It was a heck of a season for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. I will admit, the way the Deacs lost the ACC Championship Game—having the game right there for the taking and just being completely unable to capitalize on so many opportunities before the wheels just completely fell off—was incredibly frustrating and painful to watch. But you know what, the whole season is not a failure because the Deacs lost in the ACC Championship Game. So let’s take a look back at some of the notable takes from this season and see how poorly they aged.
If Sam Hartman plays like that all season, the Deacs can win 9 or 10 games (Week 3-FSU): I said this about a 259 yard, 2 TD game from QB1. Little did I know he was going to go insane and throw for 36 touchdowns and run for 11 more. Sure, he had some down moments, but for more most of the season he played at that same FSU game level or above, and the Deacs won 10 games. Nailed it.
The Deacs have the best receiving corps in the ACC (Week 3-FSU): AT Perry and Jaquarii Roberson absolutely balled out this season, combining for 2,244 yards and 22 touchdowns. Wake also had Taylor Morin, Donald Stewart, and Ke’Shawn Willam who all had 25+ receptions and over 300 receiving yards this season. And let’s not forget that Donavon Greene didn’t even play this season. I would not trade this group for any other team’s wide outs.
The path [to the ACC CG] is there (Week 4-UVA): Well the path was there and we took it. We may not have won, but the Deacs were still the best team in the Atlantic Division, which absolutely no one predicted before the season.
Nick Sciba is the GOAT (Week 5-UL): This will never not be true.
Kenny Pickett could actually be the best QB in the conference (Week 5-UL): I am clearly plagued with recency bias apparently, because every week I though someone new was the best QB in the ACC. This time I think I happened to be right.
Dave Clawson is the best coach in the nation (Week 9-Duke): He may not be THE best, but as a program builder, no one does more with less than Dave Clawson. If he can improve his ability to make adjustments mid game, he will absolutely be right up there with the best coaches in the nation.
ESPN is killing the game with mid-drive timeouts (Week 10 NCSU): This kind of popped up again in the ACC Championship Game. Every time Wake Forest got a first down after the first quarter it seemed like Pitt had someone on the ground and we got another lengthy commercial break. I don’t know if that was intentional in this game, but overall I think teams are abusing this rule for free timeouts, and the NCAA should probably address it.
Kenneth Walker is winning the Heisman (Week 1-ODU): He probably won’t win it because he doesn’t play QB or at the right school, but he finished the season with 1,649 rushing yards, 18 rushing touchdowns, and 6.2 yards per carry and basically single handedly beat the #2 team in the playoff. He should at the very least get an invite to the ceremony.
The Tar Heels are frauds (Week 1-ODU): Yeah, they beat us, but the Heels were a top 10 preseason pick and finished 3-5 in the Coastal. That’s not very good for a dark horse playoff team.
The playoff SEC championship game rematch seems inevitable (Week 5-UL): Hasn’t happened yet, but there’s a good chance it’s another Georgia-Bama championship game.
Alabama is still making the playoff (Week 6-Cuse): Is it even a hot take if everyone knows it’s going to happen?
Jaquarii Roberson is the best wide receiver in the ACC (Week 2-NSU): Turns out it was AT Perry the whole time. My mistake.
Brennan Armstrong is the best QB in the nation (Week 4-UVA): Armstrong ended up being 3rd team all ACC and the Hoos finished 6-6. He was honestly probably the 4th best QB in the ACC this year, so he definitely was not the best QB in the nation.
Sam Hartman has it (Week 6-Cuse): After Hartman led the Deacs to late victories over the Cards and the Orange, I felt like he had that unfaltering, Riley Skinner poise where he would absolutely get a score when the team needed it most. The Unc/Clemson/Pitt game may have changed that thought in my mind. He still had a great season, though.
The greatness of the offense is killing the defense (Week 8-Army): Turns out, other teams run a fast paced offense AND have a good defense. The Deacs simply could not stop the run or any plays that used pre-snap motion this season. The tempo probably has a small effect on the defense, but not one so large that they are giving up 500+ yards to teams that are frankly pretty mediocre on offense.
I am officially worried about the coaching carousel (Week 10-NCSU): Nothing to worry about here. Clawson signed an extension and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.
The defense is awesome (Week 3-FSU): Whoops.
The defense could be better than the offense (Week 4-UVA): Uhhhhh I may have overreacted a little to hard to the UVA game, especially since the Cavs basically have no run game. The offense was top 5 most of the season and the defense gave up 56 points to Army, so this was a pretty awful take.
Duke is an all time trap game (Week 8-Army): 45-7. LOL.
Obviously I way overreacted to the defense early on against a pretty dysfunctional FSU team and UVA team that can’t do the one thing that killed Wake’s defense all season: run the ball. What opinion did you have that aged beautifully or maybe made you feel like Skip Bayless screaming into the void?