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Three Up, Three Down: Appalachian State

That genuinely may be the most whirlwind Wake football win I can remember. I still can hardly believe it 24 hours later. But 4-0 feels darn good, and there was a lot of good in this outing. So let’s talk about it.

NCAA Football: Wake Forest at Appalachian State Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Ups

SCOTTY WASHINGTON. Not only did he have his best game in a Wake uniform as a receiver with a crisp 4 catches for 79 yards including a key scamper where the Deacs were deep in their own territory and needing to get something going on offense. Even more crucially, however, Scotty was the one who blocked the attempted game-winner, and boy howdy what a block it was. Seriously, he got UP. The athleticism involved was nuts.

The Offense, When It Was Moving. Seriously, the opening drives of each half for the Deacs were beautiful. We got glimpses of the tempo that Coach Clawson has been trying to implement, and when it’s going, it’s gorgeous. Seriously, John Wolford, the offensive line, and the backfield, not to mention the receivers, can absolutely carve people up when they’re working well. The problem is they sputter far too often.

Generally, Defense Bending But Not Breaking. There were exceptions, but the Mountaineers had nearly 500 offensive yards and only 19 points, and 7 of those came off of an 84 yard TD scamper. There were many really well defended plays that were just even better offense by App State.

The Downs

The Big Plays. Once again, the defense proved susceptible to explosive plays, which is bad. The one that really bothers me was the 84 yarder, but that certainly wasn’t the only example. With better execution, no way that would’ve gone to the house.

Missed Opportunities. I counted at least 3 missed takeaways by Wake, all of which could have been scores if executed right. There were dropped passes and weak runs on short yardage on offense. The Deacs had a 3rd and 3 that, if converted, would have sealed the game in far less dramatic fashion, and they just couldn’t do it. There’s no way this game should have been as close as it was, honestly. Shore up the tackling and stick with what works on offense. It shouldn’t be that hard.

Absolutely DESTROYED On Time of Possession. Appalachian State, 35:44. Wake Forest, 24:16. Need I say more? I don’t think so. That’s brutal on multiple levels.

The Bottom Line

Wake Forest is 4-0 heading into a home game against the reeling Florida State Seminoles, and in my opinion the Deacs have the inside track to bowling come the holidays. We’re heading into a brutal schedule stretch, but I think we’ve seen glimpses of a team that can hang with virtually anyone, it’s just a question of execution and mindset. We’ll see what happens, but a win is a win, and sometimes winning ugly can be good in the long run.

On to the next. Go Deacs.