On November 22, 2014, a weary eyed freshman from Atlanta, Georgia decided it’d be a good idea to spend a cold Saturday morning to watch some good ACC football.
Woo buddy was I wrong.
Wake had dropped 6 straight games after starting the season off 2-2, and one of those losses was at Louisiana-Monroe! However, the optimistic freshman I was decided to stick it out and after each passing quarter it felt like I was unlearning football. Yet, I had a blast?
It was no secret to anyone how atrocious the offense was for Wake Forest, the defense had to be practically perfect to win games. Led by Marquel Lee, Kevin Johnson, Brandon Chubb, and Ryan Janvion, they did all they could in that game and in that season.
Fast forward to 2019 and Wake has one of the most prolific offenses in the nation, while the defense has, as former S Cameron Glenn would put it, a bunch of fools. And you can’t stop a fool.
The progress Wake Forest football has made under the Dave Clawson regime has been well documented this year with the rise of Jamie Newman and his crew of receivers in Sage Surratt, Kendall Hinton, and Scotty Washington. Yet none of these 3 were the ones to catch 3 touchdowns last week against NC State, shoutout to Jack Freudenthal. Defensively has taken a bend but don’t break approach, but after breaking(due to reasons) against Louisville, the defense played a very good game against FSU allowing Cam Akers to be really good, but not back breaking, and put on a masterpiece against NC State with #BermudaBoy Amari Henderson acting like a fool all game long.
The purpose of Saturday in Blacksburg is to take that next step. No longer are we this 0-0 team. Everyone wants something to play for in November, but what are you going to do to get there? Step by step, Dave Clawson and this team have been doing what it takes to get there. From the lumps the first couple of years, to a thrilling Military Bowl win, to a thrilling Belk Bowl win, to a thr... is there an echo in here?
After the heroics of Jamie Newman dating from NC State last year to present day, this team has just felt different. With a win in Blacksburg, the team is one large step closer to an amazing accomplishment, an Orange Bowl appearance. There’s no need to look towards Clemson the next week and how big that game would be with a win, but instead cherish what a special season this has been and with a win on Saturday what it could become. To me, that Louisville loss becomes nothing more than a blip on the radar with a win to move to 8-1 this week.
However, this season will only go as far as the players take it and as fans, continuing to go and support this team. With a win Wake Forest would be 8-1 for the third time, checks notes, EVER. If that doesn’t make you excited about this season, nothing will.
I will worry about the sustainability of this team at the end of this year, but for now it’s time to enjoy the rest of this season and focus on going 1-0 this weekend. Taking a 1000 foot step back, it’s insane to think that the team that could barely kick a field goal, sorry Mike Weaver you’ve improved so so so much, has now moved to a team that people are legitimately frightened on the offensive side and is challenging for an ACC championship.
This year make that scrawny freshman proud this year, Wake. Let’s take this one in Blacksburg.