The Wake Forest Demon Deacons concluded their non-conference slate with a 24-21 victory over the Army Black Knights. What were some of the main takeaways?
Offensive Line - I've been critical of the offensive line's performance, but they stepped up this week and were a major reason Wake Forest won this game. They only allowed quarterback John Wolford to be sacked once, and they opened up lanes for Isaiah Robinson and Orville Reynolds to combine for 120 yards on just 23 carries.
Wendell Dunn - I could cite most of the defensive line here, but I thought Wendell was excellent yesterday. He had 8 total tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. That forced fumble came on a critical 3rd and 20, and essentially allowed Wake Forest to run out the clock.
Lack of penalties/turnovers - Wake Forest only had one turnover on the afternoon and it came where John Wolford slightly overthrew Cam Serigne. It deflected off Serigne's extended hands and unfortunately wound up in the hands of an Army defender. Wake only had 4 penalties for 30 yards, while Army had 7 penalties for 57 yards and two costly fumbles.
3rd Down Conversions - Our defense limited Army to just 3 of 12 on 3rd downs, although they did convert on 4th down twice. Meanwhile, our offense went converted 7 of 13 3rd down attempts.
Halftime adjustments - Wake's defense shut out Army in the second half, while our offense put up 10 points. That's a testament to our halftime adjustments as well as our conditioning levels.
Mike Weaver- It was just a 20 yard field goal, but he remained perfect on the year. His make and Army's miss were deciding factors in the game.
Areas of Improvement
Decision to kick the field goal - I didn't necessarily strongly disagree with Coach Clawson's decision to attempt a field goal down 7 on the 2 yard line with 14:13 remaining in the game, but I would have gone for it on 4th down. From my perspective, I thought our best chance at getting to at least 21 points, was to convert a 4th and goal from the 2 yard-line. However, with that much time remaining I can only find but so much fault in the decision to attempt the field goal. As it turns out, we limited Army to just 6 plays for 27 yards on the next position and then went 84 yards on 11 plays and score the game-winning touchdown.
What takeaways did you all have? Would you guys have elected to kick a field goal in that situation? I admit it's much easier for me to say that from my seat in the stands than being the one with a headset on the sidelines.