The Upside- Wake Forest | Syracusefan.com

The Upside- Wake Forest

SWC75

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- I was sorry to miss the Michigan-Ohio State classic but the Orange and the Deacons had a little classic of their own that meant as much to their players as all the high profile classics played today. (Well, almost.) Both teams played hard and well and it was a very exciting game as SU-Wake games have tended to be in the Dome. The last four such games have been 43-64, 39-30 in OT, 37-40 in OT and 35-31 today, ending on an interception right at the goal line. If you are in the Syracuse area when SU and Wake get together and you are wondering if it’s worth it to go to the game: It is.

- If these teams had played like this all season they would both have much better records. Wake was very sharp offensively, using their ‘mesh’ attack to burrow their way to 23 first downs and burning us with deep passes. We had to match them whenever they scored and we did- barely.

- After averaging 155 yards rushing a game through the first 9 games, we have somehow turned into a team that has run at a rate of 281 yards in the last three games. It hasn’t been fancy but that makes it all the more impressive. The much criticized line, missing three guys who were supposed to start this year and the gritty but nimble running of LeQuint Allen, Dan Villari and Garrett Schrader has been hugely effective.

- And today our passing game rose from the dead, (even though Halloween was a month ago – is that possible?). Garrett Shrader shocked the Deacs by throwing effective passes with accuracy and zip in short-to-moderate ranges and also threw one long pass. He under-threw it but Omari Hatcher came back to snatch it, turned and evaded a defender to make it into the end zone. Shrader and Villari passed for 224 yards and 4 touchdowns.

- After the sequence at the end of the half where replays, (per the refs, although I can’t really say they were wrong), on successive plays denied us a touchdown, I told the guy next to me that the rest of the game will be a struggle to make sure that doesn’t matter. I would sure have liked to have been up 42-31 down the stretch of that game. Good teams can overcome frustrating plays because they are consistently productive but for mediocre teams, everything matters. Fortunately, for today, we were a good team.

- Individual heroes: LeQuint Allen was a workhorse, with 144 yards on 32 carries, even though he never found the end zone. It was his seventh 100 yard game and fourth in a row. He now has 1,062 yards rushing on the season. I’m sure glad he won that lawsuit to make him eligible to play for us.

- Garrett Shrader’s healing injury allowed him to look almost like the Shredder of old. He was 10 for 15 for 173 yards and 3 touchdowns. I wonder what injury he had that allowed him to do back flips, run with abandon and not throw nice spirals on short passes but not throw deep? Is there a doctor in the house?

- Volare, err…Dan Villari, again showed his versatility, completing 2 passes for 51 yards and 2 TDs, running for 51 more and even playing some tight end and catching a 13 yarder. Imagine if we’d had a healthy Shrader and Gadsden to go with Allen and Villari this year?

- Damien Alford finally had a break-out game with 4 catches for 126 yards, (31.5!) and 2TDs. It was almost 5 catches for 141 yards and 3 TDs. Unfortunately, Damien was injured and left the field, (under his own power) for the locker room late in the third period. I suspect he was being checked out for a concussion. Hopefully, he’ll be back for the bowl game.

- The defense was rather leaky but sucked it up to hold Wake to a missed field goal after our lone turnover, which allowed them to stop them on fourth down at the end. If Wake had made that field goal, they’d have kicked it on fourth down at the end and if they’d scored a touchdown, they would have been running out the clock at the end.

6-6 with 1 to go

Let’s Go Orange!
 
I think for Alford it was almost 4 catches for 127 yards and 3 TDs.

They ruled it a catch, just one yard short of the goal line.

We had 4 drives that weren’t TDs. One ended up on the Wake 1. One was victory formation. One punt and one INT. Bored Stonehouse is my favorite Stonehouse.
 

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