Another week, another Wake Forest win! The Deacs easily took down the winless Florida State Seminoles 35-14 to move to 3-0 on the season and 1-0 in the ACC (currently 1st place in the conference, NBD). As always, it is time to drop a few hot takes from this week’s game and maybe a few other games from the college football landscape. Please keep in mind that these are just the opinion of a fan who doesn’t really know that much about the sport of football and likes to complain.
Wake should have won that game by 30+ points. Let’s get the negative out of the way first. The Deacs dominated the whole game so much so that they could easily have won by 30 or more points. Wake shot themselves in the foot on several possessions with an interception, a fumble while fighting to get an extra yard, and way too many drive killing penalties. On the other side, the Seminoles only scored in this game on one big play and a drive where the Deacs gave them like 30 yards for free because of penalties. This should have been an even bigger blowout than it was.
The defense is awesome. I was wrong to be worried after two somewhat mundane performances against Old Dominion and Norfolk State. The defense held Florida State to just 14 points and 317 total yards while forcing 6 turnovers and sacking the FSU QB 3 times. Remember when I was worried about 3rd down conversions? Well, the Noles finished the game with one. ONE. Miles Fox looked like an absolute monster out there with 1 sack and 2 tackles for loss despite being double teamed on numerous plays. The front seven were awesome—FSU finished the game with just 91 rushing yards on 29 carries. The secondary was fantastic outside of the one 64 yard bomb to Ontaria Wilson. Just a great all around performance from the defense.
If Sam Hartman plays like that all season, the Deacs can win 9 or 10 games. Sam Hartman played nearly a perfect game after the interception on the first drive of the game. He finished the game completing 22 of his 31 pass attempts for 259 yards and 2 touchdowns. The deep balls were dropping right in the bucket, the RPO slants were rifling in right where they needed to be, and his decision making on when to pull it down and run or throw the ball away when no one was open was top notch. When Hartman plays like that, this offense is going to be tough to slow down.
The Deacs have the best receiving corps in the ACC. We already know about Jaquarii Roberson (despite the fumble and subsequent punishment). Now A.T. Perry has showed that he can also be one of the best receivers in the ACC coming up with 7 receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown against the Noles. Sprinkle in Taylor Morin who had 7 receptions for 41 yards and made some really tough catches, and Wake Forest has no lack of weapons in the passing game.
Christian Beal-Smith needs more carries. I don’t mean that Wake Forest needs to run the ball more, I simply mean that the Deacs need to cycle through the running backs less and play CBS more. It is pretty obvious that he is the best option for Wake at the running back position. Again, I don’t know a whole lot about football or coaching, but from a fan perspective, it seems weird that he’ll dominate the opponent’s defense on one possession and then we just won’t see him again for 2-3 possessions.
Clemson isn’t great. I guess I underestimated how good Trevor Lawrence was, because Clemson looks beatable this year. To clarify, they will probably still win the Atlantic and the ACC, but they don’t look like the juggernaut team they have the last few years. The defense is still awesome but the offense has only managed to get into the end zone twice against FBS teams this season. Based on that fact and the way the rest of the ACC is looking, the conference is in danger of missing the playoffs this year.
Brennan Armstrong is the best QB in the ACC. Despite all the hype Sam Howell and D.J. Uiagalelei got during the offseason, Armstrong is easily the best QB in the conference. He’s played 3 games and already has 11 touchdowns and almost 1,300 yards passing the ball. He’s also completing 72% of his passes. That’s insane.
Miami was only ranked to boost the promotion for the Alabama game to start the year. You cannot convince me otherwise.
There are some of my takes from week 3 of college football. Feel free to drop some of yours in the comments.