Don’t look now, but the the Deacs are 5-0! We are officially five weeks into the 2021 season and Wake Forest is one of seventeen undefeated teams in the nation and the only remaining undefeated team left in the ACC. As always, let’s drop a few hot takes from Saturday’s game against the Louisville Cardinals and the rest of the college football slate. 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.
Miles Fox is the most important player on the defense. The defense had a bit of a rough day yesterday—giving up 500 yards and 34 points—but they are missing several players. Most important among them is Miles Fox, the 6-1, 300 lb. redshirt senior defensive lineman. Without Fox in the trenches, the Cardinals were able to completely own the line of scrimmage on offense, allowing Louisville to run all over the Deacs to the tune of 213 rushing yards and 5.0 yards per carry. Compare that to the Florida State game—the last game Fox played in—where FSU ran the ball for 91 yards and 3 yards per carry. Keep in mind that while FSU is not very good, outside of the Wake game they are averaging 228 yards per game and 5.7 yards per carry on the ground. The Deacs need Fox back ASAP.
Winning ugly is more impressive than winning big. Anyone can win when everything is clicking on offense and the defense is stifling everything the opponent tries to do. What the Deacs did yesterday was an impressive, gutsy performance where they got the win despite some huge struggles on both sides of the ball. Obviously the defense had a lot of difficulty with the Cardinal’s offense, but the Wake Forest offense, despite scoring 37 points, also didn’t look great. The Deacs had 5 of their 13 possessions—almost 40% of their drives—end in fewer than 5 plays with either a turnover a punt. Not only is that bad for the offense, but drives ending that quickly puts a tired defense right back on the field. Thankfully, Wake was able to get points on 7 of the 8 possessions not included above, just enough to come away with a 3 point win. I’d rather win every game by 100 points, but what the Deacs did yesterday was one of the more impressive wins I’ve seen in the Clawson era.
Satterfield has the best offensive scheme in the ACC. In the 3 years that Satterfield has been at Louisville, the Cardinals have constantly been the team that Wake cannot stop at all (excluding Clemson, who typically just overwhelms Wake with talent). In that time span, the Cards have scored 17 touchdowns on offense and only punted 12 times. They have scored 62, 45, and 34 points for an average of 47 points per game and are averaging nearly 500 yards per game. I guess you can say the Deacs are trending in the right direction in terms of points allowed, but even when Satterfield was at App in 2017, the Mountaineers rolled up 494 yards of offense before the Deacs eventually won on a late blocked FG. As Louisville is a team Wake is going to play every year, the Deacs need to find some way to slow down this explosive offense.
Nick Sciba is the GOAT. That is it. That is the take.
I have no absolutely no problem with Louisville fans blaming the refs. The whole clock situation at the end of the 1st half was weird and I have no idea if the refs got it right or not. College football refs are definitely not infallible and blaming the refs is just part of being an irrational college football fan. I have done it more times than I can count and I’m certain if the Deacs were on the other end of this I would being doing it right now. That being said, if you’re a Louisville fan creating some conspiracy about how the refs are cheating for Wake Forest because the ACC needs them to get into the CFB playoff, it might be time for a vacation.
Clemson might have the worst passing game in the conference. I thought this was going to be a hot take, but then I checked the stats. The Tigers are 13th in passing yards per game with 176.8 yards ahead of only Syracuse. Watching them against BC, they completely just gave up trying to pass because DJ Uiagalelei couldn’t stop overthrowing his receivers. Uiagalelei is completing just 54% of his passes this season with 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, so this take is really just a fact.
Kenny Pickett could actually be the best QB in the conference. When I said that Brennan Armstrong at UVA was the best QB in the conference, I completely forgot about Kenny Pickett—mostly because I just forget that Pitt is in the conference most of the time (Wake has played them 1 time and I hardly ever see them on TV). Pickett is completing 72% of his passes this season and has 19 touchdowns to just 1 interception. That seems good.
The playoff SEC championship game rematch seems inevitable. Alabama and Georgia are pretty much the two best teams in the nation and I don’t think anyone else is even close. The two will play in the SEC championship game and then steam roll some random teams like Iowa and Cincy in the playoff before rematching in the championship game. Maybe it really does just mean more.
There are some of my takes from week 5 of college football. Feel free to drop some of yours in the comments.