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Thursday, October 9, 2008
Halftime report: Wake Forest 3, Clemson 0

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- You know those invisible fences that halt snarling, slobbering dogs right in their tracks, just when you think your left leg stands no chance?

That's what Wake Forest's offense has looked like it's been running into in the first half against Clemson. The Demon Deacons have come barreling downfield only to be stopped just shy of the end zone.

It's probably hurting injured kicker Sam Swank to watch from the sideline more than it would to go out there and boot it. His backup, Shane Popham, has missed 2 of 3 field goal attempts, but the first one was because of a botched snap.

The most impressive aspect of this game so far has been the Demon Deacons' defense. Clemson hasn't mustered one third-down conversion yet and has just 67 yards of total offense. Wake's veteran defensive line is creating major problems for Clemson's young, inexperienced line, and James Davis and C.J. Spiller are going nowhere.

Both Spiller and left guard Cory Lambert are out for the rest of the game with injuries. If Wake Forest can't take advantage of that, it's in trouble.

The best playmaker, arguably, on the field right now is Riley Skinner. He's making plays with his feet, he's completed 9 of 13 passes. Heck, he even lined up at wideout and almost caught a touchdown.

Almost.

The Demon Deacons have been getting clever with their offensive playbook, as they've lined several different players up to take the snap. It's something they've been working on all week at practice, and it seemed like they continued to practice it in the first quarter before Jordan Williams attempted the touchdown pass to Skinner.

Clemson's creativity -- the fake punt -- didn't go over so well. The direct snap to safety Michael Hamlin resulted in 0 yards.