True freshman QB Sam Hartman started the game from where he left off against Tulane. During the first play of the game he threw a dart up the middle to WR Greg Dortch for a 23 yard gain. The Deacs then marched downfield culminating in a one-handed touchdown grab by WR Alex Bachman.
Talking about one-handed grabs, what a show the Wake Forest receivers are putting on this season. After Bachman, Dortch clearly needed to have a one-handed TD grab of his own.
If the offense looked sharp to start the game, the same can’t be said about the defense. QB Tom Flacco was able to tear apart the Wake Forest defense for a couple of TD drives to begin the game. The defensive line finishing woes continue. The Deacs constantly put pressure on Flacco, but most times were not able to translate that into sacks. In both Towson TD drives there was at least one or two plays that a Wake rusher had a clear chance to sack Flacco and failed to get it done.
This lack of suddenness to finish a play is especially evident on Towson’s second TD play. On two occasions it looked like Flacco was going to get sacked, instead he just breaks contain from both rushers to find a wide open receiver on the right sideline of the endzone. As the game progressed, the defense was able to generate some more sacks, but the amount of chances Wake has been wasting this season should be alarming for the Demon Deacons. If this is any indication of what will happen from now on, this is going to be a long season for this Defense.
On a more positive note, Greg Dortch just... WOW. Two punts returned for TDs? Are you kidding me? What a special talent No. 3 is.
Dortch is the first Wake Forest player to return two punts for TDs since 1927 when Jhonny Cox did it against Davidson. A lot of emphasis has been put into making plays on special teams this offseason, and so far, outside of Sciba’s missed FG against Tulane, the unit has been delivering it.
Dortch finished the game with 309 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. He also led all receivers with 94 yards in 7 receptions.
Overall, Hartman also had another good game. He did turn the ball over two times with an interception and a fumble, but aside those two mistakes, Hartman once again showed poise and composure leading the Deacs. Hartman finished the game with 242 yards completing 17 of 27 throws and a pair of touchdowns. So far, the true freshman QB has been everything Wake fans could have hoped for as a replacement for John Wolford.
It also doesn’t help Hartman that Matt Colburn II got injured at the end of the third quarter. Yet, on the other hand, RB duo Cade Carney and Beal-Smith stepping up for carries during the second half is an encouraging sight for the situation of the running game while Coulburn is out. Beal-Smith broke to the outside for a 52-yard run in what was his first drive playing in College Football. Why he hasn’t been used up to this point is still somewhat of a mystery to me, but the explosiveness is definitely there. Carney also had his first 100+ yards game of the season, finishing with 130 yards in 19 carries and a touchdown. That’s Carney’s first 100+ game since Oct. 8, 2016.
Overall, the Deacs took care of business at home against Towson with a comfortable 31-point lead. If this Wake Forest Offense maintains a consistent running game throughout the season, look out for some more record-shattering performances. 582 yards of total offense is a great number even when facing a FCS team. On the defensive side of the ball, the Deacs should be worried with how badly the front-four has been finishing plays, this will be a major problem down the road, as the Deacs face a lot of teams with mobile quarterbacks.
Regardless, a win is a win and so far so good for Wake Forest as they move to 2-0 for the season. Stay tuned for more, and as always Go Deacs!