Caulton Tudor

Deacons, Gamecocks go ugly early

Posted August 29, 2014

The first play from the line of scrimmage in the Dave Clawson era at Wake Forest occurred but yet did not occur Thursday at Louisiana-Monroe.

It was a delay of game penalty from the Deacons’ 15-yard-line, and only the second omen of doom in the opener for the new coach.

The first blunder came when Wake won the coin flip, elected to receive, only to get a measly 14-yard return by freshman Tyler Henderson. That set the stage for freshman quarterback John Wolford’s miscommunication with the sidelines and the ensuing 5-yard delay penalty.

Wake eventually absorbed a 17-10 loss to its Sun Belt Conference host and the offense hardly improved as the night unfolded.

The Deacs wound up with five first downs and 94 yards total offense. As first impressions go, it was among the most dreadful in ACC football history. Which is saying something.

ULM quarterback Pete Thomas, the transfer from N.C. State by way of Colorado State, hardly wowed anyone in his debut with the Warhawks but didn’t throw an interception while completing 23 of 41 passes for 189 yards.

Thomas was hindered by an injury to Rashon Ceaser, the team’s top receiver and a Biletnikoff Award candidate. But overall, Thomas took care of the ball better than he did for the Wolfpack last season in a 28-13 loss at Wake, where he threw two interceptions to offset 257 yards passing and a touchdown strike to Quinton Payton.

In preseason, Clawson and his players foresaw early success against a meager non-ACC schedule that includes Gardner-Webb next, Utah State and Army in addition to Louisiana-Monroe.

So much for that sort of optimism. Unless the offense improves quickly, 0-12 is a genuine possibility.

For Pirates, grin or grimace?

Were ECU head coach Ruffin McNeill and offensive guru Lincoln Riley smiling or sobbing as they watched TV coverage of South Carolina’s defensive disaster in a 52-28 loss to Texas A&M Thursday in the Gamecocks’ Williams-Brice Stadium?

After opening Saturday in Greenville against N.C. Central, the Pirates will go Columbia next weekend for the first of three potentially nationally significant non-AAC games.

The offensive system Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin and offensive coordinator Jake Spavital use is a virtual duplicate of ECU’s. All four coaches – McNeill, Riley, Sumlin and Spavital – are no longer Conference USA cohorts and stalwarts. But their offensive strategies haven’t changed a bit from the days Sumlin was at Houston and Spavital was on his staff after having previously worked at Tulsa, another CUSA team.

Against the Gamecocks’ highly touted but generally inexperienced defense, new Aggie quarterback Kenny Hill was dazzling – 44-of-60 for 511 yards passing and three touchdowns. Johnny Manziel himself couldn’t have done more.

Meanwhile, Aggie running backs repeatedly darted into South Carolina’s weary secondary for double-digit yardage gains.

Steve Spurrier was left puzzled, irritated and probably worse for the Pirates, embarrassed.

"I think our players are better than what they showed, but I don't know," Spurrier told reporters. "We have no pass rush, coverage was so-so and (the Aggies) knew what they were doing."

The ball coach also got a taste of his verbal medicine when Spavital said, "I thought the kids went out there and had some fun. And they're a fun group of kids to watch."

It sure as heck was no fun from where Spurrier watched, and he knows similar breakdowns are at least a possibility against ECU’s Shane Carden and Justin Hardy.

It may turn out that Thursday was a disgusting Gamecocks reality check that winds up landing on the Pirates’ tab.

15 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • hokiesvt94@gmail.com Aug 30, 5:00 p.m.

    Kinda happy that the South Carolina team lost.

  • bwhite88 Aug 29, 9:49 p.m.

    SC got completely dominated.. only scored on a couple of explosive plays basically. Wouldn't... View More

    — Posted by abwhite88

    Couldn't have happened to a more deserving and arrogant person!

    — Posted by Wheelman

    Or fanbase, or dump of a town. Is it any wonder he wa at pukE?

    — Posted by White Is Not A Crime

    I'm confused.. lol

  • White Is Not A Crime Aug 29, 9:27 p.m.

    SC got completely dominated.. only scored on a couple of explosive plays basically. Wouldn't... View More

    — Posted by abwhite88

    Couldn't have happened to a more deserving and arrogant person!

    — Posted by Wheelman

    Or fanbase, or dump of a town. Is it any wonder he wa at pukE?

  • StunGunn Aug 29, 7:43 p.m.

    "...but didn’t throw an interception while completing 23 of 41 passes for 189 yards."

    Probably... View More

    — Posted by Doc Holliday

    +1 :)

  • Doc Holliday Aug 29, 7:14 p.m.

    "...but didn’t throw an interception while completing 23 of 41 passes for 189 yards."

    Probably didn't have any left after his run through Fort Collins & Raleigh.

  • Hammerhead Aug 29, 4:57 p.m.

    Pete Thomas finally beat an ACC team!

    — Posted by dave437

    OK - that's funny.

    — Posted by StunGunn

    Hammer laft also when he read it earlier.

  • StunGunn Aug 29, 4:55 p.m.

    Pete Thomas finally beat an ACC team!

    — Posted by dave437

    OK - that's funny.

  • lewiskr45 Aug 29, 4:05 p.m.

    As a Clemson Tiger offspring - great job A&M.

    — Posted by 75Tarheel

    Doing something Clemson hasn't been able to do in years

  • Hammerhead Aug 29, 3:27 p.m.

    SC got completely dominated.. only scored on a couple of explosive plays basically. Wouldn't... View More

    — Posted by abwhite88

    Couldn't have happened to a more deserving and arrogant person!

    — Posted by Wheelman

    I enjoy it myself.

  • Wheelman Aug 29, 3:06 p.m.

    SC got completely dominated.. only scored on a couple of explosive plays basically. Wouldn't... View More

    — Posted by abwhite88

    Couldn't have happened to a more deserving and arrogant person!

More...

 

 

  • ACC: Clemson at NC State

    Wednesday at 9:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • HSBB: Broughton at Leesville Road

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 620am

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Tampa Bay

    Tomorrow at 7:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: Duke at Notre Dame

    Wednesday at 7:30 pm on 620am

  • ACC: NC State vs. Clemson

    Wednesday at 9:00 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
7:00pm Tonight
NCCU
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNC
SYR
 
Final
CHI 84
MIA 96
Final
CLE 108
OKC 98
Final
NOP 109
DAL 106
Final
ORL 99
IND 106
Final
PHO 100
LAC 120
Final
ATL 112
MIN 100
Final
TOR 114
DET 110
Final
SAN 101
MIL 95
Final
GSW 114
BOS 111
Final
DEN 115
WAS 117
Final
LAL 87
HOU 99
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
POR
 
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
SAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
MIN
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
ORL
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
PHI
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
BOS
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
DEN
 
Final
UCONN 66
SFLA 53
Final
GT 62
BC 64
Final
VT 47
UVA 50
Final
OSU 82
IND 70
Final
UCF 46
CIN 56
Final
WICHS 74
DRAK 40
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
MAR 73
FAIR 67
 
Final
HART 61
MAINE 70
 
Final
MAN 71
MON 64
 
Final
PRIN 96
ROWAN 48
 
Final
SIENA 55
PETE 69
 
Final
RIU 53
BONA 48
Final
BING 54
USB 61
 
Final
MLOWELL 50
VERM 61
 
Final
BUT 77
SHU 57
Final
SALA 55
YALE 72
 
Final
PITT 68
LOU 80
Final
ILLST 53
NIOWA 54
Final
GTDNS 69
UMBC 55
 
Final
IONA 87
NIAG 64
 
Final
TENST 55
BEL 63
 
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
Final
VILL 71
CREI 50
Final
MD 68
NW 67
Final
UTAH 77
WASH 56
7:00pm Tonight
AMER
ARMY
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
CLST
 
7:00pm Tonight
NCCU
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
PBY
HIGH
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNC
SYR
 
7:00pm Tonight
DET
WRST
 
7:30pm Tonight
NCAT
COPST
 
7:30pm Tonight
SCST
HAMP
 
7:30pm Tonight
COOK
HOW
 
7:30pm Tonight
NWST
NICST
 
8:00pm Tonight
NO
CARK
 
8:00pm Tonight
CAMP
GWEBB
 
8:00pm Tonight
FAM
MDES
 
8:00pm Tonight
INCWORD
MCNST
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAV
NORST
 
8:00pm Tonight
ABCHRIST
SHSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAM
STEPH
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
TAMCC
 
8:05pm Tonight
VALPO
UWMIL
 
8:30pm Tonight
ALAAM
ALCOR
 
8:30pm Tonight
ALAST
SOUTH
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARKPB
PVU
 
9:00pm Tonight
ISU
TEX
 
9:00pm Tonight
MVSU
TXSOU
 
Final
TEAMFOLI 12
TEAMTOEWS 17
Final
CARTER 28
IRVIN 32