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Three Up, Three Down: Utah State

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Good golly Miss Molly, what an opener.

Utah State v Wake Forest Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Ups

Jamie Newman Is Probably Pretty Good. 34/47, 401 yards, 4 total TDs (three pass, one rush), and no picks. Now admittedly, Jamie had two fumbles, one lost, but this dude finds ways to win in a way I don’t recall seeing out of a Wake QB in quite some time. Guys like John Wolford are legendary, but I never quite felt like they were pulling rabbits out of a hat the way Jamie has. Truly something special.

KENDALL HINTON. I am so happy for #2. From starting QB to off-field struggles to WR to considering a transfer to becoming an absolute hero on 4th and goal to get the go-ahead score. I am so proud of Kendall for sticking it out, man. He could be a weapon this season for certain.

Defense...sometimes. Three picks (including the game winner from Justin Strnad), 6-16 on third, 0-1 on fourth. In a vacuum, that seems pretty amazing, honestly. However...

The Downs

Defense The Rest Of The Time. 35 points, 596 yards. Passes of 56. 35, 28, 27, 23, and 19 yards to different receivers, plus a 59 yard rush. Yikes. And I don’t like calling out individual plays, but the target by Nassir Greer was...let’s just say unwise. You may debate the call, I personally don’t. Regardless, I know Nassir is a good player and no one is madder he did that than he is, but that was almost disastrous.

Short Yardage Offense. This was just baffling and ugly, especially with a QB the size of Jamie Newman and a RB like Cade Carney. What on Earth was going on there? I have a lot of confidence they’ll get it together, but that was painful. While we’re at it, why go shotgun four times in a row from the 1? I mean, really. Come on guys.

Lack Of Pressure Early. I have no idea how or why, but it honestly seemed like the defense got Jordan Love rattled more as the game went on. You’d think a three man rush would get carved up by Jordan Love, who threw only six picks the entirety of last season, and yet somehow it worked, and they picked him off three times this game alone. I don’t understand. All I know is I’m happy, but also the defense in he first half in particular hurt my soul.

The Bottom Line

I’m doing this now because I’m too hyped to sleep. What on earth was that? I don’t know, but I’ll take it. 1-0 baby. The offense looks very good indeed, and if the defense can get more consistent, we might be in for the sort of really fun season a lot of us anticipated several weeks ago. My heart can’t take much more of this, but at the same time, I literally can’t bring myself to be particularly upset. On to the next. Go Deacs.

—SF