No lengthy intro on this one, and it's the shortest one of the season, I think. You'll find out why if you get to the end.
Here’s what I picked up on while re-watching the game:
• Hey, cool. Get to catch the last 5 minutes of Gameday.
All due respect, Mr. Dennit (and Mr. Lawler): I would’ve gone with Justin Timberlake for guest picker.
• Good to see Justin Strnad fist-bump Dave Clawson right before kickoff. I don’t think it’s any secret that Strnad is one of my favorite student-athletes I’ve had the fortune of getting to know in the past two-plus years, and I’m confident in saying Strnad will still have an impact on the field for the Deacons — it’ll just be as a mentor/student-coach instead of ranging from sideline to sideline and laying down crushing hits.
• A strangely short kickoff by Nick Sciba to start the game, and I’m not well-versed enough in hang times of kickoffs to judge whether it was purposeful or if he just didn’t get all of it.
N.C. State doesn’t even get past the 25, though, so I’m inclined to think the former. DeAndre’ Delaney makes the tackle through a block, with an assist by Keegan Good.
• So Devin Leary was 15-for-33 against Boston College and 17-for-45 in this game. Uh …
Completing 32 of 88 is what we call #NotGoodDino.
• N.C. State converts the first third it sees, Thayer Thomas gets a free release on a stack route and Nasir Greer makes the tackle immediately. Close, just a good play by the Wolfpack.
• Trey Rucker closes really hard on a Zonovan Knight stretch run. Looked like he a gaping hole, and he did, but Rucker made a nice play to limit it to a 4-yard gain.
• Traveon Redd comes free on a blitz from the nickel and Boogie Basham finishes him off for a sack. This was Wake Forest’s only sack of the game until early in the fourth quarter, when it was basically turn-out-the-lights time — but it was a crucial play to get N.C. State into third-and-13.
It’s an RPO (h/t Greg McElroy) and Redd diagnoses it beautifully and sticks with Leary when he pulls it, grabbing his jersey and getting him down.
• Kind of a weird third-down play call for a short drag to Tabari Hines, and it’s batted down by Ja’Cquez Williams while he’s spying Leary.
Good recognition by Williams. And it shouldn't be too surprising that he was in the right spot.
• Oooh, Dave Pasch crushes the pronunciation of “Ja’Cquez.” Well done. If you’re wondering: jah-KEZ.
• ESPN has real commercials, whaddaya know?!
• Well darn, Pasch. You’re kinda leaving out some important info with “Jamie Newman got hurt against Louisville, played the next play and was replaced by Sam Hartman” … for one drive, and then was back in the game until the fourth quarter of that game.
• Wake Forest’s second play and Jamie Newman kinda takes a hit on the left shoulder, kinda lands on it. He was fine, obviously. But, from his mouth on whether there was ever doubt about his health for this game:
“No, there was no question. We do that certainly not to give it away, give the opponent an advantage,” he said. “But felt great, felt great all week, I still feel great now.”
• Wow, had missed this until now: Newman has now tied the school record for consecutive games with a passing touchdown at 11.
So, file this away: Virginia Tech has given up 17 passing touchdowns in eight games.
• Third-and-5 converted with a 9-yard strike from Newman to Kendall Hinton. It’s a good throw, it’s a better route and catch by Hinton. Comes out of his break and has a step of separation, pulls in the catch with the defender closing quickly, hangs on.
So, quick story: That’s an identical play and throw that the Deacons missed on at the goal line against Florida State. It bothered Clawson that Wake Forest misfired in the red zone against FSU, and he was hung up on not scoring on that particular play.
“The speed out to Kendall is one that sticks out that, he comes out of the route and slows down a little bit and Sam (Hartman) thinks he’s going full speed and I can’t understand why Kendall didn’t come out of it, and you miss it by a foot,” Clawson said last week. “If the ball is thrown a yard inside or Kendall is full speed, it’s a touchdown. And it’s a non-issue.”
Now, with Newman in there on the third play, it’s a 9-yard completion on third down.
That’s why it was so important that Newman was back for this game (and remains healthy). It’s not that he’s infinitely more talented than Hartman, it’s that Newman has developed a fantastic rapport with Hinton, Surratt, Washington and Freudenthal — and that can’t be replicated in a one-game fill-in role.
Plus, all my new daily fantasy sports friends (hopefully) got paid for Jamie Newman Warmup Watch.
• A-gap blitz is actually picked up by Cade Carney on second-and-11, but Louis Acceus pushed Carney into Newman and his throw was off.
• Three-man rush with two spies (huh?) on third-and-11, and Newman has all day to find Hinton across the middle for 15 yards on third-and-11.
• Nice 11-yard run on second-and-10 by Carney. He had 10 carries for 32 yards in the game, obviously not the most-memorable game in his career, but he did notch his 500th carry. He’s the 11th player to record at least that many for the Deacons.
• Washington doesn’t come down with the first-down catch down the sideline, Newman comes back to him for the third-down conversion on a hitch and then on the next play, an RPO slant for 15 yards.
To repeat: It should be a part of the game plan every game to get Washington involved early.
• Newman’s 20-yard touchdown run is a thing of beauty for the way it’s blocked. Hat-on-a-hat, man-for-a-man up front, Zach Tom picks up the spy, Washington rides his man into the safeties coming up to stop Newman and he just cruises into the end zone.
• Simply a fantastic play on kickoff coverage by DeAndre’ Delaney. And no idea how Kenneth Dicks III comes away from the pile with the ball because he’s about the sixth person to dive onto the pile.
- DeAndre' Delaney makes a great play.- How in the world does Kenneth Dicks III come away with the ball after being the 6th guy to dive in? pic.twitter.com/YQeo30mJbP— Conor O'Neill (@ConorONeillWSJ) November 4, 2019
• Jack Freudenthal catches another touchdown against N.C. State, more coming. Clawson said Freudenthal had been asking for more throws to tight ends in the red zone for the past two seasons, so I asked Freudenthal if they had finally listened to him.
“Yeah, I mean it’s been like four years. Cam and then me, always wants the ball in the red zone. I mean, he’s Mr. Red Zone, and then since he’s been gone, we always want the ball in the red zone,” Freudenthal said. “Tight ends always want the ball when it’s two-high — you’ve gotta work, you’ve gotta win your one-on-one. My name got called and it worked out and it was awesome.”
• Sciba’s third kickoff goes deeper than the second, which went deeper than the first. Weird.
• Redd makes another nice play. As tough a task as Williams has replacing Strnad, Redd also has a tough role in replacing Luke Masterson at rover. In two games there, Redd has eight tackles, ½ sack and one pass break-up.
• Direct snap on third-and-1 and Ryan Smenda Jr. nearly makes a stop behind the line, but slides off. Winds up not being much of a big deal …
• Amari Henderson gets his first interception. He makes a nice play on the ball — granted, on a really awful decision to throw into double coverage. Henderson tracks it like he’s the receiver.
• Surprised Hinton didn’t have whiplash from the facemask.
Dave Doeren-coached teams are always good for a few those, it seems.
• Good burst through the hole for Kenneth Walker III on his first run. Had a game-high 56 rushing yards — actually should’ve requested him for interviews after the game, because freshmen are now available. I’ll make it up to him.
• Interesting point by McElroy: Newman throws a lot of fastballs. Which, I mean, seems right. He also throws a very catchable ball.
Both can be true.
• Hinton is a special kind of athlete, with balance, acceleration, agility. He’s got a really good chance to make an NFL roster in the right situation next year.
• Great, great throw by Newman for the 22-yarder down the seam to Brandon Chapman. It’s placed where only Chapman can make a play on the ball — and it’s a nice juggling catch.
• And two plays later there’s the 2-yard touchdown run by Newman, with him lowering his left shoulder into Brock Miller, a 6-3, 238-pound linebacker.
He could go, and he went, as did the Deacons.
• A false start and then a first-down run getting blown up for a 4-yard loss, after going down 21-0, sure is … something.
• The defensive line for first and second down here was: Royce Francis, Sulaiman Kamara, Rondell Bothroyd and Shamar McCollum. Kamara blew up the first-down run. Essang Bassey leveled Jordan Houston on a second-down run.
• Hinton taken down by the first man down on a punt return, a little surprising, but nice play by Kishawn Miller.
• Surratt makes his first catch when Wake Forest is up 21-0. I was wrong on Twitter — it was his second target of the game.
• Uh … Surratt being player of the year in basketball for North Carolina over Coby White was, how do I put this … not surprising.
• “When he’s covered, he’s not covered.” — Tom Luginbill gives what’s probably the best description for Surratt’s best skill.
• Surratt catches a 4-yard hitch, and 10 Wolfpack defenders have rallied to him by the time he’s down.
• Freudenthal’s only non-touchdown catch was a 5-yard hitch on third-and-6, and it’s another play where I think his forward progress would’ve notched a first down if he’d gone down on the initial hit, but he doesn’t and keeps fighting and winds up one yard short.
• I was as shocked as the announcers and probably all of you that Clawson didn’t go for this fourth-and-1.
• This untimed down stuff because of the penalty on the punt – well done by Maggio to kill it at the 4, btw — is ridiculous. Best I can tell, ESPN goes to commercial before officials can say there will be an untimed down — coin flip on who’s at fault there.
So they made teams run the untimed down and then go 99 yards without a break, just weird.
• Dion Bergan and Basham came thisclose to getting a safety on the play, too.
• Great stat by ESPN, that 9 of 16 plays for N.C. State to this point are for zero or negative yardage. The next two plays are incompletions, so that runs to 11 of the first 18.
• Henderson’s first of his two, maybe three missed opportunities on interceptions. He said this was the one that the ground jarred it loose.
Weird note from the media guide: There have been two four-interception games in school history, Nick Sacrinty against Clemson in 1945 and A.J. Greene at Georgia Tech in 1987; but only three-interception game, Bill Barnes at Virginia in 1955.
While I was digging around in the media guide … Henderson tied the program record for most passes defended (which is the stat that combines interceptions and PBUs) in a game, with two interceptions and four passes broken-up. The only other player with six passes defended in a game was Brad Watson, all PBUs, against Duke in 2015.
• Ah, a Kenneth Walker III drive. Four carries for 22 yards, the first of which went for 16 and was a fantastic burst.
• The 4-yard loss killed this drive. Think Newman should’ve pulled it and run to where Wilson came off of the right edge — but why risk hits when already up 21-0? I don’t have a problem with settling for sure points down here and not forcing anything.
• “Sciba is money.” — Dave Clawson, more than once.
• I can’t believe Sciba’s kickoff here didn’t go out of bounds. Or, it did, just in the end zone.
• This is really the only drive N.C. State manages to cobble together.
• Nasir Greer should’ve had a tackle after 5-6 yards, didn’t wrap and it’s a 10-yard gain.
• Leary shows off the arm talent that got him the starting nod on the 16-yard pass to Cary Angeline. Over the short defender, on the money to the intermediate route.
• Some kind of reverse pass with a flip back to Leary was played perfectly by Rondell Bothroyd, who changes direction twice and makes Leary throw it away with his pressure up the middle.
• Ja’Cquez Williams didn’t look great on a couple of runs on this drive, but makes a really good play through getting blocked to limit a screen pass to 3 yards on second-and-10.
• I’d forgotten a roughing the passer call extended this drive. Good call against Basham, smacks Leary in the head.
• Becomes an easy two plays to pick up the touchdown after the penalty.
• This ensuing drive was important for Wake Forest to find an immediate answer, rather than give N.C. State more hope that it could claw back into this and make it competitive.
• Here come the … Ben Roethlisberger-Jamie Newman comparisons? Hm.
I mean, I’m all for thinking outside of the box and not limiting ourselves to Cam Newton comps just because he’s the Panthers QB, so maybe there’s something there.
Hah, and on queue there’s a Newton pull from McElroy.
• Good knowledge of the sticks by Surratt, 7-yard catch to convert a third-and-7.
• Illegal hands to the face penalty is N.C. State’s sixth of the game at the 7:40 mark of the second quarter. At least the Wolfpack slowed down its pace, but penalties still wound up: 10 for 87 yards against N.C. State, one for 14 against Wake Forest.
• I thought Hinton scored with his extension at the end of his 27-yard catch, but yeah, doesn’t quite get the ball over that front corner.
• Remember how faking the jet sweet to Surratt helped in the Wild Cade against FSU? It helps here too; N.C. State’s defense shifts for just long enough to Freudenthal to slip out and catch another touchdown.
• Three missed tackles on a 22-yard run by Jordan Houston — #NotGoodDino.
• And on third-and-1, Trent Pennix breaks off a 19-yard run. It’s well-blocked, and Smenda is crashing the opposite side of the line that the handoff went.
• It’s likely, despite how well he played, Henderson had a nightmare about dropping this ball. He jumps the route and is in perfect position for a pick-6 — which really would’ve turned out the lights in the first half.
• Greer comes on a blitz and bats down the third-down throw — well done. He’s just, above all else, a playmaker.
• Jimbo Fisher was the Division III player of the year … you learn something new every day.
• I’d love to tell you Brandon Chapman does a good job to draw this pass interference on third down, but, well, uh, hm … sure we’ll go with that, good play.
(have I mentioned how you can always count on some undisciplined mistakes from N.C. State under Doeren?)
• It’s interesting to hear N.C. State labeled the “developmental program” in context of talking about James Smith-Williams. I’m not sure N.C. State is close or will ever be a program that can consistently plug in freshmen (only 4-5 programs truly can), but the Wolfpack has certainly recruited at a level that it can do so a lot more often than Wake Forest.
• Third-and-8, go to Hinton over the middle in traffic for 14 yards. Next play, after a timeout, go to Hinton again for 12 yards, 7 of which come after the catch.
He’s a heck of an athlete and a heck of a slot receiver.
• Washington almost comes down with a touchdown, nice play by the DB, but he also went half a step too far instead of attacking the ball at its high point.
• Sciba makes a 34-yarder, tied for his longest of the season. Again, just an oddity that Wake Forest hasn’t even had to have him attempt one longer than that — he’s got the leg for anything up to 50, and maybe a 51 and 52, based on watching fall camp.
• N.C. State gets a 12-yard run and a 24-yard pass with relative ease, which does not make for a happy Clawson at the end of the half.
• Washington gets a PBU.
• “If Newman is at Oklahoma or Alabama or LSU or Ohio State, he’s getting a lot more press.”
[insert Pam Beasley “Yuuup” GIF]
• OK, second half underway.
• First play is another that I think Newman should’ve pulled instead of handing off, but again, I think that’s out of precaution more than it’s a bad read.
• Third-down conversion to Surratt makes Wake Forest 7-for-10; the Deacons finished 10-for-19, which is somewhat skewed because there wasn’t too much urgency in the fourth quarter to convert third downs and keep scoring.
“We didn’t want to take any chances with Jamie. We wanted to get Michael (Kern) out there and not have to burn another one of Sam (Hartman)’s games if we didn’t have to,” Clawson said. “We wanted to let (Kern) run the offense, and then we go out there and two incompletions and you take 34 seconds off the clock, and then after that we just wanted to run it and thought, if every time we get out there if we could just take two or three minutes, it was going to be really hard for them to get back into it.”
• Here’s the 59-yarder to Washington, and first of all, great job by the offensive line — N.C. State brings six rushers.
Nothing to say about the throw other than it’s another perfectly lofted ball, Washington doesn’t have to break stride and it’s dropped in a bucket by Newman. (edit: Luginbill says Washington had to track back inside for the catch, maybe not as perfect as it appeared)
Seems like Jarius Morehead, as he tackles Washington, lands on his right ankle. His status will certainly be worth monitoring, but remember: Trust your beat reporters.
• Warren Ruggiero special on the touchdown, Freudenthal slips out unnoticed after blocking for about 2 seconds for the 4-yard touchdown.
“How about the stat line for Jack Freudenthal? Have you ever seen four catches for 16 yards and three touchdowns in your life?” Clawson said. “That has to be some type of NCAA – the most points scored with the least amount of yards.”
Welllllllllll … Credit associate AD for athletic communications Steve Shutt for looking this one up after the game for me: Since 2000, only one player in college football has had at least three receiving touchdowns with fewer yards – Duke’s Tielor Robinson had three catches, all touchdowns, for 11 yards in 2006 against UNC.
• That’s a great interception by Henderson, snags it just before it can reach the receiver. His four interceptions lead the ACC.
• Carney takes a speed-option pitch for 9 yards, and I think that’s maybe the second or third pitch I’ve seen from Wake Forest this season. It worked — might see more of them later on.
• The only attempted pass here is the first-down slant to Jaquarii Roberson and it just gets batted down at the line.
• Ha, N.C. State gets a sack before Newman can try to hit Freudenthal for his fourth touchdown catch. That really would’ve been something else.
• So, in building the 44-10 lead, Newman was 8-for-9 on third downs for 76 yards and seven first downs; Wake Forest’s offense scored on 8 of 9 possessions. Can’t spell it out any better than that for what he means to the offense at this point.
• 5 minutes, 1 second into the second half and this thing was over.
And my apologies, but so is this review. As much as I’d love to continue to breakdown roughly 25 minutes of scoreless football (that’s not sarcasm, it’d probably go by quickly), it’s already Tuesday morning and I’ve got to get moving toward getting post-practice interviews and doing Tuesday news conference stuff at Wake Forest. And then I’ve gotta pack for a trip to Boston on Wednesday.
Thanks for reading.