First-year Coach Dave Clawson got his first glimpse of what the future may hold for his Wake Forest football program in Saturday’s spring game at BB&T Field.
The Gold team–made up of the first team offense and second team defense–pulled away for a 31-12 win over the Black team behind a solid defensive effort.
The Gold team’s first touchdown of the game was on a 30-yard interception return by Thomas Brown, and its next two touchdowns were also set up after interceptions.
Brown looked solid all day, finishing with two interceptions and five tackles and broke up a passing play.
Marquel Lee, a linebacker for the Black team, finished with a game-high nine tackles and was singled out by Clawson for his performance throughout the spring.
Wake’s offense was a sore spot all of last season under Jim Grobe, who resigned last December. The Deacons averaged 18.3 points a game, which ranked 114th out of 122 Division I teams.
With plenty of holes to fill on offense and jobs to be won, there was at least a hint of a bright spot in the emerging quarterback competition.
Kevin Sousa, who was splitting reps during the game with both teams, may have emerged as the front-runner in the competition for the starting quarterback after completing 16 of 32 passes for 178 yards with one touchdown while also running for 68 yards and a score. He also threw two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
Tyler Cameron, who was the backup to Tanner Price last season, struggled throughout the game and finished with nine completions on 26 attempts for 83 yards and one touchdown, and also threw an interception.
“Sousa made a lot of plays with his feet, but he also had two bad turnovers,” Clawson said. “So that position is fluid. We’ll make a decision 10 days to two weeks before the first game. We told the freshmen (Travis Smith and John Wolford) we recruited we’ll give them a chance to compete, and we’re certainly going to give them that chance.
“I don’t know one position right now on offense where we can say ‘Hey, we’re where we need to be’. “We’ve got to get better on the O-line. We’ve got to get better at the skill positions.”
Clawson did seem to think the Deacons’ defense had a steady performance.
“I think we’re pretty good on defense,” he said. “Those two corners we have (Kevin Johnson and Merrill Noel) are good, proven players, and I think it helped our receivers to go against that caliber of player all spring.”
Clawson said he was eager to get back to work in August once practice begins.
“I wish we had 15 more (practices),”, he said. “But we’ll get them stronger, we’ll get them in shape and come back to work in August.”