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Recap In Brief: UNC Breaks Wake’s Streak, 58-55

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For two and a half quarters, Wake Forest looked like a top 10 team in the country. Then the rest of the game happened.

NCAA Football: Wake Forest at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

With 7:38 left in the third, Wake Forest went up 45-27. What followed was a performance that, for that remainder of the game, is one that falls in that “if you don’t have anything nice to say...” territory. The offense had a couple of very very bad fourth down choices, Sam Hartman seemed utterly rattled, and the defense couldn’t stop a nosebleed. That last bit was to be expected, generally, because UNC’s offense is insanely explosive, topped probably only by Wake’s. It’s funny, because I had a thought before this game that whichever team had more turnovers would lose the game, and that that would absolutely be more than the difference. Turns out I was right, as Wake Forest had two turnovers (not including those on downs), and UNC only had one. I genuinely do not know what happened to the offense in that last stretch, as the playcalls were pretty questionable, Sam threw an absolutely atrocious INT giving UNC a really easy game tying touchdown (let’s not talk about the fact that UNC was almost definitely offside when it happened) and the Deacs just couldn’t buy the yardage they had previously been getting at will.

I knew we weren’t going to go undefeated, but this was my second most dreaded first loss possible. #1 would have been next week. Wake had this game won, and they absolutely gave it away. That both deeply bothers me and is encouraging in some way. There’s no way in hell we were going undefeated, and even if we did, we’d have gotten utterly thrashed in the playoff if we’d actually managed to get there, so in that sense it’s kinda whatever. But I hate that UNC will get to lord this over us for all time, and we absolutely SHOULD have been victorious. I hope this is a wake-up call for the entire program and that we absolutely destroy NC State next week. Quit messing around and play four quarters. I’m proud of the team and I don’t want to call for anyone’s heads or anything, but my heart just hurts right now. UNC was the better team today, no two ways about it. Credit to the Heels. Let’s regroup, for the love of gravy, and get to the ACC championship game, shall we?

With a heavy heart, on to the next. Go Deacs.

—SF