Don't look now....but the last time Wake Forest shut a team out in football they won the ACC and went to the Orange Bowl. I'm not saying....I'm just saying. The victory this past weekend over Boston College, a 3-0 squeaker which I was (un)fortunate enough to attend in person, pushed the Deacs to 3-3 on the season and potentially placed Wake in a position to make a bowl push in the final half of the season. Clawson and company should just adopt me as the official team mascot as the Deacs are now 2-0 in games I've attended this year, both on the road, so just call me ROADWARRIOR Bart from now on (fear not Wake fans I will make it to one more game this year - the season finale against Duke - so not all is lost).
In all seriousness while you should never apologize for a win, I have to say that this was undoubtedly the worst football game I've ever been to and that includes high school games. I was seated right down the 10 yard line in the visitor section where the exciting final two minutes of the game all unfolded, but beyond the action-packed finish there was really not much worth writing home about from an objectively good football vantage point.
The defense really played well throughout this one, holding the Eagles to 270 total yards including a putrid 6-20 overall effort throwing the ball, and quite frankly did enough for the Deacs to win. The offense struggled throughout as Wolford appeared to not be at 100% and BC showed why they're the top-ranked defense in total yardage in the FBS. Boston College has given up an average of six points in their last two games and lost both which is somewhat reminiscent as the flip side for me personally of Wake's 2008 start to the conference season where they snuck by Florida State 12-3 and then bounced back with a 12-7 victory over Clemson - albeit those games were separated by a devastating home loss to Navy.
On the other side of the ball the offense really REALLY struggled in this one. Gaining only 142 yards and a measly five first downs, Wake had the fewest first downs of any FBS team in a victory in over two decades. Similarly Boston College is the first team in over twenty years to hold back-to-back opponents allowing nine points or fewer and lose both games - the last team to do it was...Boston College so I guess that can be their claim to fame (and believe me Eagles fans there are tons of ridiculous "feats" that have Wake football all over it so you're not alone!)
About the only thing that was very impressive out of this game was the performance of senior punter and fan favorite Alex Kinal who in addition to breaking the ACC career yardage record for punters (just one week removed from breaking the all-time ACC career record for punts) boomed 10 punts for a ridiculous 513 yards. There is certainly NFL potential for Kinal moving forward and perhaps the best indicator of this is his ability to snipe punts inside the opponent's twenty with absolute precision.
All joking aside, the BC fans in front of me kept commenting on how Kinal's ability to flip the field was the major difference in the game and I definitely think they're right. Not trying to rip on Alex Howell, BC's punter, who had a pretty decent game with eight punts and a 41 yard average, but there were a few kicks that got away from Howell while Kinal was able to get off long and accurate punts from a variety of angles consistently throughout the contest.
A lot of Wake fans have been speculating and talking about the blooming QB "controversy" that the Deacs have so I may as well chime in on that topic but I don't really foresee it being much of a controversy at all. Like most of the other BSD contributors, I value Wolford considerably more highly than seemingly most other Wake fans and don't think that Wolford at 100% is going to be dethroned by Kendall Hinton this season.
I think Hinton has a ton of potential and at times, with the porous offensive line Wake still has this year, is a better fit for spreading the defense out a bit with his duel threat but when Wolford is able to set his feet in the pocket and get the ball out he is the guy you want hurling the pigskin if your Dave Clawson. Now Clawson and the staff certainly have a larger sample size than the rest of the fanbase and I have so I do trust them to make good decisions moving forward on not only the QB front but in all areas pertaining to this team, but I have to think that Wolford's arm and his surprising ability to escape the rush and get the corner at times, places him as the starter moving forward if both guys are at 100%.
That being said I do want Hinton to come in and play 20-30% of the snaps in situational areas since he can keep the defense on their toes, but if we're strictly talking who is going to be the traditional QB starter for the Deacs then Wolford is going to be the guy moving forward. You have any thoughts on the QB issue? Let us know below we love to hear your take.
As mentioned above, our main man Alex Kinal was able to boom DOUBLE DIGIT punts again and get well back onto pace to absolutely shatter the all-time record. Let's get a quick look at where Kinal stands on both current punt count and pace:
Career Punts through the 2014 season (plus five games): 297 (42 games)
Punts Needed to break Ryan Quigley's ACC Record of 284: 0 (broke it against FSU)
Punts Needed to break Nick Harris' NCAA Record of 322: 26
Kinal's Yearly Average: 84.85
Quigley's Yearly Average: 71.0
Harris' Yearly Average: 80.5
Kinal's Current Final Pace: 339 punts
Kinal now stands just 25 punts shy of tying the all-time NCAA record for career punts and has at a minimum six games left (most likely six games left). In order to break this record he just needs to record 4.25 punts a game and we still have four games left against the top 20 teams in Football Outsiders. It's just a matter of "how many and when" rather than "will he break it and if" at this point. GET YOUR CHAMPAGNE READY BOYS AND GIRLS BECAUSE KINAL IS GONNA SHATTER SOME RECORDS! In all seriousness - couldn't have happened to a nicer guy and quite frankly I couldn't be happier that if someone was going to have an NCAA record it's going to be Alex Kinal.
Let's look ahead to the UNC game next Saturday night in PRIMETIME. I've heard some rumors that BloggerSoDear himself (on twitter at least - Jake) and Riley are going to be making the trip over the Chapel Hell to engage in a little Saturday Night Football! I think Wake will need to keep the Tarheels under 20 points to have a shot in this one unless Hinton and Wolford bounce back this week and are almost 100% healthy. UNC does have a potent offense and it's going to be a fun matchup to see how the top 20 ranked Wake D competes with Fedora's VAUNTED, fast-paced offense.
The line opened at 13.5 for UNC and moved to 17 over the first couple days of the week and even though it's a road game against the Coastal division favorite at this point of the season, I really like Wake's chances to cover. We lost by 13 to Syracuse on the road in a game we'd like to have back, to FSU by 8 at home, and to Indiana by a touchdown. I see something like 30-16 or 30-17 where UNC tacks on a late TD.
What do you all think is going to happen this week and can Wake get a critical win towards bowl eligibility and move above .500 seven games into the season? Let us know below and we always want to her your questions, comments, thoughts, and opinions on Wake football and sports in general. And as always, go Deacs!