Deacons Go Through First Preseason Scrimmage
Aug. 10, 2014
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson put the Demon Deacons through a two-hour scrimmage on Sunday evening at BB&T Field in the first live scrimmage of the preseason.
The offense ran 112 plays during the controlled scrimmage as five quarterbacks took reps. The offense ran for 163 yards and threw for 202 while the defense collected 11 sacks.
But what grabbed Clawson's attention the most were the number of penalties. There were 15 penalties called with 13 being coming against the offense.
"It's hard to evaluate the scrimmage because I don't know if we're good on defense when the offense didn't give themselves a chance," said Clawson. "They would make a big play then you're first and 15. You're in the red zone then you're out of field goal range. Those are the things that are making me boil right now. It's hard for me to enjoy anything about the scrimmage because of how many procedure (penalties) we had on offense. I think seven of them were false starts and six of them were holding."
On the day, the Deacons tallied two offensive touchdowns, a defensive touchdown and three field goals.
Freshman quarterback John Wolford tallied first, scoring on a 12-yard run. Running back Jordan Garside scored from two-yards out and sophomore corner Brad Watsonreturned an interception 82 yards for a score.
"Defensively, I thought we executed pretty well," said Clawson. "We gave up a couple of big plays but other than that I thought the defensive line played well, we created some turnovers. Offensively, I thought it was really sloppy. I think the amount of false starts, the amount of holding plays, there were so many times we didn't even give ourselves a chance because of unforced errors. Of those 15 penalties, I think 13 of those were on freshmen. We're a young team and this is the first time they've been out there scrimmaging live. I think they were thinking a lot and they didn't give themselves a real opportunity to execute. We have to buckle down here and get their focus back and get a lot better.
"Part of the problem was we had three different quarterbacks and three different cadences," Clawson said. "We're not into a flow now and we've got to try to get things cleaned up."
Wolford completed seven of 14 passes for 122 yards and one interception during his time at QB. Tyler Cameron connected on six of 13 attempts for 52 yards. Orville Reynolds led all rushers with 48 yards on eight carries including a long of 22. Freshman Tyler Henderson netted 40 yards on eight carries while Isaiah Robinsonhad 40 yards on 12 carries. Garside finished with seven attempts for 25 yards.
"I thought we ran the ball better than we did in the spring but we struggled in protection," said Clawson. "The run game was good, the production in terms of blitz pick-up was not good."
Receivers P.J. Howard, Jonathan Williams and Cortez Lewis all made three receptions in the game with Howard and Williams each tallying 28 yards and Lewis gaining 25. Tight end Cam Serigne had two catches for a team-high 59 yards including the longest pass play of the day at 35 yards. E.J. Scott had two catches for 26 yards, Brandon Terry caught two for 19 and tight end Neil Basfordhad two receptions for 17 yards.
Following the scrimmage, Clawson said that the race for the starting quarterback job was down to three with Cameron, Sousa and Wolford in the mix. At this point, the plan is for freshman Travis Smithto redshirt the coming season.
"We wanted that to happen when we recruited two quarterbacks," said Clawson. "We thought one might get in the mix but we didn't know which one. We wanted to get them in different classes. This will give them some separation now."
Defensively, four players led the way with seven tackles including linebackers Brandon Chubb, Grant Dawson, Jaboree Williams and Teddy Matthews. Chubb and sophomore transfer William Flood each had three sacks. Shelldon Lewinson had two sacks and three tackles for loss while Steve Donatell, Josh Banks and Julian Thomas-Jackson all recorded a sack. Sophomore Jalen Latter forced a fumble while redshirt senior cornerback Chuck Schlegel had an interception and a 20-yard return. Thomas Dillonand Anthony Wooding each recorded a pass break-up.
Wake Forest will open the 2014 season at ULM on Thursday, August 28. The game will be televised by ESPNU.