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Wake Forest vs. Gardner-Webb: Next Day Reaction

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A more in-depth analysis of Wake Forest's game against Gardner-Webb.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Demon Deacons got their first win of the 2014 season. Let's take a deeper look at what Wake did well, and also what can be improved upon moving forward.

The Good

There were a lot of positive takeaways from last night's win. Obviously it was just an FCS opponent, but Wake Forest clearly played much better (regardless of competition) than they did the week before.

John Wolford- I thought the freshman quarterback was quite impressive last night. He completed 30 of 38 passing attempts for 291 yards and 2 touchdowns. He did have 3 interceptions, but really only one of those was his fault. The other two hit receivers in the hands, but then were caught by Gardner-Webb. Wolford is definitely a quarterback the Deacs can build around moving forward.

Mike Weaver- It was unfortunate that Wake Forest struggled to score touchdowns in the red zone, but it was very encouraging to see Mike Weaver make all three of his field goal attempts and both PAT's. Weaver is now 4-4 on the season and will be critical to Wake's success this season. We probably won't be blowing anyone out this season, so every point matters.

The defense- Wake's defense only allowed 131 yards of total offense, and would have shut out Gardner-Webb if not for a late touchdown. 5 sacks and an interception means it was an excellent effort all-around by this Wake defense. They have only allowed two offensive touchdowns in two games.

Balanced passing attack - Wake had five receivers with at least four receptions, and two of them were tight ends. We're utilizing an equal opportunity offense and it's refreshing to see a game plan that isn't solely engineered to get one player the ball.

Offensive line play - Only allowed two sacks, and this was going against a defensive tackle who was a preseason FCS All-American. It was only an FCS opponent, but our line gave Wolford time, and we saw what he can do when he has time.

Areas of Improvement

Red zone offense - Some of this can be attributed to dropped passes, but Wake made it into the red zone on each of it's first five drives, and only came away with 9 points. To their credit, Wake did score touchdowns the remaining two times they made it into the end zone, but Wake is going to have to capitalize on red zone opportunities and score touchdowns moving forward. Part of this was due to dropped passes.

Dropped Passes - I'd have to re-watch the film to determine exactly who it was, but on two occasions we had the ball hit a receiver's hand, only to be dropped and then intercepted by the other team. We also had a ball go through a receiver's hands at the back of the end zone that would have been another touchdown.

The pass interference calls- I'm not one to complain about officiating, but the two pass interference penalties called on Wake were simply awful. I thought it was outstanding defense by our corners, and the refs just made bad calls.

Continue to follow Blogger So Dear throughout the week as we continue to break down last night's win, and also look ahead to next week's game against Utah State.

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