Wake's Price Will Play

The Demon Deacons received a bit of good news when quarterback Tanner Price, who missed the final 12 minutes of regulation and overtime in the opener against Syracuse with a knee injury, returned to form in practice.

"I couldn't see any signs of it," running back Brandon Pendergrass said. "He dropped back fine. He threw the ball well."

Price said he has been feeling normal in practice since the Sept. 1 loss to Syracuse, so he should be in line to start Saturday against visiting North Carolina State. It's Wake Forest's home opener and his Atlantic Coast Conference opener.

"I was able to do pretty much everything," Price said.

Price, who completed 18-of-31 passes in the first game of his sophomore season, said he won't change his approach despite sustaining the injury when a defender rolled into his leg.

"That's part of playing quarterback," Price said. "You have to stay in there and take a hit."

Coach Jim Grobe said Price had such a strong performance that his sudden absence created a focus problem for the Demon Deacons. "We just kind of went flat," Grobe said.

--Wake Forest holds a 69-38-2 record in home openers going into the matchup against North Carolina State. That includes a 7-3 record under coach Jim Grobe. But last year, the Demon Deacons lost in their final four home games.

--In ACC home openers, the Demon Deacons have won in four consecutive years, including a 2009 meeting with N.C. State (though that one came in October). None of those results have been decided by more than one possession. This could be a tricky outing for the Demon Deacons because N.C. State normally brings a big turnout of its fans for games in Winston-Salem. "Our fans will show up and support us," TE Cameron Ford said of the Demon Deacons.

SERIES HISTORY: N.C. State leads Wake Forest 62-36-2 (last meeting, 2010, 38-3 N.C. State). This is the longest running series for N.C. State. Wake Forest has won four of the last five meetings.

SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: The Demon Deacons were encouraged by their passing attack, particularly with first-string QB Tanner Price, in the game against Syracuse. They might receive a tougher challenge from North Carolina State because of the Wolfpack's experienced secondary. Wake Forest will want to carry some of its solid play along the offensive line into this next game, especially with N.C. State's defensive line a bit thin because of a couple of injuries.

SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: The Demon Deacons will aim to complete the task this week after putting together a strong effort for three quarters against Syracuse. Half of the 14 first downs yielded during regulation came in the final 11 minutes, so Wake Forest will need to toughen up for a longer stretch. The Demon Deacons made good use of multiple defensive backs in opener, so they might have some flexibility there.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's a relief to have him out there. ... Tanner is our guy. When we found out his knee wasn't going to be so bad, it was a relief." -- TE Cameron Ford on Tanner Price looking fine in practice after missing the end of the Syracuse game with a knee injury. A year ago, the Demon Deacons used four different quarterbacks because of injuries.

N.C. State at Wake Forest, Sept. 10 -- N.C. State hasn't won in Winston-Salem since 2001, a string of four consecutive road setbacks in the series. That 2001 victory for the Wolfpack is its only road success in the series in its last seven visits.

KEYS TO THE GAME: Wake Forest will need to show that its defense really has improved after three strong quarters against Syracuse were followed by reverting to last year's form during the fourth quarter and overtime. N.C. State could be vulnerable if its issues aren't ironed out on offense. Both teams had missed extra-point kicks in their openers, and they've made it an emphasis to upgrade their special teams before this matchup.

LB Kyle Wilber --
He's adjusting to a full-time role as an outside linebacker after beginning his career as a defensive end. The senior blocked a field goal in the fourth quarter against Syracuse, keeping the game tied. It was the fourth blocked kick of his career, with three of those coming in season-opening games.

QB Tanner Price -- He's coming off both a strong outing at Syracuse and an injury suffered to his left knee late in the game. He called the injury a bruise. He has worn a brace on the knee in practice since the game, but it's unclear if he'll be in a brace during the game against N.C. State. He completed 9-of-11 passes last year against N.C. State in a game in which the Demon Deacons used a conservative run-based attack on offense.

LB Scott Betros -- He moved to first-string status during the preseason and had a good start to his redshirt junior season. His nine tackles against Syracuse were a career high. He's solid between the tackles, so improving in pass coverage will be important.

--DE Tristan Dorty should be ready for a more complete role against N.C. State after dealing with a sprained ankle in the opener.

--FB Tommy Bohanon dealt with calf problems during the opening game at Syracuse. Those apparently were associated with cramping, which could be resolved going into the second game.

--LB Zachary Allen is unlikely to play against N.C. State as he continues to recover from injuries suffered when falling off the back of a pickup truck on Aug. 30. His most serious injuries are to his face, with stitches on an eyebrow. He's having trouble putting on his helmet.

Pack Pride Top Stories