No. 19 Wake Forest stops Liberty’s late 2-point conversion

NCAA Football - Liberty vs Wake Forest - September 30, 2006
Getty Images
0 Comments

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Liberty scored with 1:11 left, but No. 19 Wake Forest stopped CJ Yarbrough‘s two-point conversion attempt several yards short of the goal line for a tight 37-36 home victory Saturday.

The Demon Deacons’ ground game was ineffective – 21 rushing yards on 26 attempts – so they turned to defense and a passing game, with quarterback Sam Hartman throwing for 325 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions.

Hartman became the career passing leader for Wake Forest (3-0) with more than 9,700 yards.

Liberty (2-1) pulled within a single point on a late 18-yard, fourth-down touchdown grab by Demario Douglas, who jumped high and took the ball away from two Wake defenders in the end zone. But Yarbrough was cut off by several defenders as he ran for the right corner on the two-point try.

The second half turned out to be a shootout, pitting Hartman against elusive Liberty quarterback Kaidon Salter, a former Tennessee recruit. The winning point was provided on Matthew Dennis’ extra point after a 1-yard touchdown run from Justice Ellison with 3:39 left.

The Deacons made three first-half interceptions en route to a 20-8 halftime lead, despite rushing for only one yard and yielding a safety on a blocked punt.

The Flames took their first lead on a 43-yard run Dae Dae Hunter, who escaped the grasp of one defender and raced down the middle of the field. A two-point pass put Liberty in front 23-20 less than five minutes into the second half.

“In a lot of ways, they outplayed us,” Clawson said. “We just made so many mistakes.”

Salter ran for 77 yards and one TD and passed for 192 with two TDs, often scrambling to buy extra time to throw.

Hartman said he knows he’ll have to be sharper in next Saturday’s nationally televised game against Clemson, the program that had won six straight ACC titles prior to the Deacons winning the division last year.

“The past is the past,” Hartman said. “We have to move to the future.”

THE TAKEAWAY

Liberty: Liberty was riding momentum with a 23-20 lead in the final minute of the third quarter and had Wake pinned deep after sacking Hartman. But an unnecessary roughness call – the replay didn’t show much extra contact on the sack – gave Wake new life. The Deacons converted a fourth-down pass near midfield. Later in the drive, a Liberty interception was negated by a defensive holding call. The drive ended in Dennis’ 46-yard, tying field goal.

Wake Forest: The Deacons struggled on offense, especially in the running game, a source for worry with No. 5 Clemson next on the schedule. Wake, which averaged 181 yards rushing in victories over VMI and Vanderbilt, netted a single yard on its 10 first-half carries. Liberty shut down Wake’s read-option running attack. The Deacons had only one run of more than six yards, a 13-yard Hartman scramble.

GAMBLING MAN

Liberty coach Hugh Freeze, known since his days at Ole Miss for taking chances on fourth down, took one early against Wake and paid a price. A fourth-and-2 gamble was stopped near midfield, setting up Wake’s first field goal.

When the Flames took their first lead early in the third quarter, Freeze called for a two-point conversion try that resulted in a successful pass and a 23-20 Liberty lead.

The final gamble, choosing to opt for a two-point play rather than likely overtime, came up empty.

Clawson said he wasn’t surprised Freeze decided not to play for overtime: “You’re on the road, you’re a road (under)dog, you go for two.”

UP NEXT

Liberty: Hosts Akron next Saturday.

Wake Forest: Hosts No. 5 Clemson in its ACC opener.

Texas State hires Incarnate Word coach Kinne to lead Bobcats

Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

Texas State hired Incarnate Word coach G.J. Kinne on Friday to lead a Sun Belt program that has had only one winning season since moving up to the Bowl Subdivision in 2012.

The 34-year-old former Tulsa quarterback has made a fast rise in coaching since ending his professional career in 2017.

After three years as an offensive analyst at SMU, Arkansas and the Philadelphia Eagles, Kinne became offensive coordinator at Hawaii in 2020. He held the same role for UCF in 2021 before landing the head coaching job at FCS Incarnate Word this season.

Incarnate Word is 10-1 and averaging 53 points and 8.3 yards per play, both FCS highs, heading into its playoff game Saturday against Furman. Kinne will remain with Incarnate Word through their playoff run.

“It’s with great honor that I’m accepting the call to be next head football coach of the Texas State Bobcats,” Kinne said. “We are going to play fast, have relentless energy, and when the going gets tough, have the mental confidence to win tight games in the second half and represent the state of Texas. Eat ‘Em Up!”

Texas State fired Jake Spavital last week after the Bobcats won just 13 games in his four seasons.

Kinne signed a five-year contract, the school said. Terms were not immediately released.

“My goal was to hire someone with demonstrated leadership experience, success as a head coach, established relationships with Texas football coaches, and success with recruiting and developing players,” said Texas State President Kelly Damphousse. “I sought a leader with a plan to capitalize on our location in the heart of the best high school football in the country.”

Florida Atlantic hires Tom Herman as football coach

Getty Images
0 Comments

BOCA RATON, Fla. – Former Texas and Houston head coach Tom Herman will take over at Florida Atlantic as it heads into its first season in the American Athletic Conference.

The hire comes just days after FAU fired Willie Taggart, who went 15-18 in his three seasons with the Owls. Details of the contract with Herman were not immediately available.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Tom Herman to Paradise,” FAU Director of Athletics Brian White said Thursday. “Throughout the process and the more we talked with Coach Herman, the more it became apparent to me that he was the right person to lead our football program. Beyond his knowledge of the game, which is obvious by his success over the years, he also truly cares about the young people in his program.”

FAU’s final season in Conference USA ended with a 5-7 record and an overtime loss to Western Kentucky. The Owls will be in the American next season.

Herman returns to college football after spending the 2021 season with the Chicago Bears as an offensive analyst.

Herman was 22-4 at Houston, a mark that helped him land the head coaching job at Texas where he went 32-18 with four straight bowl trips in 2017-2020. He also was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State during the Buckeyes’ 2014 national championship season, as well as stops at Iowa State, Rice and Texas State.

“All the pieces are in place at FAU for us to be successful,” Herman said. “There are already great young men on this team, great facilities, a great location, a great recruiting base and great leadership, all of which are important to building a successful program.”