It certainly wasn’t pretty, but I’ll absolutely take a win any week. I watched this game at a sports bar in Tempe before the ASU game and I think our group got a lot of weird looks as we cheered for wacky fumbles in a game on the CW.
Game Recap in Three Sentences
Turnovers made the difference with Wake coughing up two fumbles and throwing three interceptions.
Nine different receivers caught passes and the offense was able to put together a couple of timely scoring drives.
Special teams was awesome with 3 FGs (and a long of 48).
Above The Line of the Week
- Defensive h a v o c. After a lot of complaining about the lack of havoc plays, the floodgates finally opened in this game with eight sacks and ten TFLs. Shoutout Kyle Kennard.
- Arizona State. I’ll have a full write up of our annual Fansville Field Trip sometime soon, but for now all I’ll say is that I had an awesome time in the desert.
- Special teams. They were great all afternoon and are slowly shedding their reputation as the glaring weak spot.
Unformed Thought of the Week
Eric Singleton Jr. has now caught a TD pass in his first four games. That puts him well on pace to break Ahmarean Brown’s recent (tied) freshman record of seven. Singleton has immediately made a name for himself as the stud receiver and could be absolute dynamite for us in the years to come.
5 Star (7 Star, 5 Star) Developmental Program Haiku of the Week
The defense showed up
Bowl game is still possible
Let’s have a season
Being able to win this kind of game is, in my opinion, an extremely good skill to have. There were plenty of times we could’ve thrown the game away but in each one we were able to pull out a good play and to me that’s the mark of a good team.
Consider how the final five minutes of this game played out. After Wake scored to get within seven, we went three and out on our next possession. A classic GT follow up would’ve been to give up a quick tying TD on some blown coverage, but instead we snagged a basically-red-zone interception and then iced the game with our own quick storing drive. Amazing.
Winning games like this is progress. We don’t need to look awesome every week, but we do need to be able to make adjustments and figure things out. Taking control of a game and holding on to it has been a weakness lately; pulling out the win here makes me think we actually learned from the Louisville game and demonstrating learning isn’t something I can say we ever did in the Collins era. It’s refreshing. It makes me feel like our program actually does have the upward trajectory we keep saying it does. Seeing the offense develop, seeing the defense step up in big moments, seeing special teams take care of business - it all makes me feel like there’s something on the horizon.
This game was a key step to six wins and you’ve got to like our chances from here on out. Bowling Green and Virginia shouldn’t be remotely problematic, and we should feel equally confident about Boston College. Syracuse is maybe a bit tricky but I still don’t think they’re nearly as good as their 4-0 record would have you think. Even Clemson looks vulnerable if we catch them on a bad day. We have to treat this game as a catalyst and not let it go to waste.
Up next is Bowling Green (9/30, 3:30pm). In a word, this game should be: easy. The Falcons are not looking good this season and this should be a great opportunity for us to dominate all phases of the game and tune some things up before starting the meat of our ACC schedule. Something like 40-10 feels reasonable if we do the right things.