Wake Forest Spring Game Report

Photo by Bob Hebert

On a beautiful day at the Doc Martin Football Complex on campus, the Wake Forest football team capped off their spring practices.  A nice crowd, which included Aaron Curry, showed up to witness a couple highlight plays from Mike Williams and Chris Givens as well as the offense moving the ball with little resistance.

In fact, the only thing that stopped the offense was turnovers.  Riley Skinner was his normal efficient self, completing 15 of 23 passes for 272 yards.  His only noticeable miscue turned out to be the play of the day (pictured).  Skinner overthrew Jordan Williams and cornerback Mike Williams made a spectacular diving, one-handed grab when it looked like there was no way he could get to the ball before it hit the ground.  The other errors included a Ben Wooster fumble in the endzone after a long catch and run and a Geoff Wissing interception on a questionable pass by back-up quarterback Ryan McManus. 

The biggest standout today was redshirt freshman wide receiver Chris Givens.  He possesses incredible speed and is elusive with the ball in his hands.  On the day, he had two rushes for 89 yards, including an impressive 65 yard touchdown run.  He also had three receptions for 39 yards.  With Givens and Y’lou Brown both seeing significant action, look for Lobo and Grobe to incorporate the orbit more next season.  Another receiver that had a good day was Jordan Williams.  He led the team in receiving yards with 70 on four catches.  If Jordan is able to play to his potential next year and be a deep threat, it will open up the middle of the field for Brown, Givens, Davis and the running backs.  Riley’s favorite target Ben Wooster also had a solid receiving day aside from the fumble.  Danny Dembry and Terrance Davis finished their spring practices with a couple grabs as well.

Brandon Pendergrass was without a doubt the best running back on the field today.  He broke off a couple long runs down the sideline and finished with 70 yards and a touchdown on only seven carries.  After a somewhat frustrating freshman year, BP looks poised to be the man at tailback and will benefit from a more experienced and deeper offensive line. 

Of the other running backs, walk-on Willie Dixon continued his impressive spring with a touchdown and a few other solid carries.  Josh Adams and Kevin Harris were relatively quiet today, but they are proven commodities and will battle Pendergrass for carries once practice starts in the fall.

Other than the play of the rookie receivers, the performance of true freshman Tommy Bohannon has been the story of the spring.  Since senior Mike Rinfrette went down with his second concussion of the spring, ToBo has stepped in with the first team and played particularly well.  He plunged in for a short touchdown run today and also had two or three catches out of the backfield.  After he caught the ball, he proceeded to run through defenders with reckless abandon.  With Rinfrette and ToBo in the backfield this year, Wake has no worries at fullback.  Bohannon will without a doubt be one of the few freshmen under Grobe to play right out of the gate.

At the practice field it is difficult to tell who stood out on defense other than the obvious play by Michael Williams.  As you can probably tell by the preceding story, the offense dominated for the most part today.  However, this is not without plenty of legit excuses since John Russell, Boo Robinson, Brandon Ghee and Matt Woodlief did not play today.  These are arguably four of our top defensive players next season.  Of the defenders who had solid days, the stats indicate that safety Alex Frye and defensive end Tristan Dorty did well, each collecting six tackles on the day. Redshirt freshmen Joey Ehrmann and Ramon Booi also had their name called a few times after getting into the backfield and Gelo Orange and Hunter Haynes made a couple nice individual plays as well.  One area of concern is the coverage of intermediate passes.  Far too often receivers were left open in the middle of the field and were able to gain several yards after the catch. 

Overall, it was a great day of Demon Deacon football.  The atmosphere at the practice field is very family oriented, with fans able to watch the game from the sideline and mingle with ex-players, recruits and longtime friends while their kids play on one of the big inflatables that are normally seen outside of BB&T field during the tailgate.  September 5th cannot get here soon enough.  Beat the Baylor Bears!

 

 

More photos by Bob Hebert

We will have a more comprehensive highlight video later, but here are a couple clips to get you started.

 

Riley Skinner to Jordan Williams (via BloggerSoDear)

 

Michael Williams Interception (via BloggerSoDear)


 

 

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