RALEIGH, N.C. --- Led by a dominating defense, No. 2 Wake Forest (9-0) stomped Leesville Road (4-5), 38-6, on Friday.
Due to the aforementioned defense, it wasn’t until the third quarter that Leesville Road's offense crossed midfield. During that breakthrough drive, the Pride scored its only points.
Dexter Lawrence, Wake Forest, '16
It’s difficult for a description to do Lawrence justice – heck, one might need to see him play in person (as opposed to the above video) to truly appreciate his physical makeup and cat-like quickness. He couples a legit 6-foot-5, 335-pound frame with long arms and the agility of a player 100 pounds lighter.
Lawrence, who lined up at several different D-line technqiues throughout the game, has the production to match his physical tools. He tallied five tackles, including two for a loss and a sack, plus a QB hit on Friday.
The above numbers exclude the psychological effects a quarterback suffers after receiving a crossbody from Lawrence two plays into the game (clip 1). It’s no coincidence that Cooper Eason-Riddle tossed an interception as he saw the enormous Lawrence barrelly towards him (clip 3) during Leesville's next possession. Although that was Eason-Riddle’s lone INT, he completed just a couple passes and was regularly flushed out of the pocket by a sprinting 335-pounder.
One would expect Xach Gill to benefit significantly from the attention paid to linemate Dexter Lawrence. However, the 2017 defensive lineman had just two tackles, both for a loss. The 6-foot-5, 284-pounder is long and moves well, which causes this observer to wonder if offensive line is in Gill's future.
Outside of Lawrence, Darius Hodge was the most impressive defensive prospect. The long, rangy 6-foot-2, 230-pounder lined up everywhere within the front seven, save for defensive tackle. Regardless of his pre-snap alignment, the 2017 prospect was full speed towards the play, which resulted in six tackles (two TFLs). One of his TFLs was made in the end zone for a safety. The aforementioned burst also had him inches short of punt blocks on three occasions.
Lawrence’s younger brother, Devon, rushed for a game-high 150 yards, plus a pair of touchdowns, on 18 carries. The sophomore’s second TD, a 33-yarder, was his most impressive tote – he cut against the flow of the play into open field and then skipped into the end zone untouched.