Well....that was a game haha!
Wake Forest and Tulane played the first true nail-biter of the 2018-19 season, and while it wasn’t pretty at times, it was a hell of a nail-biter, and the Deacs won it 23-17!
True freshman Sam Hartman won the quarterback job after Kendall Hinton got suspended for the first three games of the season, and if tonight is any indication he may not ever give it back. After a slow start from both teams in the first half, Hartman showed why the coaches entrusted him with the job by leading the Wake Forest Demon Deacons to a 23-17 victory over the Tulane Green Wave in New Orleans.
After Tulane tied it at 17 with four minutes left in the game, both teams had a chance to win it at the end but couldn’t do it.
In overtime Tulane took a 15 yard penalty on first down and that led to a turnover on downs after a desperate hook and ladder on fourth down. From there the Deacs put it on the ground and let the backfield punch it in for the decisive 23-17 win behind a Cade Carney bullrush over the center.
The win did come at a cost, which will be determined in the next few days, as offensive lineman Justin Herron and secondary specialist Coby Davis both went out in the first half with leg injuries. Amari Henderson was also on a bike in the first half, while starting tight end Jake Freudenthal got ejected on the first punt of the game behind a targeting penalty.
Hartman to redshirt wide receiver sophomore Sage Surratt was a very frequent connection early on, as Surratt had six catches for 86 yards, including a circus catch on the sideline in an early possession.
Surratt finished with 11 catches for 150 yards, while Greg Dortch made a phenomenal return with 12 catches for 149 yards.
Hartman finished 31/51 with 378 yards along with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He was fantastic at times, but also had some bad mistakes that will surely be mitigated as he gets older. He was amazing overall and I cannot wait to see what he does in the Old Gold and Black.
The Demon Deacon defense answered the bell against the Tulane triple option defense, allowing some gains, but ultimately tightening up en route to a 7-0 shutout at the half. The Deacs outgained the Green Wave 261-151 in the opening half, with both teams probably feeling like they could be up by double digits.
They allowed some long plays in the second half, but clamped down when it mattered in the second half and overtime and came up huge.
Jonathan Banks, a sleeper NFL quarterback for next year, went 6-15 in the first half for 58 yards. Head coach Willie Fritz opened up the playbook a lot more than I expected early on, throwing it all over the place, perhaps to try to catch the Wake D on its heels.
We will have plenty more tomorrow and the next few days, but let’s just enjoy this one folks!