Head to head: Navy vs. Wake Forest

Next up for Navy is Wake Forest. GoMids.com compares different critical team areas of Navy and Wake Forest and indicates which team has the edge.

NAVY
EDGE
AREA
Wake Forest
EDGE
COMMENTS
 
Navy rushing offense
vs.
Wake Forest rushing defense
 
The Midshipmen ran for 331 yards against SMU, one week after a staggering 471 yards against Rice. Navy is now up to 5th nationally, averaging 279 yards per game. Vince Murray had a breakout day with 141 yards on 25 carries with 2 touchdowns. Ricky Dobbs leads the nation with 16 rushing touchdowns. But the triple option has struggled with consistency and Dobbs may not play due to an injured knee. If Ricky can't go, sophomore Kriss Proctor will get the start. Proctor looked good against Rice, rushing for 82 yards and 3 touchdowns in mop up duty. The Demon Deacons are a steady but unspectacular 56th against the run, giving up an average of 130.1 yards per game.  
EVEN  
Navy passing offense
vs.
Wake Forest passing defense
EVEN  
The increase in passing that was hinted at during the off season has yet to show it self. At Ohio State, the Midshipmen completed 9 passes for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns. In the last three games, the Midshipmen have completed 9 passes for 170 yards and 1 touchdown. The Demon Deacons have allowed at least 169 yards through the air in every contest this season.  
 
Wake Forest rushing offense
vs.
Navy rushing defense
 
The Demon Deacons return their two top rushers from 2008 in Josh Adams (6-0, 182, R-Jr.) and Brandon Pendergrass (5-9, 200, R-So.). Neither are having particularly great seasons with Adams averaging 41.6 yards per game and Pendergrass 32.4 yards per games. The Midshipmen defense has been stopping the run well this season ranking 42nd giving up an average of 118.3 yards per game. But SMU, who was near the bottom of the nation in rushing, ran for 176 yards.  
EVEN  
Wake Forest passing offense
vs.
Navy passing defense
EVEN  
Riley Skinner (6-1, 210, R-Sr.) is having a solid final campaign for the Demon Deacons. Skinner is 143 of 214 passing for 1,776 yards with 15 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He only threw 7 interception all of last season. The loss of D.J. Boldin to graduation has left the receiving corps thin. The Navy secondary has been up and down this season, but with more ups then downs. SMU only threw for 200 yards, but WKU threw for 276.  
Special Teams
 
The Navy and Wake Forest special teams units are very similar when you look at the numbers (Net Punting - N 37.5 yards, WF 36.8 yards; Punt Returns - N 6.9, WF 6.5; Kickoff Returns - N 17.3, WF 21.6). The Demon Deacons have turned over their kicking duties to true freshman Jimmy Newman (6-2, 195, Fr.). He has made 5 of his 8 field goal attempts, but has not make a kick longer then 28 yards. Joe Buckley has made four-consecutive, including two overtime winning field goals. He is 5 of 7 on the season with a long of 47.  
 
Coaching
 
In the eight seasons before Jim Grobe came to Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons had just one winning season. Entering his 9th season in Winston-Salem, Grobe has 5 winning seasons, 4 bowl births and the 2006 ACC Championship. Ken Niumatalolo earned his 13th victory as a head coach last Saturday. That puts him in a tie for 4th for Most Wins at Navy in First Two Years as Head Coach.  
EVEN  
Intangibles
EVEN  
Saturday Navy and Wake Forest meet for the 3rd time in the last 13 months. Nether team has had a bye week yet this season. The Demon Deacons have played only 2 road games this season, losing both. The Midshipmen are coming off back to back road victories and return home for the first time since October 3rd. Saturday is Navy's Homecoming, though that is not necessarily a good thing. The Midshipmen have lost 3 straight Homecoming games.  


PREDICTION: Navy 24, Wake Forest 23

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