In this series we will look at the Black Knights football opponents for the 2016 season. Today the school we are looking at is Wake Forest.
Date/time/location/TV: October 29, BB&T Field, Winston-Salem, NC, Time and TV TBA.
2015 Record: 3-9 (1-7 ACC)
Head Coach: Dave Clawson. Third year at Wake Forest (6-18).
Series History: Wake leads the all-time series 11-4.
Last Meeting: The Wake Forest game was one of many the Black knights would have liked to have back as Army lost 17-14 on a field goal as time expired.
Top Returners: QB John Wolford (Jr.) 1,791 yards and 9 passing TDs. QB Kendall Hinton (So.) 929 yards passing and 4 TDs, 478 yards rushing and 7 rushing TDs. DE Duke Ejiofor (Jr.) 20.5 tackles, 7.5 TFLs, and 4.5 sacks. MLB Marquel Lee (Sr.) 54 tackles, 10 TFLs, and 3 sacks.
Key Losses: RG Dylan Intermann, 39 career starts. LB Brandon Chubb, 79.5 tackles, 8.5 TFLs, and 0.5 sacks.
What You Need To Know: To say Wake Forest has been going through a youth movement over the last two seasons is something of an understatement. The 2016 version of the Demon Deacons is likely to be the most experienced version yet under third-year head coach Dave Clawson, and it will still likely see just two senior starters on offense.
This goes to show just how bad the team was when Clawson took over. The defense has been better under his stewardship, but the offense is still very much a work in progress. In 2016 the starting QB nod will first go to junior John Wolford, but with the caveat that sophomore (and the more mobile) Kendall Hinton will also see playing time from the first game onward.
Hinton will be used because he gives Wake legitimacy in the run game. While he will need to improve massively as a passer to be taken seriously as a quarterback, putting Hinton on the field with one of the four running backs that saw time in 2015 will give the Demon Deacons at least one facet of the offense that works as intended.
Defensively the Decons want the opposition to run the ball. They return all the defensive linemen that matter, and though a couple of big TFL players are gone, MLB Marquel Lee is back to tackle anything that comes through the line.
The pass defense is still something of a question mark. Opponents knew they didn't have to risk passing much on Wake last year because the Demon Deacons couldn't move the ball on offense. Wake does, however, boast a couple of impressive risk/reward types at cornerback and if teams can be made to pass more, and if a pass rush emerges, then Brad Watson, in particular, could thrive.
2015 Stats That Matter: Defensive points per game 43rd; Offensive points per game 120th.
Fun Fact: Freshman at Wake Forest take part in an epic game of capture the flag using the library as a base during orientation.
Famous Alumni: Tim Duncan (Future NBA Hall of Famer), Arnold Palmer (Golfer), Al Hunt (Political Journalist).