There comes a time in life when a married man and his football plans are put to the test. Apparently, this past Saturday was my time. The Redhead was working one of the dreaded “11 until we’re not busy” shifts at the Deli Hut, leaving me in charge of the tornado named Riley, or as I like to call him: “The F-5.” As the clock inched past 2:30pm, I was beginning to gain acceptance that a perfect football Saturday might be wasted for me. I had long sent my wingmen Heath and Jimmy to tailgate at Five Guys as I remained behind, praying to God and Riley Skinner that I would make the game. Finally, at 20 before the hour, I was relieved of my duties to go behave like an over-caffeinated adolescent. I hurried to my Happy Place, grousing because I would be caught amongst the masses straining to get to the game.
“Hey, man, we’re here. There are acres of ample parking.” –Heath, via mobile phone
I caught up with my compatriots in the end zone underneath the DeaconTron, or whatever it’s called. I was finally able to soak in the atmosphere of such a perfect football afternoon. We hung out atop Deacon Hill for a while, if only to make sure the public address announcer made sure to recognize the Color Guard this week. Normally impeccable in his presentation, he somehow forgot last week to introduce the ROTC cadets and the band started playing about the time they reached the ‘W’ in the field house end zone. That, my friends, is where the Clemson game was lost. True story. Anyway, let’s get to the View from Section 2.
Wake begins the game with the ball.
Wake punts the ball. Sigh.
Discussion ensues about how long Chase Rettig has had collegiate eligibility.
“He backed up Flutie, right? –Heath
I almost forgot that Frank Spaziani was in the house. He reminds me by going for it on fourth-and-inches, putting Rettig in shotgun. Needless to say, Kevin Johnson picks the ball off for the Deacs.
I’m giddy. Mike Olson picks off Chase Rettig, setting the Deacons up at midfield. There are still just over 5 minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Cam. Pa. Nar. Ohhhh!!! Number 3 makes an amazing grab of a pass from Tanner Price, culminating in a 27-yard touchdown. It’s amazing how much his presence seems to elevate the entire team. It’s now 14-0, Deacs with 1:13 remaining in the first quarter.
Part of the reason Frank Spaziani is going to get fired is because he keeps lining his quarterback up in shotgun in short yardage situations. As in, “and inches” short. He eventually puts Rettig under center and the subsequent run is stopped by the Wake defense. Wait, what? This is awesome.
Somehow, the Deacons allow Boston College to move the ball 95 yards down the field for a touchdown, shortening the Wake lead to 14-7. Thirty of those yards came as the result of penalties, which is uncharacteristic for a Jim Grobe team. That’s more of a Carolina thing. Right? Right?
Something is making Jimmy and Heath giggle like schoolchildren. Apparently, that something is named Spiffy Evans and he wears number 7 for the Eagles.
“There is no way his given name is Spiffy Evans.” –Me
Note to self: research.
Does Spiffy play quarterback? Rettig puts the ball on the ground after getting crunched, and the ball is recovered by Zach Thompson. Less than 2 minutes remain in the half.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: “Touchdown, Campanaro!” Camp catches a 16-yard pass for a touchdown right before halftime. This Deacon offense has been effective and impressive. And it is also playing Boston College. Deacs lead, 21-7.
Chase Rettig and the Eagles shut Section 2 up with a long bomb followed by a halfback pass for a touchdown. It is now 21-14, and the inevitable feeling of impending doom has entered the stadium. All are in mourning except for Heath, who is cheering the Boston College cheerleaders like he’s a member of the alumni association. Not a word about the beautiful Clemson ladies last week, but BC gets major love. I don’t understand Yankees sometimes.
Tanner Price throws an interception with 7 minutes remaining in the third, and the fan base is now upset because we’re passing TOO much. Our fans need to make up their minds.
Fourth-and-1, Wake Forest, from the Boston College 23 with 3 minutes remaining in the quarter. Of course, our fans start making noise. Now for a special public service announcement:
Dear Wake Forest Fans: Please do not make noise when the Deacons are on offense. You should have learned this back during the Reagan Administration. Regards, Me.
Anyway, Josh Harris takes the ensuing handoff and winds up in the end zone 23 yards later. Wow. It’s at this point that I realize that Wake Forest is going to win a “must-win” game for the first time in a long time. It’s 28-14, Deacs. Me happy.
We just witnessed the worst goal-line series of the season, and it wasn’t orchestrated by the Deacs! That’s what’s called a, “win-win.” Seriously, at one point the Eagles tried an option. At least we think it was an option. I’m not sure what it was. Heath points out that it could have been a forward pass. Anyway, it didn’t work. I don’t say this very much, if at all, but Boston College looks like a poorly coached football team.
Game in hand, the Spiffy Evans love fest is in full effect. According to his bio on the BC website, his given name is Curtric Jamal Evans. I’m relieved. Meanwhile, Kinal punts the ball to Spiffy and he takes off for a sizeable return. Heath is now forbidden to utter his name for the remainder of the game.
A large portion of the (what turned out to be decent) crowd has headed for the exits. I really don’t get that, guys. I hear bitching and moaning about this team, and when they finally put it on someone you guys leave early. To borrow a Heathism, “that’s a little too Tar Heel-esque.” Anyway, A.J. Marshall picks off a beleaguered Chase Rettig and that sound you hear is the Fat Lady. Or my stomach. I didn’t get to tailgate, remember.
Last week I blasted Terence Davis for a case of alligator arms. In the interest of fairness, I will praise him for an unbelievable catch of a Price ball thrown behind him. As Heath notes, “there was full extension and everything.” Nice catch, 81.
And now a collection of quotes regarding the ongoing mass exodus from tonight’s game.
“As much as Wake fans grouse about losing and the way we lose, when we’re winning they sure do exit early.” – Me (saying “we” more than once)
“It’s not like there’s going to be any traffic.” –Heath
“We have a weird fan base.”- Brandon
Brandon, if you remember, is my very patient seat neighbor. Brandon’s wife showed up this week, by the way. If you read last week’s recap, you know why this is important. One more:
“There are members of the Deacon Club who will show up for the Carolina game in their light blue sweaters.” – Me
The drunk who kept yelling, “Put Floyd in” last week just shouted, “I want FIVE toppings” for no apparent reason. This game has officially run too long. I still have no idea what the guy was talking about last week.
It’s worth noting that the band didn’t play “Don’t Stop Believin’” and the Wake PR staff didn’t do the whole Fratboy Olympics thing they usually do after the third quarter. Not that I’m superstitious (I totally am), but don’t do it during the Vandy game, either.
I start a massive debate by calling this 28-14 game a “blowout.” Jimmy vehemently disagrees, to the point where he starts openly rooting for the Eagles to score. I tell him it doesn’t matter- I’m calling this a blowout.
We’re under a minute to go in the game, and BC is in a “hurry-up” offense. Not really, but kind of. The Eagles accidentally complete a pass and spike the ball at the 13 with 8 seconds remaining. Jimmy is positively giddy. I don't care. I'm still calling it a blowout.
Alas, BC is unable to punch it in, and the game mercifully ends, a 28-14 blowout victory for the Deacs!
This was the game I’d been waiting to see from the Deacs. Although the run game struggled against the big Boston College front, I thought the Deacs exploited the BC weaknesses for most of the night on offense. Tanner’s jersey stayed relatively clean, and he got help from all of his receivers.
Defensively, save for one big play and a gadget, the Deacon defense was the opportunistic unit that the Wake fans had been expecting to see all season. For once it was nice to have the game enter the fourth quarter and be reasonably confident in the outcome. That’s a rare occurrence for the Deacs at BB&T Field.
I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t mention how poorly the Eagles performed. Fresh off their first conference win, one would think the team would have confidence going on the road to Winston-Salem. Unfortunately for the visitors from Chestnut Hill, the offensive unit couldn’t execute. When the offense would start to click, the coaching staff called some dreadful plays that resulted in punts or turnovers. If this game hadn’t been so vital for the Deacs, I might have felt sorry for them.
Overall, this may be the most important win for Wake Forest of the season (debatable only because I think beating Carolina is always more important). There are 3 (three, count ‘em, three) winnable games left. State either plays like world-beaters or they completely fall apart. Since their debacle versus Virginia, I would expect a dogfight. However, Mike Glennon may not be 100 percent and they are coached by Tom O’Brien. Yeah, I said it. Meanwhile, undefeated Notre Dame is the most fraudulent team in the BCS right now. They are proof positive that money runs the show. If Pitt can take them to 3 overtimes, Wake Forest can hang for 4 quarters. Finally, Vanderbilt comes to town to close things out. The one thing I don’t want is for Vandy or Wake Forest to be playing for its bowl livelihood on that Saturday. James Franklin is one year away from being the hottest coach on the market, and I’d hate to add to his resume’.