Brian: Having exhausted all different ways of losing football games -- getting shutout at home, getting blown out by N.C. State, getting stuffed on 4th and 1 on offense, giving up a 4th and 1 on defense -- the Eagles have moved on to find new and creative way of actually winning ballgames.
The Eagles defense intercepted Wake's QB Tanner Price four times, including on the first play from scrimmage, and the special teams unit recovered a muffed punt return, turning off Wake Forest five times on the day. Yet, despite turning Wake over five times and finishing +3 in turnovers, BC managed to win by just 10 points.
While the game was never really in doubt, as we expected, Jim Grobe and the Deacons gave BC a scare with a trick play touchdown early in the fourth quarter. Let's start with the likes. What, if anything, did you like from the Eagles performance on Saturday?
Jeff: I thought Rettig played fairly well and I loved Montel getting close to 200 on the ground. Oh yeah, and I liked the win which was never really in doubt even though a lot of people seem upset today that Wake pulled within a touchdown.
Brian: How about the dislikes. What was up with the blocked FG and the blocked XP?
Jeff: Those were horrible. Once is one thing but twice is a serious problem. The XP alone would've made a big difference because BC would've been up 8 instead of 7 after Wake's TD. I also didn't like our continued struggles on third down and Wake running so many plays on the day. BC could rarely get the ball back quickly even though Wake did not score many points. It could've been a different game without the turnovers.
Brian: A dislike was watching Harris, McCluskey and the offensive line abuse the front four of the Wake defense on a drive late in the fourth quarter that ate up 5:19 and put the game out of reach with a Nate Freese FG. Why didn't Tranquill go with the bruising ground game the whole game? I felt like if he continued to ram the ball down the Wake's defense's throat, that their defense couldn't stop BC and we would have won by more than 10.
The BC offense had a third and short four times in the game and went with these plays: short pass complete to Swigert that didn't get enough yards for the first down, pass complete to McCluskey that was again a yard short, an interception, and a Montel rush resulting in a loss of one (towards end of the game). Why wasn't Tranq giving the Wake D a heavy dose of Montel on those downs? The Deacons defense clearly showed that they couldn't stop the BC running game but we decided to go to the pass on 3rd and short? I don't understand that playcalling.
The two-minute drill on offense was equally horrifying. BC had the ball for 1:25 and managed to go backwards 16 yards before a Ryan Quigley punt, who may very well be this team's offensive MVP.
The Eagles continue their North Carolina road trip with a game at Duke this weekend, who is riding a 2-game winning streak after dispatching Virginia. The Blue Devils have won three straight just once (2009) in the past 15 seasons. Do you expect Duke to be a tougher out than Wake Forest?
Jeff: This game should be about the same except that I would say Jim Grobe has been successful and overachieved against the Eagles. There is no reason to assume that Duke will do the same. So far this season against like opponents Duke and Wake have fared the same and Wake Forest won their head-to-head matchup in a very close game. I would be surprised if we blew out the Blue Devils since our offense just isn't really capable of accomplishing that but I don't really expect a bitter struggle either.