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I had a chance to watch Wake Forest's 28-27 victory in a thriller over North Carolina. Here is the game story from our friends at Blogger So Dear. I think it's very important to watch FSU's opponents. It's hard to provide coverage without doing so. And that's why we take the time to do it. Here are my observations.
Wake Offense v. UNC Defense: I have always been a big fan of QB Tanner Price. Price has very good accuracy, great touch, a good arm, and really does the little things well. Wake did a good job moving the pocket and price throws well on the run. Carolina did not rough him up at all. Some of these throws he makes are ridiculous.
But I was underwhelmed by Carolina's defense. I thought the first stringers would be pretty decent, and that the lack of depth would hurt them later in the year. But that wasn't the case.
Wake didn't run well at all (33 for 70 yards removing the lone sack that the NCAA counts as rushing yardage). Their receivers did block well at times, and they run to the short side (boundary) more often than some teams. The offensive line, however, did not get much push against a Carolina front that is just OK.
Wake converted on 3rd-&-9 (throw to Campanaro, then penalty via facemask), 3rd-&-16 (great throw by Price to Campanaro across his body), 3rd-&-7 (Campanaro). Campanaro is very good. Wake had 28 completions and he caught 13 of them! He gets open against linebackers over the middle, and FSU will have to play nickel and defend him, likely with Tyler Hunter.
Wake also hit a signature half-back pass. The RB (Martin) can really throw.
The Demon Deacons always do a good job with motion and play action. It really helped out their pass protection.
Wake Defense v. UNC Offense: Wake's defense is a good unit. UNC missed opportunities, seemed out of sync. QB Brynn Renner was concussed at the end of Q1 and missed time, and stud RB Gio Bernard missed the game with a knee injury. Before the concussion, UNC was averaging 6.6 yards/play. After? 4.9. Just 35-percent more before the injury.
@tomahawknation before concussion in 2nd quarter 10-14 118after 13-25 for 153 + multiple sacks.— Evan Johnson (@evenflow58) September 10, 2012
Wake's defense played well, but if either Renner or Bernard is healthy I think UNC would have won this. Missed throws to open guys without pressure (including a huge overthrow in the fourth quarter), bad cuts by the replacement running backs, etc.
UNC did rush for 177 yards on 33 carries by running backs, and it probably could have been a good bit more.
Wake allowed a lot of big plays (28, 15, 21, 28, 32, 28, 24), but they didn't allow the huge play. As Wake often does, they ran guys down and "lived to play another play."
The main difference in the game was probably Carolina's drive in the third quarter in which it started with the ball on Wake's 8-yard line, didn't gain a single yard, and was forced to settle for a field goal.
Oh, and Wake's punt game was ridiculous, pinning UNC inside its own 20 five times!
In injury news, Wake Forest All-ACC disruptor at nose guard Nikita Whitlock was on crutches in the fourth quarter with a bad ankle sprain.
We'll have much more coverage for you this week.