Wake Forest respects Army

Despite Wake Forest's 0-2 start, coach Jim Grobe thinks this team is playing better than last year's started off. That's a scary thought because the Demon Deacons won a school-record 11 games in 2006 and won its first Atlantic Coast Conference championship since 1970.

Wake Forest has lost games to top 25 teams Boston College and Nebraska.

Meanwhile, Army enters Winston-Salem this weekend 1-1 with a season-opening loss to Akron and an unimpressive 14-7 overtime win over Division I-AA Rhode Island last week. Still, Wake Forest, which still figures to be an ACC contender, isn't overlooking the Black Knights.

"I've played against those guys a lot, and I know how hard they're going to play," Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe said. "I know how proud they are. I'm trying to relay that to our players so they know what's coming to town, that these guys are not coming in afraid of Wake Forest. They're coming in to get a win, and they'll play as hard as any team we'll play all year."

That's true. Just take a look back at Army's near-miss upset against Texas A&M last year or Iowa State the year before.

"The coaches have been saying all week that this is going to be the hardest-nosed group of guys coming in, they definitely aren't scared of Wake Forest being 0-2," said Wake Forest tight end John Tereshinski said. "They'll be coming in ready to play, so they'll definitely be trying to knock us around. The practice week is going to be tough."

Still, it's no coincidence that Wake Forest scheduled Army as its homecoming game. Army has not defeated an ACC team since beating Duke in 1996, Army's last winning season, and hasn't won against an ACC team on the road since beating Virginia in 1957. Wake Forest has won four straight in the series and leads 6-4 overall. Army is 0-3 in Winston-Salem.

The key for Army will again be its offense. It has shown signs of light under new offensive coordinator Tim Walsh, but 14 points against a Division I-AA team isn't going to cut it in the long run. Army couldn't mount a rushing game against Rhode Island. Quarterback David Pevoto was ineffective, leaving the game with an ankle injury.

Sophomore Carson Williams replaced him and led the Black Knights to victory, but he still has improving to do. That lead us to Army's defense, the unit has done a great job. But if Army's offense doesn't get it going, Army's defense, any defense, will tire out.

That can't happen against Wake Forest or it will be a long day down there in Carolina. Beating the Demon Deacons is a difficult proposition, but the defending ACC champs swear they aren't overlooking the proud Black Knights.

Like coach (Grobe) said, they're not going to be afraid, they have something really serious to do," Wake Forest running back Josh Adams said. "He just really wants us to be prepared and be ready to play some hard-nose football."

Extra points: Wake Forest starting quarterback Riley Skinner is expected to miss his second straight game with a separated shoulder. Brett Hodges would replace him. Skinner was named the ACC newcomer of the year in 2006.


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