Wake Forest pretty much had this thing from the very beginning. After a 10-0 first quarter, Wake gave up one touchdown but then scored another right before the end of the half, giving the Deacs a 17-7 lead at the half. It was over soon after that, though. After a three and out for Syracuse to start the second half (aided by an awesome PBU from Nick Andersen). Sam Hartman threw an awesome strike downfield on a third and long to a WIDE OPEN Jaquarii Roberson for an 80 yard catch and jaunt to the endzone. On the subsequent play, Rex Culpepper threw a pick six to Wake’s Gavin Holmes (who pulled a muscle running into the end zone; hope he’s alright), and within about two and a half minutes, Wake’s lead went from 17-7 to 31-7. That was pretty much that. Wake’s defense continued to play strong throughout the game (including two more forced turnovers), and the offense had two more sustained drives, one of which led to a touchdown (Kenneth Walker III’s third touchdown of the day) and the other of which led to a turnover on downs when the Deacs went to convert on a 4th and 6 instead of going for a 50+ yard field goal. Between those two drives, Wake ran 23 plays and 12 minutes of game time off the clock. That’s absolutely nuts. Syracuse scored one other touchdown in garbage time in the fourth quarter, going on a 10 play, 80 yard drive against Wake’s reserves.
On the day, Sam Hartman tallied 250 yards and one touchdown on an efficient 19-33 passing. Kenneth Walker III was a monster yet again, tallying 79 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries for 4.9 YPC. Christian Beal-Smith also did work, adding up 87 yards on 19 carries for a 4.6 YPC average. Wake Forest was 9-18 on third down and 2-4 on fourth (exactly 50% on both, what’re the odds?), and on defense, Wake Forest held Syracuse to a brutal 3-11 on third down and 1-1 on fourth. When you combine that with a +3 takeover margin for the Wake Forest defense, and honestly, Syracuse never stood a chance. It wasn’t a perfect game for Wake Forest per se, but it was pretty darn close. The best way I can describe it is that it was a methodically dominant performance by Wake on the road (though admittedly that detail is a little more of a formality this year than anything). The biggest (and really only) downside to this game for Wake Forest is the fact that Boogie Basham’s TFL streak ended at 23 games,
We’re a -3 scoring margin @NCST away from starting this season 5-1. That is a good, good start. Wake’s next game is on November 14, @ #15 UNC. It’s up in the air whether or not Wake Forest will continue their streak of bowl games, but the chances are at least decent. The Deacs need to win two of @#15 UNC, @Duke, home vs. #12 Miami, @Louisville, and home against #4 Notre Dame. The only one of those I’m writing off outright is the last one.
Another week, another good game. On to the next. Go Deacs.