Deacs Struggling, but Still Dangerous

The Demon Deacons may have one last chance to keep this from becoming a long season.

After a discouraging 22-12 home loss to Maryland last weekend, a game which the Deacons resembled some of their inept teams of the 1990s, there is a challenge to keep spirits up and effort continuing.

Up next: the Clemson Tigers in another home tilt this Saturday at Groves Stadium.

And it doesn't get any easier after that given that Florida State looms the following week.

"Good teams don't make mistakes," said defensive end Matt Robinson, referring to the turnovers, penalties, missed tackles and assorted other woes from the first four games of the season.

"I don't think we're a bad team. I think we have made way too many mistakes and that's caused a lot of problems. We have to get better."

Penalties were especially critical last weekend against Maryland, one even negated a 73-yard touchdown run. The Terps also returned a fumble for a touchdown, then scored a field goal on another turnover.

"It was shades of Nebraska again where everything you did went wrong," said Deacons' coach Jim Grobe, who might be facing his biggest uphill fight with his team since taking over the program. "It was one of those deals where everything we did to shoot ourselves in the foot worked. We shot ourselves in the foot really well.

"And then it seems like every time we had a big play, there was a penalty involved. So we've got some work to do."

LOOKING GOOD: Despite a 1-3 start to the 2005 season, the Deacs' kicking game continues to be solid. Wake Forest produced 127 yards on kickoff returns last weekend against Maryland, and punter Ryan Plackemeier was outstanding, averaging 47.4 yards on eight punts. In addition, Maryland netted just 13 return yards.

ROSTER REPORT: The Deacons may have lost OT Louis Frazier (knee), a second-team lineman, with a serious knee injury. He had to be helped off the field Saturday and indications were that it was an MCL or ACL injury. To fill the possible void, sophomore Eric Gaskins will move into the position in backup role.

NEW KID IN TOWN: Senior Cory Randolph is expected to see significant time at quarterback this weekend as opposed to sophomore Ben Mauk. Jim Grobe said of the move this week, "We've gone through four games and we're 1-3. When we're not winning, nothing stays status quo, and that's not just at the quarterback position. We have to find a combination that helps us win football games, and so we're not going to just sit on our hands for 11 games and look back on the season and wonder what happened." Top Stories