The first spring scrimmage of the year is in the books after an 81 play session yesterday at BB&T Field. From my past experience, the first couple of these are always pretty sloppy because of the layoff in live game action from the fall, and it sounded like yesterday was no different.
There is a full write-up from the official site here, with quotes from head coach Dave Clawson.
Les Johns over at Demon Deacon Digest covered the scrimmage live and had a great writeup on it. As always, I will say that he is a must-follow on Twitter if you are a Wake Forest fan (@Les_Johns) Here is his tweet with the final stats:
Cade Carney led the Deacs with 67 yards rushing, John Wolford was 7-for-10 passing, and Tabari Hines had 6 grabs. Wake offensive stats. pic.twitter.com/5yG4JpKKn8— Les Johns (@Les_Johns) March 25, 2017
The offense generated 115 rushing yards on 45 carries, but if you take out Cade Carney’s 61 yard run, it becomes an even more troubling 44 carries for 54 yards. In the passing game, the four quarterbacks managed 221 yards on 21-36 passing.
Usually the defense is ahead of the offense in these types of deals, so the numbers are terribly surprising, and Coach Dave Clawson seemed to find positives and negatives in both sectors of the ball. That makes a lot of sense since it is a zero-sum game overall, meaning if the offense does something positive, then there is likely an opposable negative on the defensive side of things.
While these are really early sessions, I have found it most useful in the past to read carefully what Coach Clawson says about individual players and the tone he takes to be the most useful in discerning information.
He was excited about Carney’s 61 yard run, but wished it had been 62 yards, which indicates he wants Carney to learn to finish those runs. Same type of thing on the freshman Christian Beal’s athletic 27 yard run. Obviously it’s great that Wake may have a guy who can make defensive players miss, but why did the defender fail to make the play?
Carney led the Deacs with 67 yards on 6 rushes and a touchdown. Beal added 37 more yards on 7 carries. Matt Colburn also chipped in 27 yards on 7 carries.
Redshirt freshman Arkeem Byrd was out with a minor injury.
From a passing standpoint, all four guys who are being assessed to possibly start got some time out there. Junior Kendall Hinton saw his first live action since his MCL injury in Week 3 against Delaware last year, and went 4-12 for 50 yards. He ran for 10 yards on 7 carries.
Senior John Wolford completed 7 out of 10 passes for 66 yards, but took two sacks. Jamie Newman was 6-9 for 61 yards, while Kyle Kearns finished 4-5 for 44 yards.
When you read between the lines a bit, you take the statement that Clawson makes of Wolford and Hinton getting equal reps in practice as a sign that they are 1A and 1B still. It will be interesting to monitor that as the spring goes along.
At the receiver position, redshirt freshman Greg Dortch stuck out a bit, catching 4 balls for 32 yards. Tabari Hines caught 6 passes for 51 yards to lead the receiving corps.
Defensively, cornerback Essang Bassey made 8 tackles and also had two pass breakups. RS-Freshman Carlos “Boogie” Basham had 5 tackles, 2 TFL, and a sack as he displayed some tools that will likely get him some playing time in the fall.
Overall it went pretty much like you would expect a spring scrimmage to go, as there were bright spots, the defense played well, and it got sloppy as it wore down. The key thing is to focus on the comments from coach, and the reps different guys are getting.