Before the season a game between Army and Wake Forest in the second half of the season would not have been one too many fans would have been overly excited about. With both teams doing better than expected though this is a late October matchup that matters.
Season so far
The Demon Deacons come into this showdown with Army at an impressive 5-2 on the season. The secret to Wake Forest's success has been their play out of conference where they stand undefeated at 3-0. All three of those games came in the first month of the season. An opening day grind led to a 7-3 victory over Tulane before the Demon Deacons stepped into ACC play and shocked Duke in Durham 24-14. That is the same Duke side that beat Army 13-6 earlier this month.
An FCS foe was the next victim of Wake Forest as the Demon Deacs scored a season high in beating Delaware 38-21. The offense continued to be the strength of the team the following weekend as a trip to Indiana of the Big Ten resulted in 33-28 Wake victory.
October has been less kind to Wake Forest, though the Demon Deacons have lost to two of the best teams in the ACC. Defeats at the hands of NC State (33-16) and #14 Florida State (17-6) surrounded a 29-8 victory over Syracuse that leaves Wake 2-2 in ACC play. The game against Army is followed by four more ACC games, including matchups against two of the Top 5 teams in the nation.
Injuries and Suspensions
Wake Forest comes into this game off the back of a bye that has given the team time to get healthy. The big question is whether the game has come too soon for Wake quarterback Kendell Hinton, the Demon Deacons preferred starter at the position. Hinton played in the first three games of the season (all wins) before suffering a knee sprain. Hinton has been practicing with the team, but Wake may also try to take a medical red-shirt for the quarterback, but that would mean he cannot play at all in the second half of the season. If Hinton cannot (or is chosen not) to go, then John Wolford will be the signal caller on Saturday.
Teams are either scheduling Army in a smart way or the Black Knights are just the victims of a scheduling coincidence. Wake is the second team in a row that Army will face coming off of their bye, against giving the team more time to prepare to defense the option. The Demon Decons defense has been good this year and this extra time to study Army may mean the option is slowed down again. Another issue here is that Wake knows it is one win from bowl eligibility and that Army represents maybe its best chance of hitting that six-win mark. Overcoming this is going to be a tough task.