“Wake Knows Drama”; Wake Forest Demon Deacons Sneak by Duke Blue Devils

“Wake Knows Drama”; Wake Forest Demon Deacons Sneak by Duke Blue Devils

[caption id="attachment_50" align="alignright" width="340" caption="Jim Grobe may have high blood pressure and stress in the coming weeks, too"][/caption]

Too close for comfort; but isn’t that just Wake Forest Football?

Regardless, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons can add another victory over the Duke Blue Devils in what are now 12-straight victories against their cross-state rivals in Raleigh. That streak came all but seven yards and a field-goal to a head-scratching halt in what would have evaporated all positive moment built in a stellar first half of the season for Wake. As a result of a timely 64-yard strike between Tanner Price and Chris Givens, a consistently reliable connection, the Deacs can feel fortunate they still remain one game behind leader Clemson in the ACC Atlantic.

After mounting a seemingly insurmountable 17-0 first-half barrage with effective use of ground and aerial attack mixed with stingy defense, Wake was clicking early. But as a recurring theme in Wake Forest Athletics, leads of any proportions aren’t safe.  Ten Duke points in the third and fourth quarter respectively later, and the Blue Devils had the Deacons on the ropes.

How do the Deacons always allow this to happen?

It could be complacency, conditioning, or choke, whatever it is Wake Forest has been flirting with fire for a long time and have gotten burned before. Take a recent example, the defeat against then-lowly Syracuse in overtime in which Wake Forest had a comfortable double-digit edge going into the final quarter and squandered the lead in an overtime defeat. For a moment, it seemed like déjà-vu in this game, with multiple second-half three and outs for Tanner Price and Duke’s back-up quarterback Anthony Boone dissecting Wake’s defense and clawing back into the game.

“It was not really good for my blood pressure today” a frustrated and perhaps relieved Jim Grobe confesses. “But these kids like to play football, most teams would have folded, but our kids kept chopping and playing hard.”

What doesn’t make sense is how the “chopping” is historically stronger in the first-half than the second. Barring the Virginia Tech loss and irrelevant Gardner-Webb route, Wake’s surprisingly successful half of the season has featured each win within one opponent score from a loss. That’s enough to give any college football coach high stress. They need to appropriate TNT’s slogan to “Wake knows drama.”

Fans feel the same level of stress as Coach Grobe and hope the Deacs can learn the art of pulling away and pulling away for good.  As much as drama and edge-of-your-seat play keeps the passive viewer entertained, Wake Forest will need to play significantly better the next three weeks against a sleeper in North Carolina and nationally-known threats in Notre Dame and inter-conference rival Clemson. What will work in a nail biting win in Raleigh won’t even be close against those powerhouse teams if the Demon Deacons want more than just an entry level bowl game.

All in all, if Wake sticks to its guns with Price and Givens keeping the chemistry, they have a shot at some upsets and creating a more favorable drama and BCS shake-up. As Lou Holtz quips, “Teams don’t beat you throwing and catching, they beat you running after the catch.” Chris Givens knows how to run after the catch as evidence from the 64-yard game and season-saver. Start the “Give it to Givens” chants and…

Let the drama continue.


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