Wake Forest had the Duke game circled from the moment the ACC released the conference schedule. It’s a game against a designated rival, and it’s very much a measuring stick game for both programs. Duke has made four consecutive bowl appearances, and has been one of the darlings of the conference. Wake Forest, on the other hand, hasn’t made a bowl game since 2011. Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson has gone just 3-9 during each of his first two seasons at Wake Forest, but he and the Wake Forest football team had an opportunity in year three to show that the Wake Forest program was headed in the right direction. Wake delivered.
This was the biggest game of Dave Clawson’s tenure at Wake Forest. That win did so much to affirm belief in the direction that Coach Clawson is taking the program. This is huge for recruiting talent, and this is also huge for giving boosters tangible reasons to continue donating money to the program. I believe this was Wake’s biggest win since the Deacs defeated North Carolina 28-27 in 2012.
This win also has huge ramifications for Wake Forest’s bowl chances. Wake currently sits at 2-0, and needs just 4 more victories to become bowl eligibility. They have winnable home games remaining against Delaware (FCS), Army, Syracuse, Virginia, and Boston College. They also have winnable road games remaining against Indiana and N.C. State. Wake “stole” one on the road, has some margin for error, but still has the upside to win more than 6 games this regular season. Now, Wake has to do something that the 2012 team failed to do - make a bowl game.
Congratulations to Coach Clawson and the entire program for this win. More hard work than I can possibly imagine has gone into this one, and I’m very excited to watch this team the rest of the season, and to see where Clawson can take this program. Clawson’s rebuilding plan is on schedule, and he’s proving once again why he is a “maestro of program building.”