WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson answered questions from the media Tuesday as his Deacs (2-0) gear up to face Delaware (2-0) at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at BB&T Field.
This is the second part of his question and answer session.
On the quarterbacks
Clawson: “Kendall (Hinton) is going to start. Unlike the last two weeks, where there was definitely a plan to use Kendall when John (Wolford) started, there’s not a plan to definitely get John in. That’s not to say that we may not get him in. Obviously if Kendall would get dinged up or if we need to settle Kendall for a series, that’s a possibility. But the plan is we’re going to start Kendall and it’s his game.”
On the response from the team after the win
Clawson: “I think it’s been great. You see guys up watching film. We’re three years into this and there’s a certain culture that’s starting to take over the locker room that’s very positive and very mentor-like. I think Marquel Lee is doing a great job with the linebackers. Last week, Grant Dawson had to play a whole lot, and Justin Strnad played a lot, and those guys played well. Demetrius Kemp went down and Thomas Brown stepped up. At times last week, Elontae Bateman, Chris Stewart, Paris Black and Chris Calhoun — that was our defensive line, and those guys are all freshmen and sophomores. I think Duke Ejiofor, Shelldon Lewinson and Josh Banks have helped get those guys ready. Justin Herron went down, and we stick a freshmen Jake Benzinger in for that last drive where you have to get two first downs by running the football. He went in there and played really well. Like I said, I think it’s an invested football team. Our kids really care. I think all those guys know they’re a snap away from the success of the team depending on them being ready. We’re still a relatively young team. We don’t have a lot of seniors, but we’re an experienced team. Our redshirt sophomores have played a lot of football. We’re becoming a player-led football program, which I prefer.”
On if Cade Carney’s performance surprised him
Clawson: “I certainly thought he was capable of it. I don’t know if I’d said we were going to run the ball for 239 yards after what we’ve done the last two years, but our running game is better. Cade always pushes the pile forward. That first touchdown run was such a tough run. The second one — what Cade does is he always gets us positive yards. Very rarely when we give him the ball on 1st-and-10 do we end up 2nd-and-12. He doesn’t have a bounce mentality to him, he’s a downhill guy. He’s faster than people think. When that one got broke open, he wasn’t getting caught. Now how he celebrates? That bicycle kick? I’m not sure where that came from, but you say act like you’ve been there before, but he really hadn’t been there before. At least not in college. He played really well, and is getting better every week. Cade is such a hard working, humble guy. You don’t worry about it going to his head. Matt Colburn ripped off some nice runs too. I think we have competition in the backfield, but we also have good camaraderie. Those guys would all like to touch the ball 25 times a game. Right now, those guys are just hungry and want to win. I’ve excited for Cade, and proud of him. That’s why we recruited him. We thought he could do that.”
On what made Carney a good fit for Wake from a recruiting perspective
Clawson: “He had all the measurables. He’s strong. He can jump. He was just a good football player. Quite honestly, we told him we would give him a shot at running back. I think that’s one of the reasons that we got him. A lot of other people were projecting him to play at linebacker or maybe a strong safety in certain schemes. We promised him we would give him a shot at running back. It was a safe recruit, because we needed running backs. If it worked out, great, but if it didn’t work out there was no doubt in my mind he could also play on defense. He’s local. Certainly, coach Grier at Davidson Day, we have a great relationship with that program. I knew he was well coached. He was a great student and a great fit at Wake Forest. He’s got a great family. He’s already a leader in our program as a true freshman. He has a great demeanor. He loves football, and loves the weight room. He’s a team guy and starts on a couple of special teams units for us. He’s one of those guys that are mature beyond his years.”