Utah State Football: Sizing up Wake Forest
Aggies open up on the road against an ACC team
Can the Aggies finally obtain that elusive P5 road victory?
The Utah State Aggies will begin their 2019 campaign vs the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. This game is sure to be a good test and benchmark for what the Aggies are capable of in 2019. Game is on August 30th on the ACC Network, 8:00 pm EST.
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Mascot: Demon Deacon
Conference: Atlantic Coast
2018 Record: 7-6 (3-5 ACC)
Head Coach: Dave Clawson (Overall 28-35). The Demon Deacons have historically had lower expectations competing in the ACC (Steely Dan wrote a blues song about them for crying out loud). Dave Clawson initially struggled in his debut with back-to-back 3-9 seasons.
However, he steadily made progress with 7-6, 8-5, and 7-6 campaigns, respectively. The Demon Deacons on a good day can bludgeon some great teams. A bad day, on the other hand, has lead to some puzzling losses. To succeed in 2019, he’ll need more consistency with his offense and better production (and less injuries) on the defensive Line.
Quick Series Snapshot: Tied 1-1.
The last time USU traveled here in 2017, it was a disastrous performance start to finish. Utah State got bloodied and bruised by a motivated Demon Deacon squad looking to avenge their humbling 36-24 loss in 2014. QB John Wolford played leaps and bounds better as a senior than he did as a freshman. Wolford made the Aggie secondary look downright silly in a dominant 46-10 victory.
Aggie QB Kent Myers immediately set a bad tone by throwing an early pick-six. Despite it being waived off via penalty, Wake Forest’ offense moved the ball at will after that. Quite frankly, the game was never close or competitive. Adding insult to injury, USU took a safety and really only avoided the shutout thanks to a timely 76 yard TD pass from Jordan Love to Gerold Bright.
Demon Deacons, 2018 Season:
Win or lose, Wake Forest started its season off in ugly fashion.
After struggling on the road against Tulane and escaping with an OT victory, the Demon Deacons easily dispatched its FCS foe, Towson. After that, in which the Defense failed to get key stops, Wake Forest dropped back-to-back home games to Boston College and Notre Dame. Boston College was winnable, but Notre Dame never let the Demon Deacons gain any type of offensive rhythm.
After demolishing a very poor Rice Owls team, Wake Forest played their worst game of the season against the eventual National Championship bound Clemson Tigers. Losing 63-3, Wake Forest showed off their hallmark inconsistency as a program and appeared headed for a losing season.
To Dave Clawson’s credit, he didn’t allow his players to give up. They rallied down the stretch against then-ranked NC State and an above average Duke squad to qualify for a bowl game at 6-6. Duke even looked completely helpless in their own stadium!
Despite giving up huge plays to Memphis and falling in an early 28-10 hole, Wake Forest found some magic behind QB Jamie Newman. He made throws into double coverage and even rushed for a score to keep Wake Forest within striking distance.
With under a couple minutes to go, Newman hooked up with WR Alex Bachman to put his team at the goal line. Scoring shortly after, Wake Forest held the lead and amassed the win 37-34 after Memphis failed to tie with a field goal try.