Sunday, August 10, 2008
Grobe, Wake Forest Go For Third Straight Bowl
ACC Atlantic #2 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
2007 Results and Offseason
Wake enjoyed their second straight bowl and a nine win season in '07. The Deacons beat FSU for a second straight season and just missed out on a second straight ACCCG appearance. Wake Forest didn't bring in a great recruiting class, but Jim Grobe has proven over the years what he can do with marginal talent.
2007 Record: 9-4, 5-3
Ret. Starters: 14
Ret. Lettermen: 44
Off PPG 28.1 (3rd), RYPG 121.5 (8th), PYPG 218.4 (7th)
Def PPG 26.0 (9th), RYPG 94.6 (3rd), PYPG 263.8 (11th)
Offense (5 Ret. Starters 18 Ret. Lettermen)
Riley Skinner is back for his junior season and should garner All-ACC consideration again. Skinner led the NCAA in completion percentage at 72.4% a year ago. Brett Hodges is the backup and was barely beaten out by Skinner two years ago. Also back is leading rusher from a year ago Josh Adams. Adams had 11 TD and was the home threat while the departed Micah Andrews was the grinder. The Deacs lose their top two receivers including Kenny Moore who played just about every skill position in his time in Winston-Salem. The leading returner is Chip Brinkman. The o-line loses three starters from a year ago and the loss of C Steve Justice will especially hurt. O-line cohesion plays a big role in Grobe's misdirection offense.
Defense (9 Ret. Starters 24 Ret. Lettermen)
Wake has switched to a 4-3 defense after gaining depth along the line over the last few seasons. Two starters must be replaced. NT Boo Robinson returns from injury in '07. The LB unit is led by Aaron Curry who led the team in TFL with 10.5. Curry was also the second leading tackler and returns with fellow seniors Chantz McClinic and Stanley Arnoux. The secondary returns 2nd team AA Alphonso Smith at one corner and leading tackler SS Chip Vaughn. The other corner Brandon Ghee led with 10 pass break ups in '07. The defense returns the top five tacklers and 9 of the top 10 from a year ago.
Sam Swank could be All-ACC at punter and kicker this season. The senior was 18-21 a year ago in PK. The Deacs will have to find a new punt returner with the graduation of Moore. Smith will likely return kicks.
Newcomers of Note
Wake never has top rated recruiting classes, but have still outpaced most of their ACC opponents in wins over the years.
Wake opens the year @Baylor followed by home vs Ole Miss. Additionally, they face vNavy and vVandy in the non-conference. From the Coastal they draw @Miami, vDuke, vUVA. After an Oct 4 bye, Wake plays 8 straight. The Deacs game at Maryland could mean the difference between a 2nd or 4th place finish.
Offensively, Wake has to replace a lot but a returning starter at QB can get them by early. The defense should be much improved over a year ago with nine returners. If you look at Wake's stats they should be a nine win team, but they do great in the turnover battle and maximize opportunities. If I am preparing for one game in the ACC, I want Grobe on my side.
Likely Wins: @Baylor, vDuke, vUVA
Likely Loss: None
Next Up - ACC Coastal #1