Obviously, a 3U3D isn’t going to happen here. The offense was literally beyond reproach, and the defense was atrociously bad except for the two forced turnovers, most notably the pick six from Traveon Redd. Wake Forest possessed the ball 11 times, scored 10 touchdowns, and had one turnover on downs. Sam Hartman had a truly otherwordly day, going 23/29 for 458 yards, five touchdowns, no picks, and an additional touchdown on the ground. The problem is, Army only punted once the entire game in their own right. There is no yikes big enough for that one. Army racked up 416 rushing yards on 5.9 per carry, and, contrary to what one would expect from Army, 179 yards passing on 13.8 per pass. The score is backed up by the stats, let’s put it that way.
Let’s be clear about some things, though. It is exceedingly disingenuous to act like this game in a vacuum is a portent of things to come. As rough as the defense has been this season, we held the explosive Virginia offense to 17 points. Florida State scored less on us (14 points) than any other opponent this season including Notre Dame, and they obviously have insane athletes. I truly believe today was a perfect storm of variables. The offense was almost TOO good, the constant scoring forcing an exhausted defense back out on the field thanks to the insanely rapid scoring. Furthermore, facing a triple option is ALWAYS difficult for almost anyone, especially on the road. On top of all that, the Army passing, while concerning if you just look at the numbers, has the added wrinkle of the fact that it mostly came from backup Jabari Laws, who is seemingly more of a fit in a traditional QB role than a lot of other Army signal callers, explaining why he’s the backup in the first place.
There is no offense we will face for the rest of the year that will test us more than Army in terms of matchups. Styles make fights, and we came up against the worst possible foe from a defensive perspective and still came out ahead. Duke only averages a little over 202 rushing yards per game. That’s less than Syracuse, Florida State, and obviously a lot less than Army. Not only that, but a typical in the trenches rushing attack is going to be less of a strain. If teams CAN run a triple option, IT WORKS. The problem is that most teams can’t really execute it, in addition to the fact that with better athletes, it’s more effective to run more diverse offensive looks anyway. I frankly find it kind of laughable that some people are literally suggesting we’re going to lose out or anything even close to that literally just on the back of this one defensive outing. Our offense has been borderline unstoppable all year, and I know defense wins championships, but the other key variable is that our defense, while porous, forces turnovers. Wake Forest has forced 14 turnovers so far this season. Through 7 games, that’s a lot. The offense is so utterly explosive that even a couple stolen possessions here or there can easily be enough to hold on and win it.
For crying out loud, we’re 7-0 and likely verging on a top 10 ranking. Give the team more respect than that. They’ve earned it, and they’re in the driver’s seat to represent the division in the ACC Championship. That’s not an accident.
On to the next. Go Deacs.