CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Now Wake Forest has an Associated Press ranking to go along with its Coaches Poll ranking.
The Deacons are ranked in both polls, checking in at No. 22 in the AP poll and moving up to No. 20 in the Coaches Poll, both released Sunday. Wake Forest, now 5-0 after beating Boston College on Saturday, was ranked in the Coaches’ Poll last week.
Wake Forest will have a couple of weeks to savor those rankings, too, as the Deacons are off this week before an Oct. 12 game against Louisville at BB&T Field.
Here are five takeaways from Wake Forest’s win at Boston College:
1. Hinton, Williams up to speed
Kendall Hinton and Tyler Williams didn’t have huge games against Elon a week ago, but those seem to be huge additions at this point.
By getting Hinton, who was injured in the first half at Rice, and Williams, who hadn’t played this season, back against the Phoenix, two players integral to the Deacons’ success against Boston College were up to speed for the ACC opener.
Hinton had six catches for 67 yards, three of which were third-down conversions — including a 9-yarder on the Deacons’ final drive. Williams had seven tackles, which led all of Wake Forest’s defensive linemen.
“I think getting Kendall Hinton back — you know, as the year has gone on, we’ve lost guys. But then it always seems like we’ll get this guy back or that guy back, whether it be Tyler Williams or Kendall Hinton or Jaquarii Roberson,” Coach Dave Clawson said. “We’ve had the fortune of health so far and, hopefully, that’ll keep up.”
2. Open the middle
Hinton was part of a larger story for Wake Forest’s offense against the Eagles.
Boston College brought middle blitzes constantly, opening up the middle of the field for Hinton and tight end Jack Freudenthal (four catches for 47 yards) to operate.
Sage Surratt and Scotty Washington provide Wake Forest the luxury of having two receivers who turn 50-50 balls into advantages because of their height, physicality and leaping ability. As opposing defenses shift game plans to counter Surratt and Washington, Hinton, Freudenthal, Brandon Chapman and Jaquarii Roberson will become more important in the middle of the field.
“As we start getting more off-coverage and half-field coverage, now that opens up the middle of the field and hopefully — that’s something we need to work on in the bye week,” Clawson said. “Anticipating some of the things we might see, and then having the answers.”
3. Two more interceptions
Amari Henderson sagged off on the fifth play of the game and picked off Anthony Brown, which led to Wake Forest’s first touchdown.
And on Boston College’s first possession of the second half, Essang Bassey jumped a short route on fourth-and-3 for his first interception in more than a year — his last interception came against Towson on Sept. 8 last season.
Wake Forest has five interceptions this season, after recording six last season.
4. Dom Maggio’s day
Wake Forest’s senior punter was averaging 49 yards per punt (on four punts) when he pinned Boston College at its 5-yard line with 28 seconds left in the game.
Three of Maggio’s five punts wound up inside the 20, and his reward was a greeting by just about half the team before he got off the field after that all-important final-minute punt.
“That was more contact than I’ve had all year,” a laughing Maggio said of his greeting. “But that was great, we love our teammates and we have a lot of fun with those guys, it was great to get some love from them. They really won that game, though. That was a heck of a job by everyone else.”
5. Ice up, son(s)
Running backs AJ Dillon and David Bailey combined for 269 yards on 37 touches — and only had one touchdown, so the Deacons’ defense had to tackle the 250-pound Dillon and 240-pound Bailey 36 times — and it often took more than one player to bring them down.
So in that regard, the off week comes at a good time for the Deacons.
“He’s just a big, physical kid. They have him listed at 250 pounds, so every time you hit him, it’s tough,” senior linebacker Justin Strnad said of Dillon. “You’re not going to arm-tackle him, swipe his legs. You’ve gotta run through him.”