Friday, September 2, 2011

Wake reverts to old habits in 2nd half

In the first half Thursday, Wake Forest looked nothing like the Demon Deacons of last season. In the second half, Wake was precisely that team that went 3-9.

They never should have lost in overtime, 36-29 to Syracuse, and no one would say that more directly than coach Jim Grobe. Grobe saw this not as a game his team led by 15 in the fourth quarter, but as a profound collapse. The things that troubled him:

-- Three early drives to the Syracuse 21-yard line or closer collected a total of six points.

-- His placekicker, the normally reliable Jimmy Newman, missed an easy field goal and an extra point. As Grobe noted, making either of those kicks would have won this game in regulation.

That Newman would freeze up is surprising, since he'd made a school-record 13 consecutive field-goal attempts.

-- After holding Syracuse to a remarkable 52 yards and two first downs in the first half, Wake's defense allowed the following after halftime: 29 points, 247 yards and 13 first downs.

Grobe could have cut some slack, saying the defense was worn out or whatever. He didn't. He's been preaching accountability of late, and this is what he said post-game: "Sometimes when you play really, really well, you start to think it's easy to play really, really well.''

That's code for "you let up, and in a pivotal game, that cost a lot.''

-- Rick Bonnell


Anonymous said...

By reverting to old habits do you mean losing your starting QB to an injury who was shredding Syracuse left and right?

Anonymous said...

Exactly. Also, the defense was placed on defending poor field position once the offense no longer moved because of Price being hurt. It also didn't help that our punter airballed the ball over Price's head when we were 1st and goal at the 2 yard line. If Price can play next week, NCSU will be in for a tough game.

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