TAYLOR: Wake Forest coach on Clemson

Wake Forest defensive coordinator Dean Hood knows a thing or two about Clemson. "I know they're very good," said Hood, a former assistant coach under legendary coach Roy Kidd at Eastern Kentucky University. "They're one of the best teams in our conference and they probably do have the best offense going in the ACC."

Although Wake Forest won the ACC title and earned a spot in the Orange Bowl, the Tigers were one of two conference teams to beat the Demon Deacons during the team's impressive 11-2 campaign this past season.

"They're a scary bunch," Hood said. "They run zone plays (on offense) as well as anybody we played."

In the only meeting between the two conference rivals on Oct. 7, Wake Forest held a 17-10 lead in the second half, before the Tigers rallied and scored 17 unanswered points that resulted in a 27-17 setback, ending the Demon Deacons' five-game winning streak to open the season.

A botched field goal attempt by Wake sparked the Tigers' late rally. "All hell broke loose and we couldn't stop them in the fourth quarter," Hood said.

Hood added that any team would have problems stopping Clemson, especially on the ground.

"I haven't seen Kentucky play, but anybody would have a hard time defending against that bunch," he said. "They do a nice job of running the football and they can run the ball on anybody. Once they get going (on offense) they're hard to stop. I don't know what (Kentucky) will do, but I am sure they have a good scheme."

Hood also took note of Kentucky's 7-5 season.

"If you have (seven) wins and you're playing in the SEC, you're playing pretty darn good," he said.

As for the Demon Deacons, Hood said they have their own problems preparing for the Louisville. The former Eastern assistant said Louisville is loaded and will be hard to stop when the two teams meet in Miami on Jan. 2.

"Their quarterback (Brian Brohm) worries me, because of how accurate he is," Hood said. "In college football, if you've got a quarterback, you've got a chance. They have a great quarterback, that's for sure. I really don't see a weakness (in their offense). They're pretty good." The Demon Deacons are good, too. Despite finishing under the .500 mark during the past three seasons, Wake elevated to new heights, finishing with an 11-2 record.

"I don't think we have any guru coaches, or any kids who are first-round draft choices, but we've got a good team," he said. "Our guys never gave up. They weren't outworked and they weren't outhustled. We've not done anything different (than we did in the past). We're just blessed to have a season like this. We're very grateful."

Under coach Jim Grobe, the Demon Deacons have compiled a 37-34 record in six seasons, including two bowl berths. Despite the team's success this past season, Wake won four games twice and five times once in the three previous seasons.

"They (the players) went through some tough times and they didn't let it wear them down," Hood said. "That's why I am happy to see them have some success."

Hood said the success has been the result of a steady harvest.

"They way I look at it is like a farmer," he said. "He goes out, tills the land and plants the seed. You then water and fertilize it the best you know how and watch it grow."

AllWildcats Top Stories