On a day where the Wake Forest Demon Deacons honored the great Arnold Palmer, the football team delivered a win that would make “The King” proud. Wake Forest withstood the rain and wind, and knocked off Syracuse 28-9 to move to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the ACC.
The bad weather clearly impacted Wake Forest early, as long snapper Garrett Wilson snapped one high and right of punter Dom Maggio, and ultimately the Deacs gave up a safety to fall down 2-0. The Deacs were very fortunate not to be down 7-0 at that point.
Wake nearly scored its first touchdown in the first quarter. Matt Colburn had a great 17-yard run to get down to the 1-yard line, and arguably scored, but set up a 1st and goal from the 1 yard line. Unfortunately, Wake could not get in on any of the 4 attempts, and John Wolford actually fumbled on the 4th down attempt and Syracuse recovered it for a touchback. Wake’s first touchdown came with 11 minutes remaining in the second quarter, after John Wolford ran it in from 7 yards out.
Syracuse responded several drives later when they went 59 yards on 10 plays, with the majority of them coming on the ground to take a 9-7 lead. Wake’s next drive was critical and they answered the call. Wake put together a 7 play 75 yard drive that finished with a 37 yard run from John Wolford that came after a great pull/block from left tackle Justin Herron.
Syracuse seemed content to go into halftime down 14-9, but then Dontae Strickland broke out a 49 yard run to put Cuse in field goal range with just seconds remaining. Syracuse inexplicably attempted a play before halftime, but Amari Henderson made an outstanding interception to maintain Wake’s 14-9 lead.
My halftime thoughts:
Wake Forest vs Syracuse 1st HalfPosted by Blogger So Dear on Saturday, October 8, 2016
Despite the lopsided final score, the second half was a back-and-forth nailbiter for Wake Forest fans. Wake’s key drive came with 7 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter. It began with a key 28 yard completion to Cam Serigne, who subsequently left the game with a hamstring injury. Cade Carney broke out a 17-yard run, and then Chuck Wade took a screen pass 18 yards to get into goal to go territory. The Deacs got even closer when Syracuse was charged with a roughing the passer penalty after the play. Cade Carney answered the call on the next play to make it 21-9.
Carney’s touchdown all but sealed it, but then Cam Glenn made the exclamation point on the following drive when he recovered a fumble and took it 83 yards to the house for a touchdown to make it 28-9.
The stats weren’t particularly pretty. Wolford, who probably sustained a shoulder injury during the game, threw for just 140 yards, but the Wake Forest defense was superb in this one. Syracuse was average 500 yards of offense entering the game, and finished with just 326. Wake Forest’s rushing attack was also strong. Though they ran for “only: 190 yards, they really had about 235 because the bad snap was counted as a negative rushing play. Huge running effort from John Wolford and Cade Carney, who combined for 198 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Wake Forest is now 5-1 and just one game away from bowl eligibility. Syracuse will host Virginia Tech next week, while Wake Forest will travel to take on the Florida State Seminoles. It’s a great day to be a Deac!