April 20, 2013

Defense takes the day

Winston-Salem, NC - Chad Hedlund 39-yard field goal produced the only points in Wake Forest's annual Black and Gold spring game, as the defense overwhelmed its offensive counterpart in front of a crowd of 4,200 strong at BB&T Field.

In 19 possessions the Demon Deacon defense yielded only eight first downs (two from penalties), and forced five turnovers (four interceptions and a fumble recovery).

"Defense dominated the offense today," Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe said. "We came in and we really wanted to throw the football today. We haven't done that a lot, especially with Pat [Long], Kevin [Sousa] and Tyler [Cameron]. We wanted to do that, and not very good, but really good from a defensive standpoint."

"We're doing a better job defensively staying behind people not getting negative on the receiver, and breaking on the ball and making plays. It's just a good day for the defense and offensively I think we know this, but balance is the key when you come in with an agenda to maybe throw it more than you run. It's probably not real good. I thought we got to the point today in the scrimmage where the defense was calling out passes even when they had no clue it was a pass, because they just guessed it was going to be a throw."

To keep perspective Wake's second game of the season kicks off ACC play with a trip to Chestnut Hill for a date with Boston College Friday, Sept. 6. BC cancelled its spring game, planned for Saturday, April 20, after the Boston Marathon Bombing Monday, April 15.

Wake Forest's spring game was streamed on the ACC Digital Network by way of theACC.com. Not wanting to give the Eagles an edge the Deacs did not run a single option play, which it integrated back its offense this spring. Boston College, which has a new coaching staff, would have all of fall camp to prepare for the option, making Wake's vanilla approach a wise choice.

As already alluded to the Demon Deacons struggled to get first downs, which was largely due to a lack of success through the air. The offense completed just 16-36 passes for a meager 131 yards.

"We're not a pure throw football team," Grobe said. "If we come out and just throw the football it's going to be really, really hard. With that being said we don't have Camp, Matt James, Sherman Ragland [and] Jared Crump, so we're not at full force there."

"I think it just hit home with our coaches today, trying to throw the football as much as we did that that's not us. We've worked on a lot of the things that we want to work on, and we just didn't feel like today was a good day to come out and throw the kitchen sink at everything, so we really felt like today was a good day to come out and see if we could throw. We really felt like it may give the defense some problems, because they haven't seen a lot of throw, but obviously it didn't bother them at all."

Against seven offensive linemen each manning multiple positions, an injury-riddled receiving corps and a bridled playbook the defense did what it was supposed to do … dominate.

Redshirt freshmen, defensive end Josh Banks and outside linebacker Kevis Jones lived in the offense's backfield combining for 10 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and three sacks.

Fellow redshirt freshman, free safety Ryan Janvion, added four tackles, an interception and recovered a fumble that Jones forced.

Hunter Williams chipped in with five tackles and an interception, while Teddy Matthews made four tackles and A.J. Marshall and Merrill Noel also intercepted passes.



 

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