Clawson talks offensive struggles, defensive effort following Wake narrow escape

Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson answered questions from the media following the Deacs 7-3 win over Tulane Thursday night.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Wake offense created just three 1st downs and 59 yards in the second half, but a second-quarter Kendall Hinton 1-yard touchdown run held up thanks to the Deacs timely and aggressive defense.

Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson addressed the media after the Deacs 7-3 win Thursday night over Tulane at BB&T Field, and took questions from the assembled media.

On shuffling the quarterbacks in and out

Clawson: “Obviously, we want to do certain things with Kendall, and for a time there I thought he gave us a real spark. We didn’t run that many plays. Those guys did a great job of making first downs and keeping us off the field. I imagine they won the time of possession by a large margin. Often times we got the ball in tight field position. With the way our defense was playing, we got conservative in the fourth quarter. We wanted to punt it out of there and let our defense win the game, which they did.”

On the defensive line

Clawson: “We played without Josh Banks. We played without Willie Yarbary the entire second half. We had guys playing on the defensive line that really had not played much before. Shelldon (Lewinson) I thought held up really well. I thought Chris Stewart played well. Elontae Bateman and Chris Calhoun were in there. When you play a team like that which doesn’t pass much, you hope you win some pass rush moves. I thought our defensive line was getting some really good pressure late in the game there. They were winning the 1-on-1s. A lot of time in football, that’s what it comes down to. We won the 1-on-1s with our defensive line, and we didn’t win the 1-on-1s with our receivers versus their DBs.”

On Josh Banks not playing

Clawson: “He had a hamstring that happened Sunday. It was going to be a gametime decision, and I thought we would have him up until today. Two days ago, he was feeling a lot better. We thought he would play. Yesterday it didn’t get much better and today it was sore. With a hamstring, we didn’t want him to go out there, pop it, and lose him for the next five weeks.”

On John Wolford being in at quarterback late while trying to preserve the lead

Clawson: “Because John manages the game. That’s one of his strengths.”

On Julian Jackson

Clawson: “He rushed the passer and did a great job. That’s an unsung guy that hasn’t played a lot. He got his opportunity today. We didn’t play Duke (Ejiofor) as much as we’d like to. He had a couple sacks.”

On Tyler Bell not playing

Clawson: “We didn’t run many plays. We only played 56 plays, and three of them we took a knee. There’s 53 plays on offense. Tyler missed a lot of camp. Earlier in the week, I thought he would play. I didn’t think he would get carries. I thought he would be our 3rd down back. But Cade (Carney) was doing a good job protecting. Matt Colburn was doing a good job, and those guys have been good all camp.”

On the offensive line

Clawson: “Again, the coaches’ cliche —I’ll watch the film. I’ll say this, they were ganging up and blitzing us so much and putting that safety right in the box. When you can’t run past them, the offensive line can do their job but there’s a safety at two yards because they’re pressing you all over and you’re not hurting them. Sometimes that’s not a function of the offensive line. I’ll look at the film. I’m sure they made mistakes and some things didn’t go as well as we’d like, but a lot of times it was the extra hitter and a lot of times the backs just got to make the guy miss. I thought they tackled us well in space. If they’re going to defend you with press cover 1, you’ve got to get over the top. We took in 53 plays, eight shots and we were 0-for-8.”

On Dom Maggio

Clawson: “The best play may have been the snap. He’s a great athlete. He played wide receiver in high school and was a basketball player. He pinned the one at the one-yard line. They were eating him up, and a lot of those punts there was an unblocked guy. He had to punt out of it quickly, and he did that. Even the rugby punts, I thought he did really well.”

On if the offensive issues was a schematic thing or execution

Clawson: “I think it was execution. I keep going back to the same thing. If a defense is going to play nickel and spread out against you, you better be able to run it. If a team is going to load the box and play press man, you have to get open on the outside. We didn’t win those matchups. You throw deep balls and those guys have to make those plays. Steven Claude and Scotty Washington have never played before. Those guys will get better, but we have to make more plays on the perimeter than we did.”

On switching the quarterbacks early play by play

Clawson: “We wanted to get Kendall (Hinton) going early. That was kind of the thought process. I didn’t want to get to the 2nd quarter with him not having played. We wanted to show that right away, and we played with both of them at times. Our touchdown drive was Kendall taking us down the field.”

On having four early penalties, yet finishing with just five and no turnovers

Clawson: “I’m excited about the no turnovers. The penalties — the punt block and the clip, that’s again a guy that’s never played football before. We’re still a relatively young team and have a bunch of guys that have never played football before. They’re talented players, but made some mistakes today. I believe in our receiver crew. Again, credit Tulane. They covered us. They had eight returning starters on defense and were good players. We knew they were good players. That was a matchup we had to win.”

On Phil Haynes being out late

Clawson: “He was just exhausted. He missed a portion of camp, and it caught up with him.”


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