FSU 2015 Season Preview: Wake

We continue our season preview series with Wake Forest.

We continue our season preview series with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Last season Wake went 3-9 and 1-7 in the ACC with their lone win coming in a 6-3 2OT victory over Virginia Tech. Their other two wins came against Gardner-Webb and Army. They won those by a combined 10 points.

Florida State dominated the Demon Deacons 43-3 last season. The Florida State defense allowed just 126 total yards and just 40 yards rushing on 39 carries. Wake did hold a 3-0 first quarter lead, but Florida State quickly went on a 43-0 run to end the game.


Breaking Down the Schedule


Schedule

Win Probability

Sep. 3 Elon

1

Sep. 12 At Syracuse

.4

Sep. 19 At Army

.5

Sep. 26 Indiana

.4

Oct. 3 Florida State

.05

Oct. 10 At Boston College

.25

Oct. 17 At North Carolina

.25

Oct. 24 NC State

.3

Oct. 30 Louisville

.2

Nov. 14 At Notre Dame

.1

Nov. 21 At Clemson

.1

Nov. 28 Duke

.25

Overall

3.8

Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson has his hands full once again. The only saving grace the team had last year was a stellar secondary and most of those players are gone now. They have a very rough schedule that’s fairly back loaded. If they want to improve upon their 3-9 record from last season they’re likely going to need to win at least three games in September and hope for an upset somewhere along the line.


Breaking Down the Offense


Projected Starters


Quarterback

John Wolford

Running Back

Dezmond Wortham

Full back

Rocky Reid

Wide Receiver

Tyree Harris

Wide Receiver

Jared Crump

Tight End

Cam Seringne

Left Tackle

Will Smith

Left Guard

Tyler Hayworth

Center

A’Lique Terry

Right Guard

Josh Harris

Right Tackle

Dylan Intemann

Key Players


QB John Wolford: Walford didn’t have the best season in 2014, but there’s hope that he will progress as he moves into his sophomore year. Wake’s receivers should be better this season and that will go a long way to helping the young quarterback.


Who needs to improve

Everyone: The Wake Forest offense was one of the worst in college football last season, and it doesn’t project to get that much better. The two leading rushers on Wake’s roster averaged 1.9 and 2.8 yards per carry last season.

Overall


Wake Forest had the worst FEI offensive rating in the ACC in 2013 at 112th, and they actually managed to get worse dropping to 115. It will be very interesting to see how the team continues to grow around Wolford. The Demon Deacons struggle to run, pass, and block consistently and that will lead to another offense that is ranking 100th or worse in the rankings.


Breaking Down the Defense


Projected Starters


Defensive End

Taylor Harris

Defensive Tackle

Shelldon Lewinson

Defensive Tackle

Josh Banks

Defensive End

Wendell Dunn

Buck Linebacker

Brandon Chubb

Middle Linebacker

Marquel Lee

Rover

Hunter Williams

Corner

Brad Watson

Strong Safety

Ryan Janvion

Free Safety

Thomas Brown

Corner

Josh Okonye

Key Players


LB Marquel Lee: Lee was third on the team in tackles last season, but led the team in tackles for loss and was tied for second on the team in sacks. He is only a junior and should continue to have a big impact for Wake this season.


SS Ryan Janvion: Janvion led the team in tackles for the second straight season with 84.5. He had 7 tackles for loss and 6 pass breakups. He heads into his junior year with very high expectations, but he continues to live up to them.


Improvement Needed


The Defensive Ends: Wake lost their top defensive end from last season, Zachary Carter, who lead the team in sacks. The returning defensive ends combined for just 1.5 sacks last season and will have to find a way to get to the passer.


Overall


The defense actually wasn’t that bad in 2014, finishing the season ranked 52nd in the FEI defensive rankings—ahead of teams like Notre Dame, Kansas State, and North Carolina. It will be interesting to see if they can keep that ranking with the losses in the secondary. The linebackers should be the strength of the defense this year, but once again the defense will have a tough time bailing out the offense


Breaking Down the Special Teams


Projected Starters


Kicker

Mike Weaver

Punter

Alexander Kinal

Punt Returner

Jared Crump

Kick returners

Tyler Henderson

John Armstrong

How They Match Up With FSU


Wake gets Florida State at the beginning portion of the season before they will have worked out most of the kinks, but the talent differential between the two teams is going to be way too large for the Demon Deacons to overcome. Florida State is better in every facet of the game and, while Dave Clawson is a good coach, the Seminole coaching staff is one of the best in the country. Florida State has won the last two games by a combined score of 99-6 and this year should be just as lopsided as the last two.


Wayne’s Prediction: 45-3 (Win Probability: 99%)

Jason’s Prediction: This is not a good football team, but they still have a few pieces on defense, and I think the FSU offense is still going to be finding its stride early in the season, so I'm going with FSU in a reasonably lower-scoring game, though Wake has little chance of competing here. 34-3 (Win Probability: 99%).

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