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How weather conditions can throw off Wake Forest’s up-tempo offense

September 12, 2018

Matt Colburn II paused, as if he was patiently reading blocks in front of him as he does so often during Wake Forest’s football games, and pondered the question.

If the weather for Thursday’s game is wet and windy and nasty, how will that affect Wake Forest’s up-tempo offense?

“That’s actually a good question,” Colburn said.

Don’t worry, the Deacons’ senior running back didn’t leave it at that, implying he was stumped. There was more.

“I think the last game we had like that was Syracuse two years ago (during the remnants of Hurricane Matthew). I mean, even Notre Dame was kind of wet last year. I think it just kind of, the tempo really shouldn’t change,” Colburn said. “I think there definitely needs to be more emphasis on ball security and just playing within the scheme, because the conditions have changed.

“Obviously we’re not going to be able to — I mean, one would assume we’re not going to be able to air it out as we please, just with it being wet.”

One of the brightest spots for the Deacons so far has been their passing attack. Freshman quarterback Sam Hartman has utilized the trio of Greg Dortch, Sage Surratt and Alex Bachman to the tune of a combined 43 catches, 572 yards and four touchdowns in two games. In percentages, that’s 89.5 percent of Hartman’s 48 completions and 92.2 percent of his yards.

So, while it’s unlikely they’ll all be decoys against Boston College, winds blowing 15-20 mph could cause some changes.

Before the season-opening game at Tulane, redshirt senior center Ryan Anderson said the biggest key to having successful drives is one first down. Once the Deacons pick up one, he said, there’s a feeling of non-stop until a touchdown.

At the core of Wake Forest’s tempo offense, the part that shouldn’t change is the full-speed approach to calling plays and getting lined up so that defenses have a limited time to adjust.

“We just have to control the things we can control and if we want to go fast after the play is over get the ball to the ref, get lined up, get the eyes on the signal and get ready for the next play,” Colburn said.

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