Wake Forest 38, NC State 18
Yesterday, my car said, "you want to drive me to Winston-Salem? I don't think so." Perhaps I should have taken that as a bad omen.
The game was a disappointment right from the start, as the Wolfpack defense looked like it was hardly bothering the Wake Forest offense. We weren't getting any push at the line of scrimmage, and the Deacons were killing the zone with quick side-to-side passes.
By halftime, I was frustrated and pissed off, and I didn't figure we'd be able to get back into this one. Fortunately, the Pack looked completely different in the third quarter. The defense moved to the ball faster and the guys were fighting off blocks and finally beginning to stymie Wake's east-west game. Two third quarter TDs brought us to within a field goal, and at that point Wake Forest had managed four total yards in three second half possessions.
Wake's fourth possession of the quarter was the beginning of the most crucial part of the game--where we totally blew it. The Deacs scored on the very first play to push the lead back to 10, and the Wolfpack offense responded with a three-and-out and an ineffective drive that resulted in a missed field goal. As quickly as we'd opened the door for ourselves, we'd closed it.
So we find ourselves in the same position we were two years ago--needing a win against Maryland in the last game of the season in order to become bowl eligible. It's too bad we brought such a lame effort to Winston-Salem; I was hoping I'd be able to relax next weekend.
-- Daniel Evans hasn't played well for several weeks now, a fact that was easier to overlook when we were winning games despite him:
-- I continue to be impressed by Marcus Stone's hands. He's made a lot of great catches on bad balls over the last few weeks.
-- DaJuan Morgan led the defense with 15 tackles--all solo. That he was so busy tells you what kind of night the front seven had, but what a fantastic performance.
-- Count me among those who thought we threw the ball too often in short yardage situations. Normally I wouldn't mind, but there were a couple of bothersome occasions where we went pass-pass back to back on 3rd-and-short and 4th-and-short.
-- Wake had just 85 yards of offense in the second half (and 62 of those came on one play). If only we'd been able to make adjustments sooner.
-- We should probably stop sending Darrell Blackman over the middle. I've had enough of the alligator arms.