Devin Leary

Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

No. 23 Wake Forest improves to 7-1 for first time since 2007

Leave a comment

For the first time in over a decade, No. 24 Wake Forest is 7-1. And if all goes as they hope, Wake Forest could be returning to a New Years Six bowl game for the first time since that 2007 season.

Wake Forest (7-1, 3-1 ACC) had no problem taking care of NC State (4-4, 1-3 ACC) on Saturday afternoon. The Demon Deacons jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and went on to polish off a 44-10 victory by shutting out the Wolfpack in the second half. Jamie Newman had a big day with 287 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, and two rushing touchdowns. Jack Freudenthal was on the receiving end of all three touchdown passes, and Kendall Hinton led all players with 97 receiving yards while Sage Surratt caught a game-high nine passes. The Wake Forest passing offense averaged seven yards per attempt, which was more than double the average of a woeful NC State passing attack. Devin Leary managed to complete just 17 of his 45 pass attempts for 149 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions on the day.

NC State had three turnovers in the game and Wake Forest capitalize don them. Wake Forest scored 17 points off those turnovers, including an early fumble on a kickoff return to setup a quick touchdown after already owning a 7-0 lead.

Now with wins against NC State and UNC (in a non-conference matchup), Wake Forest has a chance to sweep the in-state competition just as they did in 2007. All that is left to pull off is a win at home against Duke on Nov. 23. But for now, Wake Forest has other business to attend to. A road trip to Virginia Tech is up next for Dave Clawson and his program next week. A trip to Blacksburg can never be taken lightly, especially with Virginia Tech potentially getting better as the season progresses. After that is a big division showdown at Clemson. Regardless of what happens against Clemson, Wake Forest is beginning to look like a team that could be representing the ACC in the New Years Six bowl.

the last time Wake Forest played in a big bowl game was after winning the ACC championship in 2007. Winning the ACC this year would require getting around Clemson, which may prove to be difficult in a few weeks, but it is becoming more and more clear that Wake Forest is the second-best team in the ACC.

NC State may not be thinking about an elusive conference championship, but the Wolfpack still have a chance to go bowling. But next week will be no easier for the Wolfpack. NC State visits Clemson next week for a primetime matchup.

Wake Forest in full control of NC State, up 34-10 at half

Photo by Malcolm Hope/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

It did not take long for Wake Forest to establish some in-state dominance over NC State. The Demon Deacons jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and lead their in-state rivals from Raleigh 34-10 at halftime in Winston-Salem.

Wake Forest scored a touchdown on their first offensive possession of the game with a 20-yard run by Jamie Newman midway through the first quarter. After NC State fumbled the ensuing kickoff, Wake Forest took over on the three-yard line and Newman tossed a short pass to Jack Friedenthal two plays later for a quick 14-0 lead.

The rough start to the game continued for NC State with Devin Leary having a pass intercepted by Amari Henderson, giving the ball right back to Wake Forest at their 26-yard line. That gave the home team another opportunity for a long touchdown drive, with Newman once again doing the honors at the end of a 74-yard drive.

After being forced to punt on their next couple of trips out and falling behind 24-0 after a Wake Forest field goal, NC State finally got something working on offense. Leary capped a 75-yard drive with a short pass to Cary Angeline to get the Wolfpack on the board. But Wake Forest marched right down the field with an answer. Newman once again connected with Freudenthal for a short touchdown pass from the two-yard line.

Wake Forest is looking to be in great shape to get to 7-1, which would match Wake Forest’s win total from 2018 (7-6). A 7-1 start would be the best for Wake Forest since 2006. Wake Forest went 9-1 before suffering its second loss that year, which ended with an ACC Championship Game victory and a loss in the Orange Bowl to Big East champion Louisville. Don’t look now, but Wake Forest may be flirting with another trip to a New Years Six bowl game this season if this keeps up.