Wake Forest is a conservative football team. I get that. Jim Grobe and his staff aren't going to change. But, it begs the question, with the shift to more athletic personnel and the evolution of the conference as a whole, will the Demon Deacons ever reach a level of success similar to their run from 2006-2008?
This team doesn't like to make mistakes. That leads to a lot of punts on 4th and 1/2 near the 50, tons of ball control offense, kicking the field goal rather than going for it, and a bevy of agonizing play calls. It drives me nuts. And it has for years. I understand...wahhhh Wake is undermanned, they're undersized, they are smart and should play intelligently. But come on, when you're giving up TDs on eight straight possessions in Palo Alto, it might be time to rethink your game plan on offense.
This year will be an interesting case study. There are a lot of weapons offensively between the gifted receiving core, options at the QB position spearheaded by Tanner Price and a stable of running backs including the All-Conference caliber of Josh Harris.
Here's a novel concept: use them.
In 2006 a funny thing happened. Wake Forest mixed up their offensive scheme using a lot of pulling guards, orbits and end arounds and bubble screens. While it was primarily a way to get the offensive linemen in space rather than in the trenches, as well as a way to mask the lacking arm strength of Riley Skinner, it worked. Why? Because the play calling was fresh, innovative, different. It resembled Oregon more than Iowa.
Wake Forest will never be a Big Ten team. It just can't happen. Look, I'm an Ohio boy who hates the Big Ten, but I understand it. It's all around me. And this team, in this conference, can never run wishbone sets and I-formations hoping to run downhill in the second half. They can't win a game 10-3, especially with a defense that had more holes than the plot of a Michael Bay movie.
There have to be more shots downfield, more crossing patterns, more reverses, more QB sweeps and option, more creativity. Steed Lobotzke is a bright man, but he outthinks himself sometimes. He falls in love with play calls or overanalyzes defenses. He, and the rest of the coaching staff, honestly, needs to trust his personnel and the team as a whole.
Look, I'm not looking for 56 points a game. I know that's unrealistic. But this team has talent. Use it. Because seriously, if I have to watch one more inside handoff on 3rd and 5, I might walk into the Atlantic Ocean all Kate Chopin-style never to be seen again.