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Wake Forest Film Review: Second Quarter

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 12 Louisville at Wake Forest Photo by Dannie Walls/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Louisville got off to a fast start and got their fourth touchdown at the start of the second quarter. Unfortunately, Wake Forest started to get their footing on offense in the second quarter. Dave Clawson didn’t panic and start slinging the ball all over the place. They also didn’t start throwing the ball down the field on every other play. They kept running the football and that led to some nice running lanes for his backs.


This play mixed some real frustration with a very encouraging and awesome play. C.J. Avery plays this well by inserting himself into the running lane without overcommitting. Notice that he takes a couple of steps forward and then he pauses to make sure he can be in the right spot. Unfortunately, he trips over the blocker’s foot to his right and falls down right in front of Christian Beal-Smith. This play was defended exactly how the coaches wanted it to be and something that ridiculous leads to a big run.

What’s awesome to see is Ty Tyler chasing this play down from all the way behind the line of scrimmage. This is why coaches do things like the “hustle tape” that players talked about all fall. It leads to plays like this where Tyler could have easily jogged after the ball. Instead he turns and gets moving immediately and chases down a pretty fast running back.


This was one of the first shots Wake took down the field and Chandler Jones plays it very well. Watching it live, I thought it was a bad call against him because he’s playing the receivers hands. Then I saw the replay and changed my tune. But, then I watched it again while doing this post and it’s definitely a bad call.

Jones does what he’s supposed to do when the receiver tries to push off with his left hand. He yanks it down so that he can maintain his position. The ref throws the flag because he does this which is the wrong call. The receiver puts his hand on him for a reason and you shouldn’t punish the defender for working to maintain positioning.


Dorian Etheridge hasn’t been putting up big numbers in this new defense but he has become a good enforcer on the defense. He’s also been much better in coverage than I expected. I really love how he played this because he keeps himself in position to defend a pass if there’s someone around him that he’s not aware of. Instead of closing the space between he and Jamie Newman, he’s in a spot where he can make either play that comes. Then he comes down like a hammer. I’ve watched Jamie Newman run through a lot of people this year. He’s massive and he runs violently. Etheridge stops him in his tracks and ends up putting him out of the game down the road.


I’m loving the trend of Scott Satterfield calling comfortable throws down the field for Evan Conley when he enters the game. This is a nice play action throw that pulls all three linebackers up the field and Tutu Atwell crosses behind them. Conley does a great job of working through the progression of the play and making the throw to the big time play maker on the offense. He actually has Jordan Davis with a corner route to the top of the screen and could’ve hit him, too. But he waits for Tutu to clear and takes the sure thing.

I’m still very much obsessed with the way they pass block off of this run action. It makes it so hard to rush the passer with seven guys forming a giant pocket for the quarterback. You also get a natural double team on the free rusher. I’m really intrigued to see how it works against Clemson, especially with Xavier Thomas at one of the end spots.


Louisville hasn’t had much of a problem running the ball this year but Wake completely sold out to stop it and it led to plays like this. From a scheme standpoint it seems like they decided to be a little “odd” with their front to make it harder for the linemen to know who to block. T.J. McCoy probably should’ve taken the tackler to the backside here but you can see him thinking as he’s moving. Wake wanted to disrupt things with slants and weird fronts and it ended up working well for them. The zone blocking scheme typically makes things very easy on the offensive line but Wake did a good job of making these guys have to make decisions on the fly.


Evan Conley got better with this as the game went on, but he had been short-arming throws a good amount since he first started playing. It’s obviously not unexpected for him to have some nerves but I do hope that throws like this are a thing of the past. He has Seth Dawkins wide open for at least a big gain here and just underthrows it. It left me wondering if he’s been worried about overthrowing guys as Satterfield has said multiple times that he can’t stand overthrows.

This is a great play design by the way. It’s a natural pick play that frees up Dawkins down the field. You also have a mesh concept underneath with Dez and Jordan Davis. It’s pretty hard to defend this perfectly but Wake actually does pretty well. One guy comes open and Conley does well to identify it. Just needed to make the throw.


This is an equal opportunity blog and we love to show appreciation to the specialists. Last week, Blanton Creque hit the game sealing field goal but Mason King also did a great job to get the snap down. King drops the perfect punt here with a free runner bearing down on him. The defense didn’t get a safety out of it but the next drive ended in a punt and Louisville took over on the plus side of the field.


I thought this was an interesting play because Bryan Brown brings six but plays it with a safety deep. That means that there’s someone that will be uncovered on the play if Wake puts five in the route. Well, that’s exactly what happens with Cade Carney going out into the flat. Khane Pass ends up splitting the difference and puts himself into position to make a play on the tight end.

I’m really surprised that Carney doesn’t stay in to block here. I’m not sure if he doesn’t see the blitz or if they chose to leave the routes as they are when they see blitz in order to give Newman another hot option. Either way, it worked out for the Cards.


Here’s an example of coaching translating to the field. Louisville corners have been abysmal at defending throws down the sideline for a few years now. It took guys like Jaire Alexander just being really good to make plays. Bryan Brown’s corners have been outstanding at playing the receivers hands when they’re in trail technique and we’re already seeing guys do that here.

Chandler Jones is in pretty good position here but Scotty Washington is tall and long which makes it hard to make a play on the ball. So he plays his hands and in doing so he gets his hand on the ball. Washington does a really good job of somehow still controlling the ball for a bit but most receivers don’t even have a chance at making this catch. You can’t ask for anything more from Jones here.


I doubt Dwayne Ledford was too happy with this play. Wake fires off the ball much better than Louisville and Tyler Haycraft doesn’t get to his man in time. That leaves Javian Hawkins with no lane to run the ball and he gets met right behind the line of scrimmage. You’d like to see Mekhi Becton get his head across on his guy to make a bigger hole and Haycraft needs to find a way to do the same. At the same time, this was Wake’s goal and they executed well. It led to other things opening up.


We all heard Scott Satterfield talk about eye discipline last week and here’s a good example of his defense doing the opposite. Wake wants to run the ball by taking what you give them so your defense has to give them nothing. Yesterday I posted T.J. Holl being patient in the running lane and not committing until he knew where the back was going. On this play the second level of the defense decides that the back is running up the middle and they leave a huge void on the edge. Yasir Abdullah follows the receiver inside but then fails to get back outsie when he sees run. Then you have Khane Pass running inside because he commits to the back taking a step up the middle.


I watched this a few times before I decided that it’s just a nice run by Beal-Smith. It seemed like Bryan Brown was looking to bring pressure on this drive with Wake down and halftime coming up. Wake ended up just running at the blitzes and finding holes like this. Some guys look silly on this play but sometimes you just give props to a guy making a good play.


Bryan Brown is starting to gain confidence in the guys on his defense just like Satterfield is on offense. Yasir Abdullah was just a package guy on third downs up until last week when he finally got to see the field at the “Dog” spot at outside linebacker. He played really well last week and now he’s seeing the field more. Louisville is in a basic cover two so Newman looks to split the safeties with the tight end up the middle. He ends up throwing the wrong ball and Yasir is there to make a pretty athletic interception.

I’m not sure what would have happened if Newman threw the right ball here but C.J. Avery may have been able to make it over to break it up. It depends on how much loft he put on it.