#69 Wake Forest Football 2013 Preview

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Overall Rank: #69
#10 ACC

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Last season started off with such promise for the Wake Forest program, as wins over Liberty and North Carolina propelled the Demon Deacons to a 2-0 start. That seemed like so long ago. Soon the losses began to visit, although Wake Forest did upset Virginia in October. Eventually the team finished just below .500 and out of bowl eligibility, and with the transfer of some teams into the ACC the outlook remains cloudy.

2012 Record: (5-7, 3-5)
2012 Bowl: None
Coach: Jim Grobe (73-74 at Wake Forest, 103-101-1 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Steed Lobotzke
Defensive Coordinator: Brian Knorr

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Josh Harris, TB, 608 yards
Passing: Tanner Price, QB, 2,300 yards
Receiving: Michael Campanaro, WR, 763 yards
Tackles: Justin Jackson, LB, 81
Sacks: Justin Jackson, LB, 4.0; Zach Thompson, DE, 4
Interceptions: Kevin Johnson, CB, 3

Other Key Returnees: WR Brandon Terry, TE Spencer Bishop, RB Deandre Martin, OL Frank Sousa, C Whit Barnes, OL Antonio Ford, DL Nikita Whitlock, DL Kris Redding, LB Mike Olson, CB Merrill Noel, S A.J. Marshall

Key Losses: WR Terence Davis, LB Riley Haynes, CB Chibuikem Okoro, LB Joey Ehrmann

The Demon Deacons will start and end with passing this year, or so it seems, as Tanner Price leads the way. His best pass catcher, Michael Campanaro, is back for more, and second receiving threat Sherman Ragland III will be a solid ball handler. Playing games at home wasn’t a problem for Wake Forest as the team went 4-3 in its home stadium. The defensive secondary remains strong thanks to the return of linebacker Justin Jackson and his ability to find the quarterback.

When this team gives up points, it gives up points. Wake Forest was shut out twice last season by 52-0 to Florida State and 38-0 to Notre Dame. Granted, those are two teams either on the rise or at the top of their game. Whether the team was tired toward the end of the season or not wasn’t discussed much, but the fact is Wake Forest didn’t score too many points. In fact, the Deacons were held under 20 points in seven of their 12 games.

The Bottom Line:
Grobe is one of Wake Forest’s more successful coaches. The problem is his teams are in a very tough conference and there appears to be little room to move up, especially with all of the intense competition coming in. It may be by a slim margin once again, but expect Wake Forest to fall just short of its goal of six victories. And that’s with most everyone returning from last year’s team.

Projected Bowl: None

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 100.50 (113th in nation, 11th in conference)
Passing Offense: 200.83 (91, 10)
Total Offense: 301.33 (117, 11)
Scoring Offense: 18.50 (114, 12)
Rushing Defense: 166.08 (68, 9)
Pass Defense: 266.75 (100, 10)
Total Defense: 432.83 (88, 9)
Scoring Defense: 31.83 (91, 11)
Turnover Margin: 0.67 (25, 1)
Sacks: 2.08 (55, 7)
Sacks Allowed: 2.25 (81, 8)


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