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Wake Forest Film Review: Fourth Quarter

NCAA Football: Louisville at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville entered the fourth quarter with a two score lead but saw it slip away as the defense wore down. It also didn’t help that Louisville’s offense hit multiple big plays in the quarter that led to much shorter drives than they anticipated. Scott Satterfield bled as much clock as he could between snaps but he took shots when he had them. I’m sure he didn’t expect Wake to be able to score so quickly like we saw them do. In the end, Louisville gets a big win and how they got it is very much secondary.


I posted this play last week but I’m probably going to post it every time they run it because it’s glorious. This is the type of creativity that we haven’t seen at Louisville. The name of the game is speed in space and this is a very simple way of doing that. The pop passes we’ve seen them use Tutu Atwell on were great to start the season. It’s been really good to see them find even more ways to get him the ball where he can work.


This is how you defend Wake’s rushing attack. The interior of the line does well to not get turned. They don’t get penetration or hold their ground all that well, but they also don’t get turned by the offensive line to create a running lane. That pushes the back outside where Louisville has multiple guys to make the play. It’s also good to see guys be patient and not commit even though the back starts inside. When he bounces this, guys are angling to him.

I’m not sure if he played earlier than this but Zach Edwards is in at right end here and he plays this perfectly against Wake’s best offensive linemen. He gets his shoulders outside so that he’s in position to disengage and either push the runner wider or make the play. When he tries to do that he gets tackled and draws the holding call. That’s a really good play for a true freshman. On the next play he slants across the line and wraps around the play to make an ankle tackle for a short gain. They want to redshirt him, but he can definitely provide some depth in the other two games he has left to play.


Chandler Jones had a very nice game on Saturday. He was called for PI a couple of times and he was beaten for two touchdowns, but they came after him and he only gave up two catches on the night. Both were short touchdown throws where he just didn’t have the size to stop Sage Surratt. But plays like this are what he can build on.

Wake runs a deep in that takes a while to develop. Jones stays with his man and when the ball is delivered he takes an aggressive path to the ball that allows him to come under the receiver to make the play. Instead of running flat and being shielded by the receiver he goes under and uses the long arm to get to the football. Just like The last play of the third quarter when Dorian Etheridge got to the ball first, Jones gets to the ball even though he contacts the receiver. He’s not going through the receiver and the refs let them play.


Louisville hits Wake with the Sluggo for a long touchdown to Dez Fitzpatrick. Wake played a lot of man on Saturday and Scott Satterfield dialed up a ton of passes that relied on his receivers to just be better than the other guys. That’s what we see here. You can vaguely see Amari Henderson’s (#4) shadow at the top of the screen. He’s playing about five yards off of Dez. All you need is for him to be flat-footed when Dez fakes the slant and it’s over. Dez blows by him and gets an easy score.


Louisville rushes four here but I’d love to see them rush this way when they bring three. G.G. Robinson and Amonte Caban twist up the middle and they’re able to collapse the pocket. There’s pressure up the field to Jamie Newman’s right so he doesn’t really have an avenue to bail out unless he reverses to his left. In the end he ends up with a mass of people in front of him and he just flings it out to a receiver who is at the line of scrimmage.

When you don’t have the numbers edge with your pass rush it seems like it might help to just muddy it up and hope you can collapse the pocket. Rushing guys up the field while your nose tackle ends up as a spy that just waits for the quarterback to do something hasn’t really worked too well. Maybe they’ll change it up some and do something like we see here.


Wake had run about 80 or so plays at this point in the game which is 14 more than the national average. 14 plays is about an extra two drives worth of plays. After all of those plays we still get Amonte Caban running down Newman on this scramble. Louisville covers everything in the back end which gives Newman nowhere to go with the ball. Caban starts on the left and then comes under on a twist but he’s able to get back outside and run this down even though he’s dead tired. As soon as he gets up he taps his helmet for a sub.


Javian Hawkins has been such a pleasant surprise this season. This is a five yard jump cut he makes on the defender in the hole here. He then makes the other safety miss in the open field before making a super impressive play to get a stiff arm on the cornerback who is chasing the play. Agility, quickness, speed, and awareness all in one play. This is something you expect from a veteran running back. Not a guy making his sixth start.

The line had a bad game blocking for the running backs but they killed it on this play. T.J. McCoy and Caleb Chandler get a double team and so do Robbie Bell and Tyler Haycraft. Ean Pfeifer and Isaac Martin get the gold stars, though. Pfeifer works Boogie Basham (#9) down into the line and seals off the left side of the running lane. Martin turns out Justin Strnad (#23) and seals the right side of the line. That’s the two best players on Wake’s defense getting owned by two guys that never show up in the stat sheet. Great to see.


Louisville had a few chances to put the nail in the coffin and I think this was the biggest one. Satterfield comes off of a run that was stuffed for a loss and goes with a bootleg off of play action. He also slips Tutu under the formation to get him wide open in space. Evan Conley just throws this one into the ground. Everything looks right from Conley but the ball just dives. I’m not sure that Tutu scores on this but he at least gives them a third and short which opens up the playbook. They settle for a field goal here and the game is still closer than it should be.


This is the play that Dorian Etheridge was called for targeting on. My initial reaction as soon as he hit the tight end was: “I guess we won’t be seeing him in the first half next week. This is just not a smart play from a guy that doesn’t usually do not smart things. He needs to be involved in this play with the tight end still going forward and fighting through the tackle. What he didn’t need to do is drop his helmet. Come in at his waist with your shoulder and you’re not only still in the game but you’re stopping him in his tracks and maybe jarring the ball loose. Coming in with your head down like this will only get you a flag.

It’s also probably fair to expect C.J. Avery to close on this throw more quickly and make a play on the ball. He has help behind him and he stays flat when the tight end gets to the top of his route. He has to jump this when the tight end turns his shoulders. The tight end turns and takes steps back to the quarterback before Avery even moves.


The defense was spent at this point. I’m not being too critical because they’re at ninety or so plays and that’s essentially an extra quarter and change worth of plays. But, where is everyone when Scotty Washington makes this catch? Anthony Johnson gets cut off by Yasir Abdullah’s attempt to intercept the pass but everyone else is surrounding him and no one gets him to the ground. Not the end of the world but getting him down here could’ve led to an extra few plays and anything can happen then. Maybe they get a turnover or somehow hold them to a field goal.


I got really mad at this play because three separate officials saw this play and they all decided that Chandler Jones deserved to be flagged for getting pulled to the ground by his helmet. If he doesn’t get pulled down, this is an interception. So there’s no way you can call it interference on him because he has position. Like I’ve said before, he has the same right to the ball that Surratt does. So what is the infraction? Not being allowed to turn around? One guy throws a flag and maybe I’m just annoyed but all three of these guys saw offensive pass interference but somehow called it the other way.

Louisville blitzed like this down the stretch and the result seemed to be the same each time. They didn’t have the coverage in the back end as guys got tired and Sam Hartman was able to get the ball out quickly. It was good to see Bryan Brown realize that he needed to get after the quarterback because this would’ve been even worse if he played prevent.


Louisville ran this blitz earlier in the game and they ended up forcing a quick throw with Khane Pass making a play on the receiver. On that play they actually didn’t have enough guys to cover all of the receivers but things worked out. On this play they have enough guys but I think they just ran the play wrong. There are three receivers to the top of the screen but Russ Yeast drops into the middle as a safety with Khane Pass playing a short zone. That’s how they ran it the previous time but the numbers matched. The numbers don’t match here and the tight end is left open.

It’s possible that this is a zone and not man coverage as C.J. Avery (?) doesn’t commit to one guy but it’s hard to tell. Either way, they ran into a very rough situation late in the game with pressure that couldn’t get home and coverage that couldn’t hole up even for a few seconds.


Y’all remember the tight end leak play we always saw on fourth and one where they would fake the run up the middle and sneak the tight end down the seam? Kind of nice to see something new and something that has multiple options after the snap. Conley hadn’t kept the ball on an option play all game and Satterfield knew that. He puts the ball in his hands and lets him make the smart play and it hits big.