Friday, November 03, 2006

Looking back: Wake Forest 2004

As regular readers know, I can usually talk my wife into one road trip a year. In 2004 we drove to Winston-Salem for the BC-Wake game. The drive up was bad and our hotel was worse. We hoped things would get better come game time. They didn't.

Set up
BC entered the game flying high. This was their final year in the Big East and the team started 3-0. Some fans (including me) looked ahead at the schedule and realized we could end up in a BCS game. We were also in the middle of the all too short Paul Peterson era. The JUCO transfer entered the game 6-0 as a starter and carried that “we can’t lose with him as QB” aura about him.

Wake entered the game at 2-1.

At this point BC already knew they were headed to the ACC. BC was also short on home games. Gene tried to get this game played at Alumni, but Wake was not interested in flipping dates.

What happened?
BC moved the ball and accumulated 451 total yards. However, the offense kept stalling in the Red Zone. BC sent out Freshman Kicker Ryan Ohliger to capitalize. He missed all three FGs he attempted with each one looking worse than the attempt before. Ohliger’s final miss came with a little over 3 minutes left. Guess what happened next? Wake slowly moved the ball, before connecting on a 40-yard TD with a minute left.

What were the long-term implications?
This was the first indicator of how fragile Ryan Ohliger’s psyche was (yet we still kept sending him out there). It didn’t impact BC’s Big East standings, but it should’ve served as a warning to those hopeful fans (like me) to not get their hopes up.