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SouthernPigskin.com State of North Carolina Columnist Stephen Cheek looks at Wake Forest's tough home loss to Navy.
By Stephen Cheek
SouthernPigskin.com State of North Carolina Columnist
SouthernPigskin.com State of North Carolina Columnist Stephen Cheek looks at Wake Forest’s tough home loss to Navy.
http://cache.eb.com/eb/image?id=3085Old North State Pigskin is a blog focused on the North Carolina schools in the ACC and Southern Conference. It is written from a fan perspective, nothing more, nothing less. I am not a current or former coach, administrator or player of any university. I am not a professional journalist. While I am an alumnus of the University of North Carolina, I am also the son of a lifelong Duke football fan (believe it or not,) the son-in-law of an NC State alum, a great admirer of the Wake Forest program and I grew up following the Southern Conference. I just make observations as I see them…and have fun doing so. Comments, criticism, suggestions and corrections are all welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you enjoy.
When it Rains, It Pours…
Saturday’s matchup between Wake Forest and Navy seemed like a mismatch on paper. Wake Forest, unbeaten and playing at home, had been battle tested with quality wins over Baylor, Ole Miss and Florida St. The Deacs were facing a 2-2 Navy team, who already had losses to both Duke and Ball St. under their belt, and bared little resemblance to the Paul Johnson coached Navy teams of the past several seasons. The Midshipmen did have victories over FCS foe Towson and struggling Rutgers, but there was nothing to indicate that the Deacs were in for a tough game. Well, as the old saying goes: “That’s why they play ‘em.” Navy walked into BB&T Field on Saturday and beat the #16 Demon Deacons 24-17 for the Academy’s first victory over a ranked foe since 1985. So what does this mean for the Deacs for the rest of the season? Not much in my opinion.http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/wake/sports/m-footbl/auto_action/2158975.jpeg
There is no doubt this loss hurts, but there is also no doubt that this was just one of those days for the Old Gold and Black. Wake QB Riley Skinner threw four interceptions in Saturday’s loss. This from a QB who hadn’t thrown an interception in 133 attempts spanning nine months. I venture to say that it would be hard for any team to win a game against anybody if you just throw the ball to the defense four times in a game. To top it off, Skinner, who is often referred to as “reliable” in the media also gave Navy a fumble to recover. So for those of you keeping score, that is five turnovers chalked up to one guy. A guy who also just might be Wake’s MVP this year when it is all said and done. Call it karma after Wake intercepted FSU five times the week prior en route to a 12-3 win, but I do not think this loss will do much to affect the Deacons. I think it was an anomaly that will get coached out of the team in the next couple of weeks leading into the big Thursday matchup with Clemson on October 10th. If anything, this loss may make Wake even better by eliminating any ounce of cockiness this program may have developed after their recent success. Their destiny is still in their hands with all of their conference schedule ahead and contender FSU already behind them. They still are as loaded with talent as they ever were, have a deep and experienced defense, an All-ACC level QB and kicker and a national Coach of the Year directing the show. With the ACC as wide open as it ever has been, Wake has got to feel pretty good about their chances.
Sometimes things just happen. The team that has made a national reputation of capitalizing on opponents mistakes, not beating themselves and catching big schools looking ahead, got a taste of its own medicine against the Naval Academy on Saturday. I have heard it said that Wake plays “Academy style football.” Well on Saturday, the Deacs got academied. It happens. Sometimes you just gotta think, when it rains…it pours.
http://logoserver.com/college/WakeForestDemonDecons3.GIF1. Wake Forest - Loss on Saturday was an anomaly. Until a conference foe beats them, they are still tops in my book.
http://www.logoserver.com/college/NorthCarolinaTarHeels9.GIF2. North Carolina - HUGE come from behind win on Saturday vs the ‘Canes giving confidence to a young football team. UConn will be a big test.
http://www.logoserver.com/college/DukeBlueDevils2.GIF3. Duke - Did not play particularly well and still beat Virginia by four touchdowns. They are already talking bowl games in Durham.
http://www.logoserver.com/college/NCStateWolfpack5.GIF4. NC State - The South Florida loss was expected. Heels, Devils and Deacs still ahead though we know the ‘Pack gets up for rivalries, right ECU?
http://www.logoserver.com/college/AppalachianState.GIF5. Appalachian State - Order is restored to the 1-AA universe as the Mountaineers pound Presbyterian. The Citadel will be a tougher test.
http://www.logoserver.com/college/EastCarolinaPirates4.GIF6. East Carolina - The Pirates cannot seem to stop the pass against Houston. How quickly the media darlings fall from grace.
http://www.logoserver.com/college/ElonPhoenix.GIF7. Elon - Another win thanks to the Kicker. Elon has a real opportunity to move up if they keep winning and East Carolina keeps losing.
http://graphics.fansonly.com/schools/unc/graphics/western-carolina-logo-150.gif8. Western Carolina - The Citadel had the game won in the first half but ‘Cats did not quit. Last year they might have so that is a positive.
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Stories written by SouthernPigskin.com columnists are done independently. Views do not always coincide with those of the remainder of the staff or the ownership of SouthernPigskin.com.