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Wake Forest 24 Indiana 31: Post Game Reaction

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A few thoughts following Wake Forest's homecoming loss to Indiana.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons could not complete a 21-point fourth quarter comeback, and ultimately lost 31-24 to the Indiana Hoosiers. I'll share a few of my main takeaways from this game.

The offensive line has to do better

The line consistently failed to provide Kendall Hinton with sufficient time in the pocket. The line was also responsible for three false starts, and allowing six sacks. If you take out Matt Colburn's 21-yard run, the running backs were only able to run for 15 yards on 8 attempts. Entering the game, the offensive line was ranked 112th in stuff rate, and nearly one-quarter (24.3%) of Wake rushing attempts resulted in being tackled either at or behind the line of scrimmage. The line is simply not getting enough push for our backs to have success. The line is very young, but Wake Forest's offense can only be but so good if the line can provide no protection, or leverage. It's actually fairly remarkable that Wake scored 24 despite the line's play.

Encouraging performances from receiving corps

It's a shame that K.J. Brent will not be on the roster next year. He made some very good plays today, and damn near hauled in a touchdown with one minute to go that would have made Wake Forest an extra point away from completing a 21-point comeback. The rest of the corps though? They will all come back. Cam Serigne had 5 receptions for 72 yards. Chuck Wade had 5 receptions for 56 yards, and Cortez Lewis had 3 for 23 yards. Tabari Hines had 2 catches for 48 yards. One was an incredibly play where he LEAPED for the ball, and another was a great diving catch for a score.

This season isn't about winning. I wish it was, but if we make it about winning then it's going to be a highly disappointing season. The excellent news is that it's clear that these receivers will only get better. Wake is shaping up to have a good offense in the future.

Kendall Hinton has very high upside

Like the receiving corps, the quarterback position is also about watching young talent continue to grow. In John Wolford's absence, Hinton started slow, but greatly improved as the game went on. Hinton threw a pick-six with about 10 minutes to go in the 4th quarter, and that gave Indiana a 31-10 lead. To Hinton's credit, he completely put that behind him, and led two touchdown drives (and nearly a third). The first touchdown drive was 12 plays for 75 yards, and the other was a 7 play, 90 yard drive. There's no doubt that his intermediate accuracy needs work, but this kid has very high upside. I'm thrilled about the state of the Wake Forest quarterback position.

The late hits from Indiana were absurd

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Clawson: &quot;Kendall played with great courage. They were going after him a little bit. He took some shots. Some were legal &amp; some weren&#39;t.&quot;</p>&mdash; Deacons Illustrated (@WakeRivals) <a href="https://twitter.com/WakeRivals/status/647881771418152960">September 26, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">&quot;They (IU) knew John (Wolford) was down and knew we had (just) one quarterback that was ready to play,&quot; Clawson said.</p>&mdash; Deacons Illustrated (@WakeRivals) <a href="https://twitter.com/WakeRivals/status/647882556038344705">September 26, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">&quot;There were a few extra hits that were probably on the edge a bit. That&#39;s football,&quot; Clawson said.</p>&mdash; Deacons Illustrated (@WakeRivals) <a href="https://twitter.com/WakeRivals/status/647882669532020736">September 26, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Clawson has to worry about things like fines, so I can appreciate his strategic comments. I, however, do not have to worry about being fined. I should start by stating that Indiana was the better team today and deserved to win. Now that that's out of the way, Indiana's defense was dirty today. They consistently hit our players, specifically Kendall Hinton, late. There's being aggressive, and then there's what Indiana did today. I'm embarrassed for them. That facemask penalty towards the end of the third quarter was absolutely pathetic. He nearly ripped Hinton's helmet off. In addition to that they had two personal fouls for late hits out of bounds. Not surprisingly, both of the hits were on Hinton. Full credit to him for retaliating with his play and not losing his cool. Unacceptable actions displayed from Indiana today. You can call it a hot take, but anyone who watched that game with any sense of objectivity saw the same thing.

That fake punt

What in the world was this? This was the worst decision of the Dave Clawson era, and it is not even close. I'm not sure what the thought process was. Maybe the players saw a read and audibled, so I won't assign blame to anyone in-particular. Believe me, I'm all for going for it on 4th down, and I'm for trickery, but a fake punt run with a fullback on 4th and 18?!

Missed tackles and missed opportunities on defense

Far too many arm tackles, and far too many missed tackles. This led to too many third down and manageable situations for Indiana. The technique has to get better. We also had multiple opportunities for interceptions and just dropped the ball. Not being able to force turnovers is absolutely killing this team right now.

What were your main takeaways?

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