WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — With the Deacs looking to move to 5-0 for the first time since 2006, Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson continues the focus of moving 1-0 on the week as they prepare to face North Carolina State Saturday afternoon in Raleigh.
Here’s the second installment of his question and answer session with the media from Tuesday:
On the Wake offensive players and defensive players working together more to help each other improve
Clawson: “There were some divisions. I told the defense for two years that they were ahead, but they should have been ahead. We’ve had good seniors on defense like Kevin Johnson, Bud Noel, Brandon Chubb, Anthony Wooding and Brandon Chubb. On offense it was starting from scratch. We knew when we took the job over that very first spring. It takes time to build an offensive line. There’s not a shortcut for that position. When you’re young and weak up front, it’s hard to do anything.
“We just had to recruit guys we believed in, and we played them early. Our defense will tell you that they knew we were going to be better on offense because they get blocked by them. Wendell Dunn would say, ‘Coach, those guys are different. When they pull pass sets, it’s just different.’ (Josh) Banks, and Duke (Ejiofor) and the defensive line for us knew after the spring and after fall camp that our offensive line was better and that’s where it all starts. The neat thing about Saturday is when we gave up that first play and it was 7-0, there wasn’t a ‘woe is me’ feeling on the sidelines. Maybe in the past they say, ‘here we go again.’ I thought there was some resiliency and some fight. Some of that comes from confidence. In the Duke game they went right down the field and scored, so we’d been in that same situation and overcame it. We just had to keep playing, and we did that. It was fun to see.”
On giving up yardage, but making big plays defensively
Clawson: “We have up over 600 yards of offense, but that just shows you how important the turnover battle is. The other thing is we won the kicking game. Weaver punted the ball well. We hit our two field goals, and blocked theirs. That’s a nine-point swing there. I thought our kickoff coverage was good. We won the turnover battle and won the field position battle. That offset us giving up big plays and us giving up almost 500 yards of passing offense.”
On the characterization that the Wake offense was efficient
Clawson: “I didn’t feel like we were very efficient in the second quarter, but after that I did. We converted it seemed like very big 3rd down in the fourth quarter. I was really concerned at halftime, because our defense had played 45 plays. But then we really won the time of possession in the second half, and really moved the chains. I want us to make for explosives. Part of the disappointment in that game, was the only two explosives we had were the touchdown to Chucky (Wade) and the wheel-route to Tabari (Hines). It just seems like Indiana — 75-yard play, 60-yard play, 50-yard play. Man, why can’t we get some of those. Then Chucky and Tabari made their plays. We took the deep shot to Cortez where we got the pass interference on, which was a big play. Those plays will come. Those guys are coming along. I felt we were efficient, and we were balanced. We had 180 yards rushing and 172 yards passing, which I like. I like being balanced like that. I don’t want to be one dimensional.”
On if anyone will return to the field for Wake against North Carolina State
Clawson: “Yeah. I think we’ll get Shelldon Lewinson back. I think Willie Yarbary will be back to full strength. I think Justin Herron will be closer to full strength, even though he played close to 80 plays last week. I think he played at probably 70 percent, but he came out of it in good shape. It seems like we’ll be down less guys this week.”
On Cam Glenn
Clawson: “I think we’ll get Cam back. Dom (Maggio) we’ll know tomorrow, or we’ll have a better idea. That was a game-time decision (at IU). He’ll punt on Wednesday and we’ll see how he feels. We’ll know Thursday or Friday, but Weaver is doing a nice job.”