WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — If you wanted to see clear separation in the Wake Forest quarterback competition, you came to the wrong place Saturday.
The Deacs first scrimmage of fall camp showed that both Kendall Hinton and John Wolford have continued to improve, but neither has seemingly distinguished himself as the clear number one choice for coach Dave Clawson.
One person who did distinguish himself was freshman punter Dom Maggio who boomed punts of 55 and 60 yards in special teams drills.
Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson spoke with the media after the scrimmage was complete.
On what he saw out there
Clawson: “It was a good go. It was physical, the guys ran hard, they played hard. This is a broken record and I say this after every first scrimmage: you go the first week of camp and we have two or three officials out there but we never have a whole crew. So what happens is some of those bad habits we get into because we don’t have officials, now you get into a scrimmage and you don’t get away with it. A false start in practice, you blow the whistle and run the play. Now it’s a five-yard penalty. You hold somebody in practice and nobody notices, today it’s a 10-yard penalty. I thought it was a good go. It was sloppy like the first scrimmage usually is. Now we’ll try to clean things up over the next 10 days. This is into phase two of camp.”
On his thoughts on the quarterbacks
Clawson: “They both did some good things. I think you can tell that John’s (Wolford) taken a lot of snaps and he directs the offense really well. He’s accurate and makes good decisions and Kendall (Hinton) makes incredibly explosive plays with his feet. They both did really good things and they’re both good players. We don’t have to make a decision for a while and we’re going to keep watching practice and evaluating. We don’t play a game for 17 days. They’re both right now playing at a level better than we’ve had a quarterback play during our three years here. It’s a good problem. You have two guys at a position where only one guy plays. They’re both playing really well. They have both clearly upgraded their game from a year ago and even from the spring.”
On how he determines who plays - on if he goes with accuracy or explosiveness
Clawson: “A lot of it is you look at the film. Who’s managing the offense and who’s moving the offense? That’s a big evaluation. Every play we have is a plus/minus. Sometimes you make an explosive play, it’s a double plus. Sometimes when you turn the ball over or get us into the wrong play, it’s a double minus. It’s like any other position. You evaluate everything — the plus/minuses, the completion percentage, the yard per attempt. At the end of the day you take all that information, then you go with your gut as to who gives you the best chance to win. There’s a lot of numbers you can study, but you have to look at who gives your team the best chance to win. What the decision is week one isn’t necessarily the decision in week 10. It’s a long season, and there could be an ebb and flow to it. Again, last season, those guys couldn’t stay healthy. I think in college football you need two, but we just need to figure out who starts and how we’re going to work it. We’ve got time to make that decision.”
On if he was happy with the run game
Clawson: “No. I think there were a lot of explosive runs and big plays. To me, there weren’t enough three and four yard plays. There weren’t TFL’s but I don’t think we were consistently pushing the pile and putting ourselves second-and-six or second-and-five. That was not as good today as it’s been in practice. We’re missing some people who will help that. Not having (guard) Phil Haynes and (tight end) Cam Serigne, those two guys are a big part of our run game. When those two guys are out there I think we run the ball better. When you don’t have those guys, it certainly helps the defense. You don’t have as much push when you don’t have Phil in there.”
On Cam Serigne’s timetable to return
Clawson: “Cam has played so much football and gotten so many reps, I don’t want to bring him back until it’s really calmed down. An injury like that, he’ll feel better, and then he tweaks it and. . . We don’t want to make progress then go back. He’s played enough football here. As long as we have him a week from Monday. If he feels great, he’ll practice. I don’t mind keeping him out and putting him on ice for a week and making sure he doesn’t re-aggravate it.”
On punter Dom Maggio
Clawson: “He came to our camp after his sophomore year. He’s put on 20 pounds since he’s been here. Look at those big arms he has. How many punters wear sleeveless shirts?”
Clawson: “I think our first two groups had one turnover - the deep pass on third-and-long, which is like a punt. (Looks at stat sheet) The first and second group had one turnover in 94 plays. I’ll take that. If we could have eliminated turnovers last year, I think we would have made a bowl. Going 94 plays and having just one turnover? That’s a positive.”