Week 10: Wake Forest

Pack Pride previews NC State's upcoming opponent, Wake Forest. The Deacons feature a lot of youth on both sides of the ball, including Tanner Price, a true freshman starting quarterback.

Wake Forest Game Notes

Wake Forest will look to stop its current skid this Saturday is it travels to Raleigh, NC to take on NC State at Carter-Finley Stadium. The game is set to kickoff at 2:00 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN3.com. The game is also available on the Wake Forest ISP Sports Radio Network.

The Deacons (2-7, 1-5 ACC) are coming off a tough 23-13 defeat at the hands of Boston College last Saturday at BB&T Field. The loss was the seventh straight for the Deacs, which marks the longest losing streak since 2000.

Boston College took at 20-6 lead into the fourth quarter before Wake Forest wide receiver Marshall Williams' second career touchdown pass to fellow wide receiver Chris Givens tightened the gap to 20-13 with 9:20 to play. But the Eagles then turned to Montel Harris, the ACC's leading rusher, who would lead BC on a game-sealing drive that resulted in a field goal. Harris picked-up 72 of his 183 yards on the final drive.

The Deacs were led offensively by wide receiver Devon Brown who finished the game with six catches for 76 yards. Brown eclipsed both 100 career catches and 1,000 career receiving yards in the game. Freshman quarterback Tanner Price was 18-of-30 for 177 yards but threw four interceptions.

NC State comes into the game with a 6-3 record overall and a 3-2 mark in the conference. The Wolfpack fell back into a tie with Florida State for the lead in the ACC Atlantic Division after a 14-13 setback last Saturday at Clemson.

Quarterback Russell Wilson was 22-of-36 for 212 yards and one touchdown in the game while also leading the team on the ground with 29 yards.

• Sophomore kicker Jimmy Newman has now made eight straight field goals. He hit a 37-yarder with 28.3 seconds left in the first quarter and a 39-yarder with 2:26 left in the second quarter. His eight straight field goals tie him for the fifth-longest streak in WFU history.

• Newman has made 60 consecutive PATs, tying Wilson Hoyle (1987-89) for second place on Wake's most consecutive PAT's made list. The record is 121 by Sam Swank.

• Mike Olson (7), Josh Bush (7), Duran Lowe (6) and Kevin Smith (5) all recorded career-highs in tackles.

• RS freshman Daniel Mack picked off the first pass of his career on BC's second drive of the game in the first quarter.
• RS sophomore Joey Ehrmann recorded his first-career interception in the fourth quarter and returned the ball seven yards.

• Sophomore Tommy Bohanon tied a career high with three catches on the afternoon.

• BC's Montel Harris ran for 183 yards, the most by any individual rusher against Wake Forest this season.

• Wake Forest committed five turnovers, the most since the Navy game in 2008.

• Each of the last eight games between Wake Forest and Boston College have been decided by 10 points or fewer.

• Wake Forest has lost seven consecutive games for the first time since losing the first seven games of the 2000 season.

Wide receivers Chris Givens, Marshall Williams and Devon Brown have all reached career milestones in the last two weeks.

Against Maryland, Givens became the 29th player in school history to compile 1,000 receiving yards. He finished the game with three catches for six yards, giving him 68 grabs for exactly 1,000 yards in his two-year career.

Williams reached the 100-reception plateau in the same game, finishing the afternoon with five catches for a team-high 62 yards. For his career, Williams now has 104 catches for 1,469 yards. He is the 22nd Deacon to record 100 career receptions.

Williams has compiled his stats in just three seasons after missing his entire redshirt freshman campaign due to an ankle injury suffered in the preseason.

Brown followed Givens last week against Boston College, becoming the 30th player in school history to record 1,000 career catches. He also became the 23rd player with 100 career grabs as he hauled in a team-high six catches for 76 yards on the day.

Brown was poised to reach both marks against Maryland but suffered a concussion on the opening kickoff. That also stopped his streak of 19 straight games with at least one reception. Tight end Desmond Clark (1995-98) tops Wake Forest's list of career receptions with 216, while wide receiver Ricky Proehl (1986-89) caught 188 passes for a school-record 2,949 yards in his career.

Redshirt-freshman Daniel Mack picked off the first pass of his career in the first quarter against Boston College. The ball was tipped near the line of scrimmage by redshirt-freshman Nikita Whitlock, allowing Mack to run under the ball and make the catch.

In the fourth quarter, redshirt-sophomore Joey Ehrmann recorded his first-career interception. His INT set up redshirt-senior Marshall Williams' touchdown pass to redshirt-sophomore Chris Givens.

Wake Forest has had its share of big plays this season. In fact, the Deacs are the only FBS team to have three plays of 80-plus yards on the year. The three plays of 80-plus yards also marks the first time in school history the Deacons have had three plays of 80 yards or longer in the same season.

Josh Harris' 87-yard touchdown run at Virginia Tech is tied for the sixth-longest rush in the country this season, while Devon Brown's 85-yard touchdown run against Presbyterian is tied for the eighth-longest rush in the nation.

Wide receiver Marshall Williams' 81-yard scoring pass to Chris Givens is tied for the 15th-longest toss of the season.

Three true freshmen have made at least one start each for the Demon Deacons this season. Quarterback Tanner Price and cornerbacks Kevin Johnson and A.J. Marshall have all found themselves in the starting lineup at some point this season.

This marks the first time in Jim Grobe's tenure that three true freshmen have started at least one game. Grobe's previous high for true freshmen starters was two, set during the 2008 and the 2009 seasons.

Price has started under center in six of the past seven games, beginning with the Stanford game on Sept. 18.

Marshall has made three starts in the secondary this season, most recently at Virginia Tech on Oct. 16.

Johnson made his first career start when he began the game at cornerback against Maryland on Oct. 30.

The Deacons are in the midst of a seven-game losing streak but of those seven loses, five of the teams are bowl eligible with the another just a win away.

Stanford is currently 8-1 and in the hunt for a Pac Ten title while Florida State is 7-2 and also in the running for a trip to Charlotte. Navy defeated East Carolina on Nov. 6 to become bowl eligible while Georgia Tech is just one win shy. Virginia Tech got off to a slow start but is now 7-2 overall and perfect in ACC play while Maryland's victory over the Deacs on Oct. 30 made them bowl eligible.

Wake Forest Head Coach Quotables

On what positives he has seen the past few weeks from his team:
We're continuing to compete hard. One of the things you worry about when you don't have a lot of seniors on your football team is leadership. Our guys have really worked hard, and we really haven't seen any bad attitudes. When you're getting great effort out of your team - winning or losing - it makes you feel good as a coach. The positive is we have a pretty close football team. We're playing hard each week. We haven't had much success, and that's hard to deal with, but I think our team has handled it really well.

On how to get the players to make plays:
We've got to put them in position to make plays, and it starts with coaching. We have to call offensive plays and defensive sets that give you a chance to win. Ultimately the kids have to go make the plays, and sometimes that's an ability thing. We're going against really good teams, and other times we are just trying too hard. At times, we're in position to make plays, but we don't do it because we're a little less confident than we should be. Sometimes when you haven't won enough, that happens.

On the importance of not making turnovers:
Turnovers typically end up in a loss. I think if all things are equal, and you have two good football teams playing, if you have one team win the turnover battle, that's usually the difference in the game. We forced a couple of turnovers from Boston College, but they still put the ball on the ground a couple times and we didn't get it. It could have been a big difference in the game if we would have come up with it a couple of the times that they made mistakes. It's hard for anyone in the country to win with five turnovers, especially for a young team playing good competition.

On what N.C. State head coach Tom O'Brien has been able to accomplish in such a short time with the Wolfpack:
Tom has been able to put his plan in. They had a plan heading into the job and they stuck to it, and it's now starting to pay dividends for them. Their defense is playing better this year. Offensively, they have done a good job building their offense around [Quarterback] Russell Wilson. They play hard and disciplined - all of those things that you would expect from one of Tom's teams.

On the importance of getting off to a good start:
They have a great crowd. It's a great environment to play football in. It's a little easier for them than it is for the visiting team. Playing good early is important. We talked about that last week, too, but right out of the blocks on the first play we threw an interception, and Boston College took advantage of it and took it right in and scored. You'd hate to start that way on the road. It was tough enough starting poorly at home. Playing at their place, we need to play good, solid football right from the start since that crowd can be pretty hostile, especially if things are going their way.

On N.C. State QB Russell Wilson:
He's as good as anybody we've played this year. The thing that Russell Wilson has, like the other great quarterbacks we've played, is the ability to both run and throw the football. That's what can make a quarterback so dangerous. Russell Wilson competes so hard that he raises everyone else's level. You not only have a very talented kid who can run and throw the football, but he also elevates all the guys around him.

On what a win would do for the team right now:
I don't think you could measure it. We've worked really, really hard. I've talked about this before, but in my 10 years at Wake Forest, I've seen our coaching staff work harder this year than ever. Our players have been pushed harder by our coaches this year. We've put in more time and energy than any time in the past. We haven't got much out of all our efforts. We're continuing to work hard. We're not quitting. We're not in wait-until-next-year mode. So a win would be huge, not only for our program, but for our players to gain confidence and to feel like our hard work we've been putting in pays off.

Wake Forest Depth Chart

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