The Wake Forest Demon Deacons had an additional week to prepare for Army, but the Deacs still could not secure bowl eligibility. The big plays did not go Wake’s way in this contest, and Army ultimately won 21-13. What went wrong for the Deacs in this one?
John Wolford, in my opinion, had one of his worst games at Wake. He threw three interceptions, and threw for just 220 yards on 43 attempts (5.1 yards/attempt). I feel that we’ve had reasonable offensive game plans this season, but I really have to question the Army plan. Wake typically relies on staying on schedule and gaining several yards per play and then getting into 3rd down and manageable situations. Against Army, I believe Wake was attempting to win a lot of one-on-one matchups vertically and played with much greater tempo. I don’t think that Wolford is best suited for that type of game plan. Had we run the ball more, as well as gone with some shorter routes, then I think we would have had more offensive success. Wake averaged 5.3 yards/carry, yet Wake ran the ball 23 times compared to the 43 passing attempts.
That said, if a few key plays went differently, then Wake could have been in command. Johnny Armstrong had yet another kickoff return for a touchdown that was called back due to a hold. I’d have to watch the replay to assess the legitimacy of the call. Wake was about to go up 10 points in the third quarter after a 35-yard Scotty Washington touchdown, but it was reviewed and determined that he did not complete the catch. That drop became even more punitive later in the drive when Mike Weaver missed a 46-yard field goal.
Wake’s rush defense was largely excellent in this one. The Deacs allowed 238 yards, but they only allowed 3.7 yards/carry. Wake’s secondary got beat multiple times through the air, and Army’s Ahmad Bradshaw passed for 145 yards on just 8 attempts. Army struck first with a 43 yard touchdown pass to Edgar Poe (1st team all name). Outside of a Jessie Bates interception and a nice pass break up by Essang Bassey, the secondary play was poor.
I’m concerned about Kendall Hinton’s health. I have zero knowledge about it, but given Wolford’s play today, it’s obvious that Hinton isn’t healthy enough to play. I have to think that a 70% Kendall Hinton would’ve been an upgrade today, but Wolford played the entire contest.
Credit to Army for the win, but Wake Forest did not play winning football. Wake now sits at 5-3 and has another very winnable game next week at home against Virginia, while Army will host Air Force.
What did you all think of Wake’s performance in this one?