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Three Up, Three Down: Virginia

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It wasn't pretty, and I swear to you I thought they were going to give up the lead, but timely defense gave the Demon Deacons enough to win, and Wake Forest managed to beat Virginia and get to bowl eligibility for the first time since 2011.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Ups

The Defense.  Period. Jessie Bates is obviously the hero of the day, but big Josh Banks was an absolute monster, and Cameron Glenn also came up huge.  With the exception of just a couple drives, the defense was pretty beastly all day.  For perspective, Virginia was held to 2-12 on third down and 0-2 on fourth.  Let that sink in.  2-14 on third and fourth down.  That's flat out impressive.

Offensive Game Management. It wasn't a sexy offensive performance, but it was a solid and stable.  226 yards rushing, 83 yards passing.  John Wolford was an impressively efficient 9-10 with one passing TD and 84 yards on 16 carries with a long of 64, which also happened to be a touchdown.  I have some qualms with the offense, which I'll get to, but generally speaking it was a solid showing without too many glaring faults.

That End Of Half Drive. At the end of the first half, Wake Forest had a beautiful TD drive to go up 11.  They went 52 yards in 7 plays in about a minute and a half, and left UVA with virtually no time to close the gap.  Not only that, we got the ball to start the second half.  It was beautiful game management yet again.

The Downs

The Start Of Both Halves. The first half opened with Wake giving up a 75 yard touchdown drive in less than four minutes.  Then in the second, Wake, up 11, went three and out, then gave up a touchdown, THEN gave up an onside kick.  It worked out, but boy howdy could it ever have ended a lot worse.than it did.

A Bit Too Much Offensive Predictability. We didn't run enough against Army, but I think we overcompensated this week.  I don't know why we didn't work in more short passes, be they slants or passes in the flat, both of which were rather effective last week, and I'm fairly sure Army's defense is better than UVA's.

Another Missed Field Goal. What's going on, Mike Weaver?  You'll do great stuff and then whiff.  I'm not going to act like it was a gimme field goal, it wasn't, but he hit a similar one earlier in the game, so what's the deal there?  I honestly wonder if sunlight in eyes had anything to do with them, because they both happened in similar situations with regards to where the sun was, where he was kicking from, etc.

The Bottom Line

Bowling, baby!  Should be 7 wins deep but I am NOT going to complain.  Dave Clawson is a maestro of program building and was a fantastic hire, and we have a real shot at going 7-5 regular season and end with a guaranteed winning record.  If our hoops team follows the Clawson pattern at all, and it's certainly not impossible, I'll be the first guy in line to say "Well done Ron Wellman."

Good stuff.  On to the next.  Go Deacs.

--SF