Defense Dominates in First Spring Scrimmage
March 26, 2011
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest's defense dominated the offense in the first controlled intrasquad scrimmage of the spring on Saturday morning at BB&T Field.
The Demon Deacons battled for about 75 minutes under chilly conditions and overcast skies.
"The defense kind of dominated the offense but that's okay," said head coach Jim Grobe. "The first week or two, you expect that and then the offense catches up. But the kids flew around and played aggressively. Our defensive guys have a good understanding of what they're doing."
Veteran safety Cyhl Quarles was one of Wake's defensive leaders on Saturday morning.
"I thought Cyhl really led the defense," said Grobe. "He made good checks and led the coverage. I liked the way we played on defense. Tristan Dorty and Kyle Wilber did some good things and I thought (nose tackle) Nikita Whitlock played well."
With the dominance of the defense, the Wake Forest offense found it difficult to gain yards.
"Offensively, we made too many mistakes, had too many missed assignments and too many penalties," said Grobe. "It was hard to evaluate the quarterbacks because we didn't block well and didn't catch well. They were off the field too quickly on a lot of drives."
The Deacons were able to get some special teams practice in on punt return and punt coverage. Redshirt sophomore punter Alex Wulfeck handled the punting chores. Junior placekicker Jimmy Newman is resting an ailing hip this spring and has not participated in drills to this point.
"The offense got within field goal range two or three times but with Jimmy out, we just turned them around and went the other way," said Grobe.
The weather may have worked to the team's advantage on Saturday.
"For the players, it was great. We were able to get a lot of reps in," said Grobe. "But for the fans, it may have been a little chilly."
Despite the offensive difficulties, Grobe remained pleased with the defense.
"The defensive guys were having fun, flying around," said Grobe. "I thought the defense looked much improved over last year. We were playing six freshmen last fall and those same guys are out there now playing with more intensity. If they continue to improve and the offense picks it up, I think we have a chance to have a good spring."
The Deacons will return to the practice field Tuesday afternoon at 4:30 at the Doc Martin Football Practice Complex. Wake Forest is scheduled to hold its next scrimmage on Saturday, April 2 at BB&T Field at 10 a.m.