Wake Forest Offense

Mississippi State plays Wake Forest in the Franklin American Mortgage Company Music City Bowl game Friday beginning at 5:40 pm. In a two-part article, Gene's Page looks at the Wake Forest defense and offense. In this second part we look at the Wake Forest offense.

QUARTERBACK:

Wake Forest's starting quarterback is sophomore Tanner Price (6-2, 205). Price has thrown for 2,803 yards, the second most in a single season in Wake Forest history. His 20 touchdown passes are the third best in a single season. He needs just two to move into second place. He rarely throws an interception. In fact, he has now attempted 127 straight passes without an interception.

MSU's Take On the Quarterback:

Defensive Coordinator Chris Wilson - "He is a really great decision-maker, does a really good job of managing the game. I say that because of what he had done in the red zone. And I think he has thrown for something like 20 touchdowns, the majority of those were in the red zone. And he's only thrown 7 interceptions. He's not going to give you the football. His sacks tell me that he's willing to take a sack to not give you the football."


RUNNING BACKS:

Wake Forest's starting tailback is redshirt senior Brandon Pendergrass (5-9, 200). The fullback position is manned by junior Tommy Bohanon (6-2, 245).

MSU's Take On the Running Backs:

Defensive Coordinator Chris Wilson - "They have a balanced group with their running backs."

(Their key running back is senior Brandon Pendergrass. Coach Wilson talked about him also.)

"Brandon Pendergrass is a senior. He's a really good downhill runner who is a home run hitter. He's electric when he gets the ball in his hands. He reminds me of LaDarius Perkins. He's not a big back but he's a guy who can catch the ball out of the backfield and he's good at his protections."


WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS:

Wake Forest's starting wide receivers is redshirt junior Chris Givens (6-0, 195). The starting flanker is redshirt senior Danny Dembry (6-2, 185) while the starting tight end is redshirt senior Cameron Ford (6-4, 255). In the ACC, Givens, who made 1st team All-ACC this season, is 1st in receiving yards per game (106.03/gm) and 3rd in receptions per game (6.2/gm). This season, he has recorded four plays that resulted in a game of 60 or more yards, three were for touchdowns.

MSU's Take On the Receivers:

Defensive Coordinator Chris Wilson - "They have three guys that we feel are really good college football players. (Chris Givens) is their vertical threat guy. He takes the top off of your coverage. He is explosive with the ball in his hands. (Michael Campanaro) is also an explosive guy. He is the guy they look to to get first downs. (Terence Davis) is the guy they use in the red zone. He is a big body who does a great job of bodying into your defensive backs.

"We have to be aware of where they are at all times. And our guys have done a great job of doing that the last couple of weeks."


OFFENSIVE LINE:

Wake Forest has a veteran offensive line that has four seniors and a junior on the starting unit. Left tackle is manned by redshirt senior Dennis Godfrey (6-3, 315), left guard is senior Joe Looney (6-3, 320), the center is redshirt junior Garrick Williams (6-4, 310), right guard is in the hands of redshirt senior Michael Hoag (6-6, 305) and right tackle has redshirt senior Doug Weaver (6-8, 320) as the starter. This year's starting unit is the biggest in school history. Looney made 2nd team All-ACC this season.

MSU's Take On the Offensive Line:

Head Coach Dan Mullen - "They do a good job. They have put up a lot of good numbers in the passing game this year. Traditionally, they have been more of a run-first type team. Now, I think they have gone to more of a pass-first type team. Their quarterback doesn't turn the ball over. So, that's a reflection on the offensive line."

Defensive Coordinator Chris Wilson - "You can tell they have played together for a good while. They are a veteran group who play well together. They are very sound, very well coached and athletic. They do a very good job of getting to the second level and blocking your linebackers. We have a challenge with them.

"The biggest thing with us is we have to be extremely physical. We have to make this a physical ballgame in the trenches. That's the way you overcome some of the athleticism that they have."


Scouting.com the Wake Forest Deacons Starting Offense:

Here is what Scout.com ranked each Wake Forest starting offensive player in high school. Offers are also included.

  • 2 Star - QB Tanner Price - Offers: Wake Forest, Rice, Stanford
  • 3 Star - TB Brandon Pendergrass - Offers: Wake Forest, Duke, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio, Vanderbilt
  • 2 Star - FB Tommy Bohanon - Offers: Wake Forest, Florida Atlantic, Louisville, Michigan State, Syracuse, Central Florida
  • 3 Star - WR Chris Givens - Offers: Wake Forest, North Texas, UNLV, Utah, Wisconsin
  • 2 Star - FL Danny Dembry - Offers: Wake Forest, Buffalo, East Carolina, Kentucky, North Carolina State
  • 2 Star - TE Cameron Ford - Offers: Wake Forest, North Carolina State, South Carolina, Vanderbilt
  • 3 Star - LT Dennis Godfrey - Offers: Wake Forest, Clemson, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech
  • 3 Star - LG Joe Looney - Offers: Wake Forest, Alabama, Louisville, Rutgers, South Carolina, South Florida, West Virginia
  • 2 Star - C Garrick Williams - Offer: Wake Forest
  • 2 Star - RG Michael Hoag - Offers: Wake Forest, Vanderbilt
  • 3 Star - RT Doug Weaver - Offers: Wake Forest, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina State

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    Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.


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