College Football

more stats

 
           ***** NCAA Football Preview - Wake Forest Demon Deacons *****
 
 By Scott Haynes, Senior College Football Editor
 
 Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
 2012 SEASON IN REVIEW: With a less than stellar 2012 season, it is safe to say
 that the seat under veteran head coach Jim Grobe is getting warmer in Winston-
 Salem. Wake Forest had its moments last year, just not enough of them. The
 team finished a mere 3-5 in ACC play, good for just fourth place in the
 Atlantic Division standings. To make matters worse, a late season swoon left
 the Demon Deacons at just 5-7 overall and on the outside looking in at the
 postseason.
 
 A pair of victories over Liberty (20-17) and North Carolina (28-27) painted a
 comforting picture in early September, but a heavy dose of reality hit the
 Demon Deacons, as they were embarrassed at Florida State (52-0) in mid-
 September. A shootout victory over Army (49-37) followed the loss in
 Tallahassee, but it was consecutive setbacks to Duke (34-27) and Maryland
 (19-14) that left the Wake Forest faithful with more questions than answers.
 
 The second half began with wins over Virginia (16-10) and Boston College
 (28-14) sandwiched around a blowout loss to Clemson (42-13), but three
 straight lopsided losses to NC State (37-6), Notre Dame (38-0) and Vanderbilt
 (55-21) left the Demon Deacons without a chair when the postseason music came
 to a stop.
 
 2013 ANALYSIS:
 
 OFFENSE: Wake was plagued by inconsistencies along the offensive line and key
 injuries last season. The hope is that the return of eight starters, all
 healthy, will help things improve dramatically in 2013, after the team
 averaged just over 300 yards of offense in 2012.
 
 It all starts with quarterback Tanner Price, who needs to bounce back from a
 sub par junior season in which he completed 55.6 percent of his throws for
 2,300 yards, with 12 interceptions against seven interceptions.
 
 It will certainly aid Price's quest for redemption that senior wideout Mike
 Campanaro returns to the mix. The 5-11, 195-pounder missed two games last year
 but was still far and away the most productive receiver on the roster and one
 of the top in the ACC for that matter, amassing 79 receptions, for 763 yards
 and six TDs, en route to Second-Team All-ACC honors.
 
 The receiving corps is an area that needs to develop according to Grobe, who
 brought in former Purdue All-American Taylor Stubblefield to get more out the
 position. The NCAA record-holder in career catches (316) has been impressed
 particularly with Campanaro.
 
 "He does a great job. He doesn't talk a lot and does what he's supposed to
 do," said Stubblefield. "We're going to try and get him to be more vocal and
 to be a leader this year. Camp will go the extra mile, now he just needs to
 bring someone with him."
 
 The offense received a big boost with the return of tailback Josh Harris to
 the team. Harris led the team in rushing last season (6-8 yards, five TDs),
 but was ruled academically ineligible over the summer, before having his
 eligibility restored recently.
 
 "I feel good for Josh," said Grobe. "I was worried about him. Our No. 1 goal
 is to win the ACC Championship, but we want guys to graduate. We've got to get
 him through the trainers and get them and the doctors to give him the green
 light (to practice). He's got to go through the acclimatization that the other
 guys had to go through."
 
 DEFENSE: The defensive side of the football will also return eight starters
 from 2012, but that is a unit that yielded a ghastly 432.8 yards per game last
 year. The hope is that a veteran core can get things shored up in 2013.
 
 The strength of the defense is in the back seven. The linebacking corps
 features the team's top two returning tacklers in seniors Justin Jackson (82
 tackles, four sacks) and Mike Olson (78 tackles, one sack). The play in the
 secondary will be highlighted by all-conference honorable mention DBs AJ
 Marshall (76 tackles, two INTs) and Kevin Johnson (58 tackles, 15 PBU, two
 INTs).
 
 The play along the defensive line is key in Wake Forest's 3-4 base defense and
 the top contributors are likely to include senior tackle Nikita Whitlock (51
 tackles, 3.0 sacks) and senior ends Zach Thompson (52 tackles, 4.0 sacks) and
 Kris Redding (30 tackles, 3.5 sacks).
 
 SPECIAL TEAMS: Place kicker Chad Hedlund did see some action as a freshman
 last season, converting all three of his field-goal attempts (long of 44
 yards) and 10-of-11 PATs. He should hold down the job as a sophomore. Alex
 Kinal saw much more action as a freshman in 2012, as the team's lone punter.
 The 6-4, 210-pound youngster averaged 40.7 yards per attempt and placed 28 of
 his 95 punts inside the opposition's 20-yard line.
 
 OUTLOOK: Grobe has to be feeling the heat after 12 seasons in Winston-Salem.
 Last year however, was a bit of an aberration, as Grobe has led Wake to more
 ACC wins (40) and bowl wins (3) than any other coach in school-history.
 
 He should be able to add to those numbers this season, especially with a non-
 conference slate that features three very winnable games in Presbyterian, ULM
 and Army. The final game of the season is against rival Vanderbilt in
 Nashville and is never an easy task.
 
 The ACC slate has its share of pitfalls as well. Home dates include NC State,
 Maryland, Florida State and Duke, with road trips to Boston College, Clemson,
 Miami-Florida and Syracuse closing out the set.
 
 The hope in Winston-Salem is that a sluggish offense gets jump-started and
 close losses last year turn into victories.
 
 
 
 08/19 09:22:04 ET

Other Stories

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Today at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls at Norfolk

    Today at 1:05 pm on 620am

  • NBA: Bobcats at Miami

    Today at 3:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox

    Tonight at 7:05 on 99.9 The Fan

  • MiLB: Bulls at Charlotte

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
DUR
 
3:30pm Today
MIA
CHA
Final
WAS 3
STL 4
Final
CLE 0
TOR 5
Final
DET 5
ANA 2
Final
BOS 4
BAL 2
Final
KAN 5
MIN 4
Final
CHC 8
CIN 4
Final
OAK 4
HOU 3
Final
PIT 7
MIL 8
Final
NYM 5
ATL 7
Final
TAM 16
NYY 1
Final
MIA 7
SEA 0
Final
TEX 6
CWS 3
Final
LOS 8
ARI 6
Final
COL 3
PHI 1
Final
SDP 3
SFG 1
1:05pm Today
CLE
TOR
 
1:08pm Today
DET
ANA
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
ATL
 
1:10pm Today
MIA
SEA
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
MIL
 
1:35pm Today
WAS
STL
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
NYY
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
MIN
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
CIN
 
3:05pm Today
TEX
CWS
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
HOU
 
4:10pm Today
LOS
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
COL
PHI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
 
7:05pm Tonight
BOS
BAL
 
Final
TOR 87
BRK 94
Final
LAC 105
GSW 109
Final
IND 93
ATL 101
Final
OKC 100
MEM 86
1:00pm Today
SAN
DAL
3:30pm Today
MIA
CHA
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
WAS
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
POR
Final
STL 4
CHI 3
Final
PIT 3
CLB 4
Final
COL 4
MIN 2
12:00pm Today
NYR
PHI
3:00pm Today
BOS
DET
7:00pm Tonight
MON
TAM
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
LOS
Final
NOR 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
DUR