We’re very fortunate to have the SB Nation network of team sites to work with during game weeks. The third installment of our 2017 Q&A series features a chat with Cameron Lemons Debro, staff writer at Blogger So Dear, SBN’s excellent Wake Forest blog. We discuss a freshman quarterback, a menace at wide receiver, and how each team can inch a step closer to bowl eligibility.
TN: The Demon Deacons currently sit at 3-3 (0-2) and are coming off of a bye week. What were your expectations coming into 2018, and what are they now? What chance do you give Wake to make a bowl game?
BSD: So my expectations were admittedly lofty. We returned an entire starting offensive line that was pretty good last year, all of the offensive weapons minus a great tight end in Cam Serigne (great first name by the way), a a few good starters on defense. While I expected the defense to take a step back, I didn’t expect them to take a step back as well as the offense to not click as it has. Having a freshman QB hasn’t helped that all too much but he has been fine. I figures we’d start out 3-0, probably lose to ND and Clemson and be 4-2 with the possibility of being 5-1 going into the bye week. Well 3-3 isn’t far from 4-2 and Wake has played 3 bad teams, 2 absurdly good teams and 1 mediocre team. I still feel like we don’t know who this team really is but I think getting three out of the rest of the schedule. It’s not the most favorable but its not the worst, *takes a look at FSU’s schedule and I am so sorry that is a murderer’s row for anyone not named Alabama*
TN: Dave Clawson has made a change at quarterback this season, handing the reins to freshman Sam Hartman after Kendall Hinton was unavailable to begin the season. What does Hartman bring to the field, and might we see Hinton line up elsewhere Saturday?
BSD: Hartman brings accuracy. Being thrust in there was always going to be some mistakes and while he has had some bad picks (which I have noted and gone on about for a bit because of how bad they’ve been) he is arguably our best passer in terms of putting it on a dime and keeping the team on schedule which is important. With Hinton expect to see him in a couple of places: a) receiver and b) a kick returner. Hinton has absolutely game breaking speed and is the second best athlete of the team besides Greg Dortch. It would be absolutely criminal to not have a way to have him on the field.
TN: Greg Dortch is going to be the Wake wideout who serves as a thorn in FSU’s side for what seems like the coming decade, isn’t he?
BSD: I wish Greg Dortch had another 4 years at Wake. “The Magician” does not care of who he is going against but he absolutely loves to torch both FSU and Louisville. Hoping that is the case for the next couple of years, one special kid for how low he was ranked
TN: I’ve watched a bit of the new Clawfense a couple of times this year, particularly against BC, and came away impressed, overall. How do you feel about some of the RPO stuff Wake has featured this year, and how do you expect the Deacs to fare on offense against FSU?
BSD: I have been the opposite with this offense surprisingly enough. They’ve put up points against bad teams, not against good teams and put up some against a mediocre team. Losing the best pass protector for the year has hurt but I expect the passing attack to get back on schedule and, well torch wouldn’t be the right word, but do very well. Run game wise I think Cade Carney will run over just about everyone that is in his way but I don’t foresee it being a 2 rushers for 100 yard type of game. I still have respect for the FSU front 4.
TN: Who will be the Demon Deacon pass rushers who make a name for themselves by terrorizing FSU’s tackles on Saturday?
BSD: Boogie Basham and Zeek Rodney I look to in particular. Two fantastic names and this seems like to be the game they can finally start getting pressure as well as actually finishing when they do get pressure. I foresee Francois needing to get the ball out QUICK.
TN: Are there any match-ups with FSU’s offense that concern you?
BSD: While I just said that about Francois, its out DBs have been torched just about all year. If he gets time, it might be a long long day in Tallahassee.
TN: Any unmentioned playmakers FSU fans should keep and eye out for this week?
BSD: I mentioned Cade Carney a bit earlier but I also look to mention Scotty Washington and Christian Beal-Smith. Scotty has been hurt for a good part of the year but he is the team’s best 50/50 ball winner and was an absolute force last year. His name hasn’t been called a lot this year but that may change very true. With Beal-Smith, he is the absolute change of pace back that is the type of athlete that could match up well against well a team of athletes. He has the ability to make people miss and that could come in handy.
TN: Finally, let’s get a prediction. How does this one unfold?
BSD: I have Wake winning 31-28. While FSU has been improving, that Miami lost may have broken them. It was heartbreaking I feel and Wake finally starting to get healthy could be a game changer. The defenses won’t hold I feel but I think the offensive line of Wake’s is still better than FSU’s and that may be the game changer of who’s QB doesn’t get hit for a fumble recovery for a touchdown
Thanks to Cam for his time and insight! Head on over to Blogger So Dear for all things Wake Forest.