Grobe Looking for Spark

When things aren't going quite as planned and a team is 1-3 in its first four games, expect changes to be made. That's exactly what Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe is doing for his team's game against Clemson Saturday.

Grobe announced that there will be several position changes on both sides of the ball, not just at quarterback, where fifth-year senior and two-year starter Cory Randolph will be the starter after playing the first few games at wide receiver. He replaces Ben Mauk, who has struggled to lead the offense to any sort of consistency.

"Our main concern is that we're not going to stay status quo when we're not winning," Grobe said. "It's obviously not always the quarterback that's at fault, but I think Cory has worked hard and he's been pretty positive about everything. We're just going to give Cory a chance, being a fifth-year senior, here to play against Clemson and see where we go from there."

The poor start includes losses Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt and Maryland, teams that aren't considered to be world beaters. At least two, if not all there, were winnable, thus, the changes.

"There are going to be some different kids either starting this Saturday or just playing a little bit more football," Grobe said. "But I think we have to continue to make every position competitive if we're going to find a way to improve."

Grobe said expect to see more young receivers and linebackers. But all the outside focus is on the new quarterback.

"We won't change anything (offensively)," he said. "Cory and Ben are very similar. They both run fairly well and both have good arm strength, so I would not see us changing much offensively. …

"I hope that Cory being a senior could come in and give us a little spark, but I don't know that. I try to tell everybody that with Ben, had we caught the ball a little bit better and blocked a little bit better for the running game and in protection, we probably wouldn't be in this situation right now.

"Just moving Cory to the starter and moving Ben down isn't something that we're looking to as the answer. It's really just a matter of things aren't going good and when things aren't going well, we're not going to stay status quo. We're going to try to find the right combination. And we're looking at ourselves as coaches, also. We're not just looking to move players around."

The fact that Wake Forest has gotten off to such a poor start has caught several folks a little by surprise, including Grobe, himself.

He expected his team to have been more competitive than it has.

"I'm a little bit confused, to be honest with you," he said. "Even Tuesday at practice, just watching our kids run around and watching the kids that are on the field, I feel like we've got more team speed than we've had in the past overall. We still don't have the depth on the offensive and defensive lines I'd like to have, but I think from a talent perspective, we're every bit as talented as we have been. It's got me a little bit confused. …

"I guess what may be happening is that we may be a little bit more talented than we have been in the past, but we're playing a pretty good schedule, and of course we're playing 26 out of our top 44 in two-deep are freshmen and sophomores and we're making too many mistakes right now to be a good football team. …

"Some of the kids that we really expected solid years from have not performed as well as we'd hoped. And in other cases, there are some kids that we don't know a lot about yet in a competition setting that we've got to get on the field. The bottom line here is we're 1-3 and we're not going to remain status quo and act like things are OK when we're 1-3. We've got to do a better job of being teachers to get these young guys going in the right direction. In some cases, I think the only thing that will help us is experience and we're trying to fast-forward that as quickly as possible to try and put a good football team on the field before too long."

Clemson fans just hope the turnaround waits at least one more week.

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