Listen. I’ve been covering Wake Football as a fan for a LONG time now. I’ve been watching even longer. I’ve been watching Wake Sports since 2005. I have NEVER, considering context and every single variable involved, seen a more heartless performance. There have been worse whoopings. There have been coaches that were clearly done putter into retirement more obviously. But Dave Clawson, a guy with a school record 7 consecutive bowl appearances, ON SENIOR DAY, got his guys “ready” for a performance that, through three quarters, had less than 100 yards of offense and no third down conversions.
I don’t wanna call out individual play, in part because I generally hate doing that in a negative sense, especially in a game with as many moving parts as football. But far more importantly, no one really played well today. I mean, I suppose the defense as a unit could have been worse. NC State, when you really looked at it, didn’t really play GREAT, per se. But they played HARD. And the same couldn’t have been said for Wake today. Brennan Armstrong, a QUARTERBACK, had 6.4 yards per carry, and I promise y’all, a lot of those yards came after initial contact. But State players were carrying Wake Forest defenders all day, even after they theoretically had swarmed to the ball.
And the offense...my God. At half time, they had 0.1 YPC on the ground. That is not a typo. Quarterback play remained pretty putrid. Offensive line play was...inexplicably non-existent. There is struggling, there is being not good, and then there’s what we saw today. For the GAME, Wake Forest had 7 rushing yards. Multiple turnovers again. Another missed field goal inside 40 yards. A two-point conversion attempt intercepted and RETURNED FOR TWO NC STATE POINTS. Like, even when they did something kind of good, they proceeded to do something utterly embarrassing.
I think the “fire Dave Clawson” refrain I’ve seen from people is, frankly, kinda absurd. The man had a 7 year bowl streak at Wake Forest and an ACC Championship appearance. What IS fair to ask is, “What do you think the problem is here? Why are you pretty routinely capable of having winning streaks followed by huge losing streaks? Why has Santino Marucci, the one quarterback who had a heroic performance this season, not seen a single snap since then?” Whether or not Coach Clawson should still have a job isn’t really a valid question yet. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t tough questions that shouldn’t be asked after a performance as utterly putrid as today’s.
On to the next.