The Wake Forest defense was just as brilliant as the offense was disappointing, and they had to be for the Deacs to survive without suffering a potentially season-killing loss to Tulane.
There were impressive performances around the field, most notably on the defensive line, where Wake played short handed — Josh Banks missed the entire contest and Duke Ejiofor was limited. The front seven got into the backfield to impact the Tulane running game and was all over Tulane quarterback Glen Cuiellette on the last possession when he was forced to drop back and pass eight straight snaps.
Kudos to Julian Jackson for coming off the bench and being a part of three sacks, along with Wendell Dunn, Jaboree Williams, Ejiofor, Grant Dawson and Chris Calhoun.
Think Jessie Bates might be an upgrade for the Deacs at safety? Bates was all over the field making plays, and led the Deacs with eight tackles against the Green Wave.
The Deacs had four 1st-half penalties, and they were costly. A roughing the kicker penalty on Steven Claude allowed the Green Wave to continue a drive that was initially 3-and-out. They eventually scored their only points of the game on that drive, a 41-yard field goal.
Claude was also ticketed for an illegal block in the back in the 1st quarter on a John Wolford scramble that had earned a Wake 1st down.
They were pretty clean in the second half, with just one penalty. They also went without a turnover for the game, which pleased the coaching staff.
Aside from the 12-play, 53 yard touchdown drive by the Deacs that started at the end of the first quarter, little worked for them offensively.
It was a mind-numbingly poor display for a unit that seemed poised for a breakout year in 2016. Tabari Hines, Cortez Lewis and Steven Claude combined for zero catches. The longest play from scrimmage was a 16-yard catch and run from John Wolford to Matt Colburn.
Since the start of the 2014 season, there have been four FBS games won by teams scoring fewer than 10 points. Wake has three of those.
There’s got to be an easier way to win football games.
Wake needs to discover that quickly if they want to be in the mix for a bowl game this season.null