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Film Review: Final Thoughts on Boston College

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We take a final look at the Wake Forest-Boston College game by rewatching it to see what sticks out.

NCAA Football: Wake Forest at Boston College Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

I had a chunk of time after work last night to sit down and rewatch a good portion of the Wake Forest 34-10 victory over Boston College. While I probably won’t be able to do this every week, I enjoy rewatching games because, first of all, I know what’s going to happen on each play so I can watch pre-snap to see what’s going on. Second of all, since I was at the Boston College game I didn’t have a great view to the whole field and what occurred.

Here are some additional and final thoughts that stuck out to me while I was watching the game again (in bullet point format). I stopped watching after Cade Carney scored to make it 31-10 with 4 minutes left in the third quarter because not a lot happened of note after that.

Defense

  • Jaboree Williams really had a fantastic first couple of possessions. He broke up several plays, prevented Anthony Brown (who I believe he was spying as a secondary role) from getting into the open field, and just clogged up the middle of the field.
  • The secondary had about as good of a game as you could ever ask, especially Cameron Glenn and Jessie Bates III. They were everywhere they needed to be and made a couple of tackles early in the open field that prevented first downs. If there was a play being made in the first half it was likely that Glenn and/or Bates were right there. Each was rewarded with an interception for their troubles.
  • Overall, tackling was really, really good for the Deacs. I didn’t see many missed tackles at all, and the form tackling was fantastic to wrap-up and not allow the runner to get extra yards. I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but Glenn and Bates were excellent.
  • The pressure and blitz packages provided from the front 7 was clearly the difference in the game. I’m not sure if this is a change in the blitzes that we are bringing from Jay Sawvel, or if the players are just executing what we have already been doing much better. Brown got extremely happy feet after the first interception, and while there weren’t a lot of sacks, the Wake defense traded sacks for interceptions because Brown just kept forcing the ball in places it should not have been thrown in to.
  • Ja’Sir Taylor had a couple of plays where he was all over his receiver (in a good way, not a PI way), which was fantastic coverage, but he got lucky that the BC guy dropped one of the passes which should have been a touchdown. Needs to get his hands up quicker to fight for the ball instead of keeping them low/around the waist.

Offense

  • John Wolford expertly navigated this gameplan to near perfection. He ran when he needed to run, threw when he needed to throw, and aside from a couple of plays where he took a loss out-of-bounds instead of throwing it away, looked fantastic. The difference between Wolford and Brown was glaring, and showed why a senior QB is such an asset as opposed to a wet-behind-the-ears freshman QB. I think Brown will be a good QB for BC, but he made a lot of mistakes.
  • His touchdown throw to Greg Dortch was about as good of a throw and catch as you will see in college football when working with limited room. It was placed perfectly where only Dortch could catch it, and Dortch made an amazing play with his feet to get his right foot down before it touched out-of-bounds. I watched this play 3-4 times because it was so well done.
  • The RPO (run-pass options) were a fantastic wrinkle that should help alleviate some pressure in the box that Wake has been facing the past few years. The one that really stuck out to me was on the first drive of the third quarter that resulted in a FG (after an atrocious no-call pass interference against Cam Serigne in the end zone). It was 3rd down and long, and Wolford drew the entire defense in on him to think it was a run before he tossed it out to Greg Dortch who was wide open and got the first down.
  • Boston College ran a ton of Cover-One with 7-8 guys in the box. At some point Wake will have to start hitting on deep balls if they want to get opposing defenses to back off and give the line a chance to provide some holes for our running game.
  • On the long Wolford touchdown run in the first half the blocking was a thing of beauty across the board. Both guys on the left side of the line did their job to protect, and Matt Colburn gave a great downfield block to allow Wolford to get into the end zone.
  • Speaking of Matt Colburn, his blocking on Wolford runs was great all over against Boston College. He has come a long way in pass blocking and blocking for the QB since he got here. This could see increased time in obvious passing situations, as he has shown he can catch the ball in open space as well.
  • Yesterday I noted that Tabari Hines only played 5 snaps on offense and I wanted to see when these were. If I am not mistaken, at least 3-4 of these snaps were on the first possession. After he fumbled the ball on the 4th play of the game he came out and I believe was only inserted one other time in the game (when we went 5-wide at one point with trips on one side and twins on the other). He was replaced by Dortch, who took 70 snaps and got almost all of them after the first possession.
  • There were a couple of plays that I thought we were looking to go downfield and had an outside receiver either open or at least with a single-high safety on coverage, but in both instances the line didn’t hold long enough for Wolford to get the throw off. The BC defensive line is damn good and I thought overall our offensive line did a great job of protecting Wolford, allowing only two sacks, and none in obvious passing situations.
  • The false starts have to stop. There were too many pre-snap penalties, which I understand based on the opponent and the fact that it’s the second game of the year. We are doing a lot of pulling with our tackles, and in a couple of instances Herron or Benzinger went early to try to get a head start. This could hurt us moving forward and needs to be cleaned up before the brunt of our schedule.
  • The holding call against Cade Carney where he was tackled to the ground on a read option play was completely absurd and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything like it. He was engaged by the defender and they both went to the ground. I’m unsure if the hold was called when Carney “pinned” him, but the defender was certainly partaking in keeping Carney down as well.
  • Boston College’s Harold Landry is a very, very good football player and it is not hard to see why he may go top ten in the 2018 NFL Draft. He can get low to get past the tackles and also has the power to matchup head-on. I thought Wake did a great job of either running it to the opposite side of the field of where Landry was, or just double-teaming him to help out.

Overall Wake did what was necessary to get to 2-0. I thought the defense did a great job early on of getting to Brown and making him play scared. That paid off as the game went along and the opportunistic defense pounced on it to create turnovers. The offense took that field position and scored every time they needed to, getting Wake to 30+ points for the third consecutive game (averaging 40 PPG since #WakeyLeaks broke).

There are a lot of areas for improvement, and I think Utah State will be a good opponent for Wake to open up the offensive playbook a little bit to try to get to 30 points again. The Aggies run an up-tempo, read-option based offense, and everything out of camp this week has sounded like Clawson and Sawvel have a plan to combat that.