The Wake Forest Football team were back in game action (sort of) today for the first time since beating Rutgers to 11 wins for only the second time in league history. ‘school. With a lot of veteran players returning from last year’s team and a new defensive coordinator, obviously the expectations for this year’s team are pretty high. Today gave fans their first look at the 2022 squad in Wake’s first spring game since 2019.
Before listing some observations from this year’s spring game, keep in mind that this is only the spring game, I must point out that the entire first half (when most starters were playing) didn’t have a tackle, which made it virtually impossible. to say anything about the running game or the defense’s ability to tackle. Most starters played about a half and obviously the coaching staff wasn’t trying to give anything away since the games are now televised on ACC Network so that was basically all we got seen before.
With that in mind, here are some observations:
- The white team beat the black team 28-10. The white team consisted mainly of the 1st and 3rd offensive team and the 2nd defensive team, while the black team was the complete opposite, the 1st and 3rd defensive team and the 2nd offensive team (according to Wes Durham during broadcast).
- All statistics and driving information can be found here.
- If you missed the game but have ACC Network, it will be archived on ESPN for probably about a month. You can watch it again here.
- The first-team attack did next to nothing, and no one should care. Whether that’s down to the defense is TBD, but we all know what Wake Forest’s offense can do, so there’s no reason to worry about that. The most important thing for them in this game was that no one got hurt, so as far as I can tell, mission accomplished.
- The wide receiver group is in amazing hands for the foreseeable future. Redshirt freshmen Horatio Fields and Dez Williams appear to be the Deacs’ next stars. Fields finished with 6 catches for 76 yards while Williams caught 7 passes for 93 yards and 2 touchdowns. These two look very good.
- The defense looks better, but without a tackle which could be misleading. The defensive line looks as good as advertised but, again, one of the biggest problems Wake has had over the past few years has been tackling. It’s a lot easier to play defense if a guy gets knocked out every time someone gets close to him.
- The DBs played very well and always seemed to be in the right position to – at the very least – attempt to make a play on the ball. Sophomore JJ Roberts and senior redshirt Coby Davis both walked away with interceptions (even though Roberts was recalled on an excruciating PI call). Davis was ruled out despite a touchdown.
- Despite picking six, I’d give Kern the No. 2 QB advantage based on this play (of course 1 fake play is probably worth a lot less to the coaching staff than what a player does to training). Kern finished the game 7-11 for 84 yards, 1 TD and 1 Int and just seemed more comfortable commanding the offense. Griffis went 5-14 for 53 yards.
- Redshirt Freshman Billy Edwards also appears to be a future starter for the Deacs. He completed 12 of 14 attempts for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns.
I say this all the time, but what Dave Clawson did on Wake is just amazing to watch. I remember going to the spring game of Clawson’s freshman year as head coach when Tyler Cameron and Kevin Souza were battling for first-team QB (luckily Wolford showed up that summer) and it was quite a depressing sight. I’m confident that the current team’s saves (and probably their saves) would have started on this team. The increase in talent and depth has just been insane. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for September to come. Go deacons!