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Opponent Breakdown: Wake Forest Offense

NCAA Football: Florida State at Wake Forest Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Dave Clawson has been leading the Wake Forest football program for the better part of a decade now and even though he consistently gets them to bowl games, people are still surprised when he has his team playing well. 2021 has been no different as his 4-0 team has cruised through the first part of their schedule and Clawson has his team at the top of the ACC.

The offense is led by veteran Quarterback Sam Hartman. Hartman is a great fit for Wake’s scheme as he can run well enough that you have to respect him and he is accurate on intermediate throws. Hartman has also improved over the last few years with his deep ball. He has been able to hit on a few throws down the field this year that had really nice placement. Wake’s offense has been efficient this year in part to Hartman’s mastery of the offense in his fourth season.

While Kenneth Walker is leading the country in rushing for Michigan State, Christian Beal-Smith has held his own in his absence. Wake had a nice two-headed monster last season before Walker opted out but Beal-Smith has done well this year to take on the full role. “CBS” is a compact runner with a little wiggle to him when he’s out in the open field. Virginia was able to contain him last week and Louisville handled him fairly well last season. UofL will have to do the same again.

Of all the programs in the ACC you wouldn’t expect Wake to be one that reloads at Wide Receiver each year but that’s been the case over the last few years. A.T. Perry is the newest member of the club for Wake as he has already surpassed his 2020 total catches, yards, and touchdowns. Perry is 6-5/206 and he has the ability to get behind a defense. Louisville will have to have a plan to contain him and his big play ability.

Jaquarii Robinson is the other big factor at Wide Receiver. He led the team in catches and yards last season and he has great ability after the catch. He is also the main target in Wake’s PA/RPO game where they run a lot of slants to the right side of the field. UofL has been killed by those plays for as long as I can remember and I can promise you Clawson remembers that. Taylor Morin is another guy to keep an eye on in the slot.

Wake’s Offensive Line is solid as usual and they block what wake likes to do very well. The offense still relies on their read-option and RPO long mesh and the line does well to sustain blocks as well as getting push to create running lanes for the backs. They haven’t allowed many negative plays this year with FSU accounting for most of them. One has to wonder, however, if the schedule has been friendly to this offense.