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Recap: Wake Forest Defeats Syracuse 64-43

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The Deacs are going bowling

Wake Forest v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

What a roller coaster ride that game was. After scoring touchdowns on their first 3 possessions, the Deacs went cold in the 2nd quarter and fell behind 21-38 with about 20 seconds left in the half. Instead of kneeling and going into the half, the Wake threw the ball down the field to Tabari Hines, who went for 44 yards to set up Mike Weaver for a 41 yard field goal. That field goal may have been the momentum shift the Deacs needed, as they would go on to outscore the Orange 40-5 in the 2nd half to move to 6-4 on the year, becoming bowl eligible for the 2nd year in a row.

There’s so much to talk about from this game, but I’ll try to keep it short. First and foremost, John Wolford is absolutely on the fire. The senior completed 25 of his 38 passes (65%) for 363 yards and 3 TDs. He added 136 yards rushing and 3 TDs on the ground as well. That’s his second game with 6 total TDs this season, if I’m not mistaken. With 20 passing and 10 rushing TDs, Wolford is having an unbelievable season and is playing like an All-ACC First Team quarterback. I’m all in on #WolfordForHeisman.

Moving along, Matt Colburn II continues to play at a high level. With the other backs limited due to injury, Colburn has run for over 100 yards for 3 games in a row; He’s the first Deacon to do that since 2001 (Tarence Williams per Les Johns). He ran all over Syracuse, carrying the ball 31 times for 237 yards (7.6 avg) and reached the end zone twice. He also played a particularly smart game, giving himself up at the end of the 1st half to allow the field goal unit time to attempt the kick, and doing the same thing in the 4th quarter to avoid going out of bounds to keep the clocking running. All around, it was a fantastic game from Colburn.

The receivers came up big today for Wake Forest too. After losing Greg Dortch some of us were a little worried if we could replace his production. Today that question was answered. Hines led the way with 9 receptions for 144 yards, Cam Serigne had a huge game with 7 catches for 119 yards and 3 TD catches, and Scotty Washington also came up big with 7 catches for 113 yards. Chuck Wade Jr. added 1 catch for 9 yards for the Deacons.

All of those stats combined, our Deacs put up 64 points and racked up 734 yards of total offense. That is utterly insane.

Now onto the defense. There’s no way to sugarcoat this — the defense really struggled in the first half. The Orange managed to roll up 38 points and 425 yards all in the first 2 quarters of the game. Zack Mahoney, in for the injured Eric Dungey, looked like an ACC starter in the first half, going 22-35 for 297 yards and 3 TDs. At times, it looked like the Deacs were playing 8 on 11. But football games aren’t over after 1 half, and boy did the Wake Forest defense respond and lock in for the 2nd half. The Orange managed to only put up just 5 points (and 2 of those are on our special teams) and 196 yards in the second half. The Deacon defense also manged to come away with 2 big interceptions, 1 by Jaboree Williams and 1 by Justin Strnad, in the second half to help Wake Forest come away with a win.

All in all, the Deacs showed extraordinary resilience on the road to overcome a 17 point deficit and turn it into a 21 point victory. I’ll see you all at the bowl game.