#98 Wake Forest Football 2015 Preview

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Overall Rank: #98
#14 ACC

Wake Forest Team Page#98 Wake Forest Football 2015 PreviewBuy Wake Forest Football Tickets

Coach Dave Clawson enters year two of what is a very tough rebuilding job. Year one ended with three wins against Gardner-Webb, Army and a not-so-thrilling 6-3 double overtime game against Virginia Tech. Year two should include wins over Elon and Army, but the rest of the schedule is pretty tough and the offense must drastically improve if Wake Forest is going to take a step forward in 2015.

2014 Record: 3-9, 1-7
2014 Bowl: None
Coach: Dave Clawson (3-9 at Wake Forest, 93-89 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Warren Ruggiero
Defensive Coordinator: Mike Elko

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Dezmond Wortham, RB, 240 yards
Passing: John Wolford, QB, 2,037 yards
Receiving: Cam Serigne, TE, 531 yards
Tackles: Ryan Janvion, CB, 115
Sacks: Marquel Lee, LB, 4.0; Josh Banks, DL, 4.0
Interceptions: Josh Banks, DL, 1; Hunter Williams, LB, 1

Other Key Returnees: K Mike Weaver, RB Isaiah Robinson, LB Brandon Chubb, P Alexander Kinal, DL Tylor Harris

Key Losses: WR E.J. Scott, DE Zachary Allen, CB Kevin Johnson, CB Merrill Noel

Lost in the woefulness of the Demon Deacons, is the fact that the defense was not all that bad. The unit was asked to do a lot and they kept this team in more games than they should have been in during the 2014 campaign. Wake Forest only lost by ten to Louisville and 14 to Clemson. The defense kept them in those games. However, the strength was in the secondary and many of the key pieces of that unit are gone. The focus will move to the front seven, where six starters return. They are still relatively young, but there is experience now. Players like Marquel Lee and Josh Banks will have to get into the backfield and create pressure so the secondary can have some time to develop.

The offense was plain bad in 2014. They averaged a mere 14.8 points per game and the complete lack of a ground game gave Coach Clawson very few options. With an offensive line that has yet to prove anything, the ground attack may not be much better. Dezmond Wortham and Isaiah Robinson are back, but they combined for just 415 yards on 182 carries. The math on that one says less than 2.3 yards per carry. As a result, quarterback John Wolford was forced into a lot of long yardage passing situations. That turned into 14 interceptions and 45 sacks. Wolford, now a sophomore, did show improvement at the end 2014 and his interceptions dropped significantly.

The Bottom Line:
However, even the passing game could take a step back if Wake Forest fails to find new wide receivers. E.J. Scott and Matt James must be replaced. Scott caught 50 passes for 513 yards and four touchdowns, while James added 40 receptions for 401 yards. Tight end Cam Serigne is a great short yardage option and Wolford’s favorite target, but this team has to find some threats downfield. If they don’t, the Demon Deacons will not be able to get anything going on the ground again and the offense will be lucky to boost their point per game total to 20. Combined with a few questions on the defense, do not expect Wake Forest to surpass their win total from 2014.

Projected Bowl: None

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 39.9 (124th in nation, 14th in conference)
Passing Offense: 176.3 (107, 12)
Total Offense: 216.3 (125, 14)
Scoring Offense: 14.8 (124, 14)
Rushing Defense: 182.7 (81, 12)
Pass Defense: 186.6 (12, 2)
Total Defense: 369.3 (40, 9)
Scoring Defense: 26.4 (61, 12)
Turnover Margin: -0.17 (76, 11)
Sacks: 2.33 (46, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 4.00 (124, 14)


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