a block, Dominic Robinson missed his block. This probably would have been a TD run if Robinson would have got the needed block.

--Nick Maddox with a 4 yard run: Robert Morgan with a block, B.J. Dean with a block, Patrick Hughes with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Montrae Holland fell down, Antoine Mirambeau with a pancake, Todd Williams pulled and got a pancake, Brett Williams with a decleater.

--Nick Maddox with a 3 yard TD run: B.J. Dean with a block, Patrick Hughes with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Montrae Holland knocked his guy down, Antoine Mirambeau with a pancake, Todd Williams with a pancake, Brett Williams with a block.

--Nick Maddox with a 9 yard run: B.J. Dean didn't get his block, Patrick Hughes with two blocks and he destroyed the second guy, Ray Willis with a block, Montrae Holland didn't get a block, Antoine Mirambeau with a pancake, Todd Williams with a block, Brett Williams with a pancake.

--Nick Maddox with a 7 yard run: Patrick Hughes with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Montrae Holland with a pancake, Antoine Mirambeau with a block, Todd Williams didn't block anybody, Brett Williams with a block.

--Nick Maddox with a 6 yard run: B.J. Dean with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Montrae Holland with a pancake, Antoine Mirambeau with a block, Todd Williams with a drive block, Brett Williams with a block, Paul Irons with a block.

--Nick Maddox with a 10 yard run: Anquan Boldin with a block, Patrick Hughes with a block, Ray Willis with a block, Montrae Holland and Antoine Mirambeau with a double team pancake, Todd Williams with a drive block and knocked his guy down, Brett Williams with a block.

--Nick Maddox with a 6 yard run: B.J. Dean with a block, Todd Williams and Brett Williams with a double team pancake, Antoine Mirambeau with a pancake, Montrae Holland with a block and injury, Ray Willis with a block, Paul Irons with a block. Losing Montrae Holland for 2-4 weeks could be a devastating blow to this team as we go down the stretch, when combined with losing Greg Jones. The silver lining is Matt Heinz and Bobby Meeks will likely see more action to prepare them for next year. We've needed to get those second team interior lineman more work all year. I didn't want it to be achieved this way though.

--Nick Maddox with a 14 yard run: Anquan Boldin with a light block, B.J. Dean with a pancake, Patrick Hughes with a block, Ray Willis with a pancake, Matt Heinz with a pancake, Antoine Mirambeau with a block, Todd Williams pulled and got a block, Brett Williams with a block, Paul Irons with a block. This run was a TREMENDOUS job by Maddox, first reversing field when nothing was there to the left, showing excellent speed to get to the outside back on the right side, then showing good smarts to stay inbounds and then capping off the run with some excellent fight to get 4 more yards after the initial hit.

--Nick Maddox with a 34 yard TD run to win the game! Anquan Boldin with a block, B.J. Dean with a block, Patrick Hughes knocked his guy down, Ray Willis with a block and decleater, Matt Heinz missed his block, Antoine Mirambeau with a block, Todd Williams with a late block, Brett Williams with a block, Paul Irons with a block. Maddox showed excellent speed around the corner and then had a nice cut to dog the last DB that had a chance to stop the play. From there it was paydirt and a hard fought FSU victory. Maddox made this one look easy.

3. Adrian McPherson put up some very respectable numbers in his first career start, going 28 of 44 for 278 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT. We definitely opened up our offense with the 44 pass attempts to really see what AD could do. He had his greatest success with the short to medium range out patterns. He looked very poised in the pocket as he has several times before in mop up duty. His decision making was good for the most part and he definitely surpassed Chris Rix in his ability to just get rid of the ball for an incompletion when nothing was there instead of trying to force something he shouldn't. Despite my somewhat reserved attitude towards his game expressed earlier in this summary, I do see a lot of positives to build on and think this is a very good starting point for us to work from. The high points for our passing game included:

--Nice 15 yard out pattern to Talman Gardner.

--Talman Gardner with an excellent catch for 11 yards on another out pattern.

--Anquan Boldin with a 15 yard catch on another nice out pattern.

--Excellent 19 yard TD strike to Talman Gardner on a slant pattern. This was a great pass and a good job by Gardner in getting wide open.

--Nice 12 yard out to Craphonso Thorpe on a rollout. I liked the play and this was well executed.

--Talman Gardner with a 13 yard catch on another nice out pattern.

--Dominic Robinson with excellent fight for yards after the catch on a 10 yard reception on a short out pattern.

--12 yard catch and run on a dump off over the middle to Nick Maddox to pick up a 3rd and 6 conversion. I was wanting to see us go to this play after Wake started stuffing our flare pass. I thought there would be room for Nick over the middle. I was glad to see our offensive staff make this successful play calling adjustment.

--Anquan Boldin with a 12 yard reception on a curl pattern.

--Dominic Robinson with a nice 20 yard catch on a skinny post pattern. Robinson fumbled at the end of the play and was very lucky to recover the ball. Can't fumble the ball D-Rob.

--9 yard TD catch by Anquan Boldin. Adrian McPherson showed good patience in the pocket letting this play develop. Boldin with a good move to get open in the end zone.

--7 yard catch on a trick play to Patrick Hughes. Nice lob by AD on this pass.

--Dominic Robinson with an excellent job making a man miss for a 9 yard catch and run on a flat pass, getting 7 yards after the catch with the move.

--Robert Morgan with some great fight for yards after the catch to pick up a 3rd and 5 conversion on a curl pattern.

--Talman Gardner with a nice catch on an out pattern for 14 yards. I think we got away with one here because it didn't look like he had possession established before stepping out of bounds.

--Beautiful throw and catch on an out pattern to Talman Gardner for 22 yards with a great fake by Adrian McPherson.

--7 yard dump off to Nick Maddox. Good job by AD finding the underneath option.

--Nice 14 yard out pattern to Anquan Boldin.

--Nice 10 yard catch over the middle by Patrick Hughes to pick up a 3rd and 3 conversion. Excellent play call here.

--12 yard catch by Dominic Robinson on a curl pattern to pick up a 2nd and 9 conversion.

--11 yard strike to Anquan Boldin on a slant for a 3rd and 4 conversion.

4. Adrian McPherson also made some heady and athletic plays to gain a positive result where things weren't looking very good at the start of the play. Some notable moments in his decision making included:

--Nice job avoiding a sack to gain 1 yard on a scramble.

--Nice 7 yard run on a scramble. This one was a good decision to run.

--Good job throwing the ball out of bounds under some heavy pressure to avoid a sack and avoid forcing an ill advised throw.

--Excellent escapability on display as AD turned a sure sack into a 4 yard scramble for a 1st down on a 3rd and 1 play.

--6 yard run on a scramble. On this one he probably could have stayed with the play instead of scrambling, but I wouldn't call it a bad decision.

--Another good job throwing the ball out of bounds under pressure to avoid a sack and avoid forcing an ill advised throw.

5. Our DL started very slowly (that's putting it mildly) but played better as the game progressed. The high points up front included:

--Tony Benford and Travis Johnson with a -1 yard TFL on a run by RB Williams.

--Big pressure by Tony Benford forced an incompletion on a 3rd and 4 play to force a punt.

--HUGE -16 yard TFL by Alonzo Jackson on a reverse by WR C. Davis. Davis made a bad decision in backtracking after Jackson had the play stuff and Zo made him pay dearly with the enormous loss to help kill a Wake Forest drive.

--Travis Johnson, Brian Ross and Allen Augustin with a -4 yard sack with Kevin Emanuel providing the initial pressure.

6. B.J. Ward with his fourth blocked field goal of the season. It is very likely that B.J.'s presence also had a small role in the two subsequent misses for Wake Forest's kicker. Great job B.J.! Keep this up and you'll be dubbed the field goal blocking machine.

7. We only had 4 penalties for 34 yards, so that goes in the positives section. There seems to be quite a difference in ACC officiating once we get some losses.

--A Xavier Beitia kick off goes out of bounds.

--Block in the back penalty on Anquan Boldin nullified a 9 yard catch and run by Nick Maddox on a flare pass. I think it was on Boldin, but not 100% sure.

--Block in the back penalty negated a 28 yard punt return by Leon Washington. I didn't see who this was on but we were lucky we weren't called for another block in the back penalty inside the 10 yard line on this one.

--Talman Gardner with a personal foul penalty to kill a drive with a totally stupid head slap after some tussling went on between him and a defender. It didn't look to be meant as anything more than a little love tap (i.e.--no intent to hurt the guy, just a little slap to say "good scrap" over their extra-curricular activities), but it's not wise on Talman's part to leave the interpretation up to an ACC ref. This penalty could have easily cost us the game as it killed a promising drive that started in good field position. Without the penalty, we would have had a third and inches situation. Instead we had a 3rd and 16 situation we failed to convert.

8. Our DB's really didn't do much of anything in this game besides run support. It wasn't a very spectacular game for them, but here are the noteworthy plays they turned in:

--Jerome Carter with an excellent -5 yard TFL on a reverse to WR F. Davis. This was a textbook tackle.

--Rufus Brown with a pass breakup on a deep sideline pattern.

9. Xavier Beitia did manage to make two of his field goals which was the entirety of our lead late in the game before Nick Maddox put it away. Beitia was good from 32 and 28 yards.

10. Jared Hetzel with a nice hit to stop a kickoff return at the 19 yard line. A.J. Nicholson and Pat Watkins were also in on the play and caused a fumble that Wake Forest was able to recover at the 15 yard line. Jared Hetzel later recovered a fumbled punt by Wake Forest. That one was a HUGE play in the game as Wake was ready to take over in good field position after our punt.

11. We did a much better job than usual with our clock management on the TD drive before halftime. AD got his snaps off within 8 seconds of the referees starting the clock. There is still room for improvement there, but 8 seconds is much better than our usual 10-15 seconds.

12. The Victory play was a very welcomed sight to see.

13. Hats off to the defense for sucking it up after struggling mightily early on and pitching a second half shut out. I think they collectively realized just how foolish they were going to look if they would let us lose this game and decided it wasn't going to happen this week.

PLAYERS OF THE GAME

Offense: Nick Maddox
Defense: Kendyll Pope
Special Teams: B.J. Ward and Jared Hetzel


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