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Monday Morning Hot Takes: Duke

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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

What a ride this season has been. Not only are the Deacs 8-0 for the first time in school history, but Wake has also been voted into the AP top 10 for the first time ever. No matter what happens the rest of the way, this has truly been a historic season for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, and nothing can take that away. 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.

Maybe the defense wasn’t that bad. I’ve been pretty tough on the defense lately, and based on the fact that they had given up over 2,100 total yards and 144 points over their last 4 games before taking on Duke, I think some of that was warranted. That being said, if you look back at the teams we’ve played, in hindsight, we may have underestimated how good some of said teams are this season. Virginia has a top 15 offense and was basically unstoppable until Armstrong went down, Army has a unique style and is top 30 in the nation in yards per game and points per game, and Syracuse since switching to Shrader is averaging over 440 yards per game with a running back who is leading the nation in rushing this year (1,267 yards) in Sean Tucker. Keep in mind that the Deacs faced all those teams with key players missing significant time. As we saw Saturday, the defense can be good when they are healthy. They held a Duke team that was actually averaging more yards per game than Wake to 315 yards and 0 points when it mattered. It appears that Duke’s offense is not very good, but it is encouraging to see the defense making an impact on the game. Now let’s see if they can do it two weeks in a row.

Dave Clawson is the best coach in the nation. What Dave Clawson has done at Wake Forest is nothing short of miraculous. When Clawson took over the program in 2014, he inherited a team basically at rock bottom. The Deacs averaged a measly 216 yards per game and finished the season with as many wins—3—as they did games with negative rushing yards. Wake was lucky if they filled the bottom three rows of the student section and going to a football game was viewed as a complete waste of time around campus (I was there, I know). Since then, Clawson has posted four winning seasons, five straight bowl games, and now has a program first 8-0 team ranked in the top 10. He has completely changed the culture around Wake Forest football to the point where over 75% of the student body showed up to watch the Deacs massacre Duke. I don’t know if there is any other coach in the nation that could have pulled off what Dave Clawson has done with Wake Forest football. I am so glad he is a Demon Deacon.

The Deacs have the best receiving corps in the nation. I said earlier this year that the Deacs had the best receivers in the ACC. I am now upgrading to them to the best group in the nation. I can’t think of a group I would trade them with.

I like being underdogs against UNC. The line came out for the Wake Forest-UNC game on Sunday and the Tar Heels were favored by something like 4.5 points over a top 10, undefeated Wake Forest team. I understand why some people feel like that was disrespectful, but betting lines literally mean nothing. I hope everyone keeps underestimating Wake all the way to the playoffs.

Sam Hartman belongs in the Heisman conversation. Hartman is completing 65% of his passes, has 2,500 yards and 22 touchdowns through the air with just 3 interceptions, has run for 6 touchdowns, and has the third best total QBR in college football with an 88.0. He is the quarterback of the only undefeated team left in the ACC. There is absolutely no reason he should not be in the conversation to win the Heisman trophy.

Kenneth Walker is still winning the Heisman. I called it in week 1 and I’m sticking to it. Kenneth Walker pretty much single handedly willed Michigan State over rival Michigan this weekend with a herculean 5 touchdown performance. He scored all of Michigan State’s points except the two point conversion. If that’s not a Heisman moment, I don’t know what is.

I still don’t think an undefeated Cincinnati is making the playoffs. I just don’t think Cincy is getting in over a 1 loss Ohio State or Alabama. They will probably have just one top 25 win at the end of the season, and I don’t think that’s going to get it done. Is that bad? I don’t know, do we really think Cincinnati is a better football team than Alabama? Probably not. Would I like to see some new teams in the playoff? Absolutely. I just don’t think it’s happening.

There are some of my takes from week 8 of college football. Feel free to drop some of yours in the comments.