The Aggies missed Jarrett Johnson and Zaycoven Henderson in this game. The pass rush was non-existent. One of the nation’s leaders in team sacks could only muster three on 49 pass attempts. Wake Forest also averaged 5.1 yards per carry, again not good enough.
One other stat that completely shocks me is the Aggies did not have any tackles for loss outside of the three sacks.
With the lack of production up front put too much pressure on this group. Tyrel Dodson and Otaro Alaka combined for only 14 tackles. The Aggies had a difficult time getting Wake Forest behind the down and distance.
You thought after two possessions, the Aggies might blow those guys out. Wake had six plays for five yards. They would score points on six of their next eight drives and one of those drives would have been a scoring drive, but the Aggies blocked the field goal.
Armani Watts was hurt and Derrick Tucker missed the first half due to the targeting foul against LSU. That pushed Larry Pryor and Keldrick Carper into the starting lineup. The defense definitely felt the loss of Watts and Tucker in the first half. Wake had 385 yards of offense, 200 yards came through the air.
Once Tucker came into the game, he led the team in tackles. I can live with a safety doing that, what I cannot live with is your next three leading tacklers being from the secondary. This tells me the Aggies were dictated to the entire game.
Going through the game stats, Wake Forest had second down and 10+ twelve times. Only four of those plays were a positive for the defense. If the team you are playing is consistently in third in short and medium, you will not win.
Every time the Aggies made a play, Wake responded. When the Aggies got stops they were early in both halves. When they needed a stop late, they could not get one. A lack of pass rush and the lack of disruption in the Wake backfield put the secondary at risk.
Look for spring practice to be fun to watch a defensive scheme put in. I cannot wait for the new coordinator to fit a defense that will have everyone in the back seven back except for Armani Watts.