John Wolford's pick-six was a pivotal play in yesterday's contest for a number of reasons. The first is that it obviously gave Syracuse 7 points, and the second is that John Wolford got knocked out of the game on the play. Wake Forest announced last night that John Wolford was asymptomatic for a concussion after the hit, which is excellent news.
Now let's take a look at what went wrong on the play.
I'd like to begin by thanking BSD reader Adam Bridgers for this screen cap and observation. Watching the play live I realized Wolford got blitzed from the left side, but didn't realize the complete lack of blocking and only four-man pass rush that took place on this play.
Prior to the snap Wolford and the offensive line point out the blocking assignments, and there was either a major miscommunication or a very poor read of what the defense was about to do. Running back Dez Wortham, the left circle, shifts his body to provide blitz protection in the right hand side.Meanwhile, left tackle Will Smith is left blocking absolutely no one. I don't know if he thought he was going to block the linebacker who dropped into coverage, or another player, but he clearly did not pick up the defensive end who ultimately knocked Wolford out of the contest. Not only is that poor football, but that's downright dangerous. You cannot allow teams to generate that much pressure with just four pass rushers, and you cannot leave your quarterback, or any player, that exposed. I understand being physically overpowered, but this was nothing more than a mental mistake, and that's unacceptable. Did Wolford look at his receiver the entire way? Yes, but that does not excuse this "protection" scheme. This play completely changed the game.