2011-2012 Football Previews – Atlantic Coast Conference – Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Edsall comes to College Park after building the program at the University of Connecticut basically from the ground up. He was the 2010 Big East Coach of the Year and looks to assert a Terps team that has an excellent underclassmen quarterback, but not much else.
ACC 2011-12 Football Previews: Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Coach: Jim Grobe
2010 Record: 3-9
Wake Forest Gambling Odds from Sportsbook.com to win BCS: +5000
Wake Forest Team Page – Players Stats – Roster – 2011 Schedule –>
Wake Forest is a football program that thrives on experience and upperclassmen. Most Deacons players graduate and the vast majority stay on to play for their senior seasons. Having said that, Wake was a highly inexperienced group in 2010, and it showed with its three-win output.
Poor QB Tanner Price was rather thrown to the wolves as a freshman, but this group learned lessons the hard way and should be tougher and more savvy this season.
Grobe is a coach that has a knack for getting more out of less. As usual, there isn’t a ton of conventional talent, thanks to Wake’s small facilities and tiny campus more than anything. Yet, Grobe can maximize what he has and he will probably whip this team into shape so the Deacons will at least give conference opponents a lively match-up.
Grobe utilized the option on offense last year, but it sort of backfired after significant injuries ground QB down to their fourth-stringer at one point. Price had a very freshman-like 2010 with 1,349 yards and a 7-8 ratio, but he should be much improved this year and he has highly-touted Kevin Sousa (who chose Wake Forest over Michigan) to push him.
The running game should cruise this year under the purview of sophomore Josh Harris. Harris had 720 yards and seven scores last year, and this time he will be running behind a veteran offensive line that features the likes of RT Doug Weaver and guard Joe Looney. Harris could very well crack 1,000 yards rushing.
Junior K Jimmy Newman should cement his hold on the starting role, after nailing his last 11 consecutive field goals to close out last season.
Wake Forest’s defense just sucked last year. In 2011, the Deacons could make large strides in each positional group, and they need to. The “D” shifted schemes in the middle of the season in 2010 and they got gouged by the run and pass.
The improvement must be sparked by nose tackle Nikita Whitlock (an interesting specimen at 5”11, 260-lbs), LB Kyle Wilber and S Cyhl Quarles. Quarles was the team’s second-leading tackler a year ago, so hopefully he can lead by example.
The Deacons will run a 3-4 defense in 2011.
2011-12 Wake Forest Football Prediction: 3-9
Grobe likely will get this team back to respectability with the experience and integrity that he’s known for, but it is going to be difficult to make any headway in 2011.
Wake Forest’s schedule this season is pretty brutal; the Deacons get their usual slate of ACC bullies and they also draw Syracuse and Notre Dame out-of-conference, whom they could both quite possibly lose to.
If Wake’s defense makes progress, the team will be much better because Price will be more adjusted with a year under his belt and Harris and the O-line should grind out yards.
But every ACC program has a decent chunk of talent, and though you have to admire how Wake Forest goes about its business, the fact of the matter is that its chunk seems a bit smaller than everyone else’s.
2011 Wake Forest Demon Deacons Schedule
9/1/11 8:00 PM ET @SYR
9/10/11 3:30 PM ET NCST
9/17/11 6:30 PM ET GWEBB
10/1/11 12:00 PM ET @BCOLL
10/8/11 12:00 PM ET FSU
10/15/11 12:00 PM ET VATCH
10/22/11 12:00 PM ET @DUKE
10/29/11 12:00 PM ET @NCAR
11/5/11 12:00 PM ET NOTRE
11/12/11 12:00 PM ET @CLEM
11/19/11 12:00 PM ET MD
11/26/11 12:00 PM ET VAN