Indiana scored a 75-yard touchdown on its first play from scrimmage on Saturday afternoon, but that didn’t stop the Wake Forest Demon Deacons from leaving Bloomington with a 33-28 victory over the Hoosiers to move to 4-0 on the season. The teams combined for 158 plays from scrimmage, and nearly 1,000 total yards. What were the key plays that enabled Wake Forest to emerge victorious?
Jessie Bates’ 1st Interception
It’s always difficult to point out a single biggest play in an individual game, but I would probably argue for this one. Indiana was on the verge of quickly making it either 10-0 or 14-0, but Indiana quarterback Richard Lagow missed high on his receiver, and Jessie Bates picked it off in the endzone and returned it 39 yards. He initially hesitated whether or not to take a touchback, but ultimately he decided to take a chance on his athleticism and it paid off.
Jessie Bates’ Pick-Six
This one was a fairly obvious selection, but it had to be mentioned given that it directly gave Wake Forest 7 points and the lead, and also stopped an Indiana drive. Bates is going to be one heck of a player for Wake, and he has already made a massive impact as just a redshirt freshman. It was fitting that he recovered Indiana’s onside kick attempt and secured the victory.
John Wolford Touchdown Pass to Chuck Wade
This was where Wake pulled ahead. Brad Watson had just blocked a field goal attempt, which admittedly was another major play in this contest, and the Deacs marched down the field to go up two scores. Wake fans have been waiting for Chuck Wade to break out this season, and he came through against Indiana. Wolford threw a gorgeous over-the-top pass for 26 yards and a score. Wolford threw it to the back of the endzone where only Wade could get it. Then Wade did a remarkable job of dragging his right foot to get the score. It was surprising to me that Indiana was content to essentially go into halftime even though Wake scored with more than 50 seconds remaining in the first half.
Defensive Holding Against Indiana’s A’Shon Riggins
There were a number of huge Indiana penalties on this drive, so it’s tough to narrow it down to one. Wake greatly benefited from a facemask penalty on this drive. Wolford was sacked for a 16-yard loss, but that was negated by a facemask penalty and earned an automatic first down instead. The holding penalty was huge because Wake was unable to convert on a 3rd and 15 (partially because of the hold), but this gave Wake a first down, and they ultimately went on to score a touchdown.
Offensive Holding Against Indiana’s Wes Rogers
Indiana was driving down 33-21 and had picked up a first down inside Wake Forest’s red zone. Instead, Indiana had to try and pick up a 4th-and-11, but Brad Watson broke up the pass and the Deacs took over on downs. It didn’t completely end the game, but it essentially wrapped it up for the Deacs.
What do you all think? Are there any key plays that I missed that you all thought were more important?