2005 Preview: Wake Forest

Head coach Jim Grobe will try to lead the pesky Demon Deacons back to the postseason.

2004 RECORD: 4-7 overall, 1-7 ACC (T-10th).

HEAD COACH: Jim Grobe, 55-58-1 overall in nine seasons; 22-25 in four seasons at Wake Forest.

KEY ADDITIONS: OL Chris Degeare, CB Brandon Ghee, RB Kevin Harris, QB Brett Hodges, WR Jonathon Jones, TE Ted Randolph.

KEY LOSSES: WR Jason Anderson, C Blake Lingruen, CB Eric King, CB Marcus Magruder, LB Brad White.

OFFENSE: Baring any foreseen mishap, Chris Barclay should finish as the Deacons' all-time leading rusher. Despite coming off the bench most of last season, it appears Ben Mauk will take over the starting duties at quarterback, replacing senior Cory Randolph. Grobe wants to balance his offense, which has predominantly relied on rushing more than just about any team in the ACC. A receiver or two has to step forward for the Deacs to improve their offense, which finished ninth in the ACC last season.

DEFENSE: This unit has been consistently undersized, which has presented all sorts of problems in stopping the run, but Matt Robinson and Jeremy Thompson offer some hope and improvement. Middle linebacker Jon Abbate finished fourth in the ACC in tackles last year. A major bright spot are safties Josh Gattis Patrick Ghee, who are one of the best tandems in the league. But it still may not be enough the defense, which only has two seniors.

BY THE NUMBERS: 109 – Where the Deacons ranked out of 117 teams with just 145.2 yards passing per game last season.

WHAT TO WATCH: If Wake Forest is to reach another bowl under Grobe, winning all three non-conference games is a must. And it won't be easy with a trip to Nebraska in the mix.

PREDICTION: 3-8 overall, 1-7 ACC (6th in Atlantic).

RB Chris Barclay

QB Ben Mauk

WR Kevin Marion

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