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Monday Morning Hot Takes: Army

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Time to overreact again!

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 28 Wake Forest at Boston College Photo by Malcolm Hope/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Deacs stay perfect after taking down the Army Black Knights in a shootout on the road to move to 7-0. One side of the ball was amazing in this game, as the offenses ran up 1,200 total yards and 126 total points, though that may have been mostly due to the complete lack of defense from both teams. As always, it’s time to completely overreact to everything we saw in the Wake game and the rest of college football this weekend. Please keep in mind that these are just the opinions of a fan who doesn’t really know that much about the sport of football and likes to complain.

The Deacs might be better off going for onside kicks from here on out. I’m pretty much out of things to say about the Wake Forest defense. I know they are missing some players, but they literally cannot stop anyone right now. The Deacs managed to give up 56 points and 595 yards to a service academy running the triple option—after a bye week. How does that happen? That is, of course, the most yards and points Army has gotten all year; even 1-8 UConn only gave up 52 points and 500 yards of total offense. Heck, Ball State held Army to 279 yards, less than half of Wake allowed. It wouldn’t bother me as much if Army methodically moved the ball down the field with some of those long, run heavy drives because the triple option is a nightmare to defend. Somehow, the Deacs managed to make Army look like a quick strike offense with several touchdown drives that went over 70 yards in under 4 minutes. By far the worse part of this game on defense was allowing Army to throw for 179 yards and 3 passing touchdowns when their only passing play was basically run straight and throw the ball up for grabs. I kind of felt like after the pick 6, some of the defense got comfortable with a two score lead and lost focus. Whatever the reason, this was an all time bad performance on defense.

The greatness of the offense is killing the defense. The defense in its current form is not good. That being said, when the offense continues to play up tempo and score as fast as possible, the defense barely gets any time to catch their breath before they are right back on the field. On Saturday, we saw this to an extreme; the offense possessed the ball for a whole 17 minutes, which means that the Wake Forest defense—by far the weakest unit—sat on the field for 43 minutes of game time. 43 minutes! On top of that, the Wake Forest offense finished the game with 7 drives that ended in under 2 minutes. That puts an already not great defense in an incredibly difficult position. Obviously, when the opponent repeatedly gives up 50+ yard touchdown plays, there isn’t much that can be done about that. I don’t know if slowing down the offense would do anything to help the defense or if it would just hurt the offense for no gain, but currently, the two units don’t compliment one another very well.

The offense didn’t do anything that special against Army. That’s not to say that the offense wasn’t great, because they were—as they have been all season. The Deacs put up 70 points in 17 minutes of possession, which is an absolutely ridiculous stat. But even with 640 total yards of offense and 12.5 yards per play, I think that had to do more with how incredibly bad Army’s defense was than anything Wake was doing on offense. Apparently Army was a top ten defense coming into this game—I’m going to assume that was based on total yards and was completely because of their offense eating up the clock. It’s either that, or they haven’t played any teams that could complete a forward pass because they couldn’t even stop the basic RPO slant from turning into a 75 yard touchdown. Scoring 70 points is awesome, but both defenses being completely non existent was probably a bigger factor in that more so than the offense doing anything other than what they’ve been doing (again, that’s not to say that the offense isn’t doing a great job).

The Army fake field goal was a terrible call. Wake and Army were basically just trading points back and forth until this moment. With the way Wake’s defense played Saturday, there was absolutely no reason for this fake. Army should have just lined up and run a normal play, and there is a good chance they would have gotten a first down. Instead, they bring in a guy who hasn’t attempted a pass all season to throw the ball. It was a cool play and the receiver was wide open, but due to nature of the play, the QB was 10 yards behind the line scrimmage throwing a pass to the opposite side of the field—basically a 30 yard pass to get 4 yards. That gave Traveon Redd the time to get back and intercept the ball and take it to the house. That put Army down two scores and they never recovered.

Duke is an all time trap game. The Deacs are still undefeated and have a chance to do something really special this season. Duke hasn’t won a conference game and got absolutely killed 48-0 in their last game. On the other side of Duke is a tough stretch of at UNC, NC State, and at Clemson. If the Deacs are already looking ahead, they could drop their first game of the season this weekend, especially with the current state of our run defense. Let’s take it one game at a time please.

I was pretty busy this weekend so I didn’t catch any other games besides the Deacs, so that’s all I have for this week. I’d like to give a big thank you to Pitt and Miami for taking care of business this weekend. There are some of my takes from week 8 of college football. Feel free to drop some of yours in the comments.