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Three Up, Three Down: Rice

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That's decidedly more like it.

Wake Forest v Rice Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Ups

Offense Again. Wake Forest got everything they wanted and then some offensively. 41 points, 21/27 for 312 yards and 3 touchdowns for Jamie Newman, and an absolutely beastly 96 yard touchdown run for Kenneth Walker III to cap off Wake's offensive production for the night. Overall, the crew of Wake Forest running backs had 201 yards and two touchdowns.

Defensive Leaders. I am pleased with Carlos Basham (but please, call him Boogie) and Justin Strnad, because while there were issues with the defense, both of them had multiple momentum plays on the defensive end, notably a strip sack and a 3rd down bat away by Boogie and a very satisfying 4th down stop by Justin.

Less Explosiveness Given By The Defense. This is damning with faint praise, I'll grant that, but Rice had fewer explosive plays than Utah State did. There were no explosive plays on the ground, and only 3 explosive plays (I believe the official metric is 15+ yards, so that's what I'm basing this on) through the air. However...

The Downs

Defense Still Had Issues. The defense gave up 21 points and 321 yards to Rice. Now admittedly, a fair chunk of that was done in garbage time, including one of the touchdowns, but come on. A lot of missed tackles, 2/3 failures on 4th down, and at least one absolutely inexcusable penalty (DPI in the end zone? Come on, man.) Considering Rice isn't known for their air attack at all, it's a little concerning.

Some Injuries. I can't call this a down in the traditional sense, exactly, but injuries are never good. Kendall Hinton, Cade Carney, Justin Herron, and Coby Davis all either didn't play or got banged up at some point. The good news is that they all seem to be relatively minor, but scares are scares.

The Injury To Wiley Green. I’m listing this as a down because I struggle to find too many complaints about this game, but also because I didn't like seeing it and I'm deeply concerned for the young man, whether he's a Wake Forest player or not. There wasn't any malice in the play that caused the injury, but man was it tough to watch. I love watching football more often than not, but seeing things like that really drive home how scary football can really be. Thoughts out to Wiley Green and the entire Rice community.

The Bottom Line

That was deeply satisfying. Could it have been better? Sure, but I can't really think of too many ways in which it could have been aside from a defensive brain fart or three and a couple of stall outs in the red zone. I think the UNC game could go either way, but I do think there's a very real chance that Wake could start 4-0. And that's...well that's just swell. Stay tuned for more thorough coverage of this outing in the coming days here on BSD.

On to the next. Go Deacs.

--SF