With John Wolford sustaining a an injury on the fourth play from scrimmage yesterday against Army, true freshman Kendall Hinton led the Deacs to a 17-14 victory. He primarily used his legs to become the first Wake Forest player to exceed 100 yards since 2012. He also became the first quarterback to do so since 2004 (Cory Randolph).
The extent of Wolford's injury is not known yet, but he had a pretty serious limp, and it's not unreasonable that he may not be 100% by the Indiana game next Saturday.
Based on what we know so far it is not far fetched to expect Hinton to get some snaps moving forward, and possibly even be the start moving forward.
We turned to the staff of Blogger So Dear to see if there is an actual QB controversy brewing, or if Hinton simply performed when he needed to, but will continue backup John Wolford once he is healthy again.
Adam: I think Wolford is the better QB. He has a yeaar of experience under his belt and is easily the better passer. Army had some weak defensive backs and Hinton was able to complete passes pretty easily.I dont know a lot about the Indiana defensive backs, but I think they'll be better than those we saw today. Hinton is definitely more athletic and more suited for escaping when the offensive protection breaks down, but a truly healthy Wolford has shown his ability to run several times this season as well. I think the biggest difference these two is poise on third down. Wolford is so good on third down when he has time to hang in the pocket and go through all his reads. If Wolford is not 100% I think I'd like to see Hinton get the start. With our line, if Wolford cant run, it wont be pretty.
Riley: If he isn't 100% then go with Hinton until Wolford is healthy. With that being said, the legs of Hinton were a game changer yesterday. Even with Wolford back I think Clawson can play Hinton in certain packages and run some zone read with him. He appears to throw the deep ball really well, and can run extremely well. That sets up for some big plays and also gives the defense something else to prepare for week in and week out.
It will be interesting to see how Hinton performs against teams with better secondaries, but with the offensive line in its current state, I love the mobility and versatility is useful for the Deacs.
Rob: If John Wolford is healthy, then he deserves to start against Indiana. He had a poor first quarter against Army, but it seems apparent that his poor play was mostly a result of his bad ankle. In each of his prior two games, he threw for more than 300 yards. He also has a year of starting experience, and his been in the system much longer than Kendall Hinton has. While Wolford does throw too many interceptions, he has completed 69% of his pass attempts so far this season. Hinton, by comparison, completed just 56% of his attempts yesterday.
That said, I would like to see us involve Kendall Hinton some throughout the season. He has already burned his redshirt, so we may as well use him if possible. He is a dynamic runner, who ran for more than 100 yards against Army. He is also a very legitimate threat to throw the ball, particularly on deep throws. The fact that he is a dual-threat, makes it very difficult to prepare for certain sub-packages, because he will not be brought in exclusively to run zone-read plays. Hinton's going to be a very good player for Wake, and it's clear to see why many ACC schools wanted him.
Ned: As everyone else is saying, If Wolford is healthy you have to start him in my opinion. There is a lot to like in Kendall's game, and his running ability and cannon of an arm are better than John Wolfords, but he struggled yesterday with throws of 1-15 yards simply because he hasn't developed the touch yet. With a lot of our offense being quick slants and screens, the play calling would have to be verify different in Week 4 if Hinton were to start. He simply is a different type of QB and we have to play to his strengths.
I would love to see more packages with Hinton in the future even when Wolford is fully healed. A pistol type of setup that features a lot of read options and play action deep routes would be incredibly hard to stop and give opposing teams a lot to prepare for week in and week out. I'm not suggesting a straight 2 QB system, but we would be wise to utilize Hinton's talents every week in some way in the offense.