WFU Practice Report: August 20th

The following is DeaconSports' update from Wake Forest's football practice on Thursday afternoon.

Riley Skinner is still looking solid. He made several pinpoint passes and had no trouble finding the open man even if it was his 3rd or 4th option. Ryan McManus looked much better. He is still the second best option to run the offense and he made some really impressive throws on Thursday. He showed nice touch on a few and also threw a bullet in between defenders to Andrew Parker to set up a touchdown. Ted Stachitas continues to work his way back. The 2nd/3rd team offensive line had a little trouble giving him time to throw, and he forced some passes. However, he showed his ability to scramble out of trouble a few times, even gaining some good yardage downfield.

Andrew Parker stood out at tight end along with Cameron Ford. Parker had at least a couple of nice catches downfield. Ford made a couple of big plays including a nifty touchdown grab. Chris Givens, once again, seems to have a nose for the end zone as he caught about a 20 yard pass and scored another from 25 yards out. He also caught a nice pass from McManus for a long gain. Jordan Williams made two nice grabs and was able to gain some yardage after the catch on one play, with a nifty cutback.

The running game looked as good as it has so far this year. Early on, Josh Adams gained some major yardage on several runs. He picked his way through some gaps with relative ease, although a couple of secondary defenders did a nice job tackling him in space. Kevin Harris looked as good as he did at the end of last season on a couple of runs. He did a nice job of following blocking and hitting some holes that opened up. Brandon Pendergrass had a nice touchdown run and was also pretty effective in picking the right lanes to run through. Overall, the 1st team offensive line did a nice job of opening up some running lanes today. And the 1st team pass protection looks very impressive right now.

Fullback Mike Rinfrette had a nice run up the middle and also caught a pass in the flat, as he displayed his patented hurdle move over a defensive back downfield to get extra yardage. Tommy Bohannon bulled his way down to the goal line during one set of downs, and then dove through the line for the touchdown on the next play.

On defense, a few players seemed to end up around the ball a lot. Tristan Dorty had a wave of good, solid play during one stretch. He stuffed a run around the end for no gain, then followed that up later with a sack. Both Kevin Smith and Kris Redding are showing great quickness at the defensive end position. Both were able to work their way around the tackles to cause pressure or disrupt a play on a few occasions. Redding was often lined up against the 1st team offensive line. Boo Robinson caused some havoc with some nifty moves and bull-rushes. He had his way a few times with the 2nd/3rd team offensive line. Ramon Booi is also starting to show some glimpses of potential, putting pressure on the quarterback a few times. Michael Lockett also stood out, squeezing through the line and stuffing the run. In the secondary, Josh Bush made some very impressive tackles in the open field. Kenny Okoro broke up two passes, almost intercepting one on the sideline, but he was just out of bounds. Hunter Haynes was solid in run-support and made his way into the backfield for a sack as well.

Not a lot of punting today. Shane Popham had a nice 40-yarder with decent hang time, but his second kick went off the side of his foot for about 25 yards. As for FGs, Shane nailed 38 and 31 yard kicks. Cline Beam and Jimmy Newman also hit a field goal each from mid-range. Beam and Newman kicked off a couple of times each. Beam's kicks had average hang time, with one going a good five yards deep in the end zone and the other to about the two yard line. Newman had very good hang time on one of his kicks as it sailed about five yards deep in the corner of the end zone. His last kick was a line drive but still had enough to get a yard deep in the end zone.

On returns, Devon Brown was the primary punt returner and Chris Givens got the majority of the kick returns.

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