Gameday: NC State vs. Wake Forest

NC State (3-2, 2-0) hosts Wake Forest (5-1, 1-1) today in a huge conference game for both teams.

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Carter-Finley Stadium

NC State (3-2) vs. Wake Forest (5-1)
Saturday, October 14, 2006
12:00 pm Carter-Finley Stadium
Raleigh, NC
JP/Raycom

Wake Forest Links

WF Official Site

Roster

Statistics

Game Notes


Injury Report

NC STATE
PROBABLE
Reggie Davis, LB -
neck strain
Jamelle Eugene, TB - AC sprain
DeMarcus Tyler, DT - back spasms

WAKE FOREST

OUT:
RB Micah Andrews (torn ACL); QB Benjamin Mauk (arm, shoulder); DE Matt Robinson (kneecap)
DOUBTFUL: OT Arby Jones (torn MCL).
QUESTIONABLE: S Johnny Edwards (ankle); S Aaron Mason (hamstring)


NC State Game Notes

NOTING THE PACK

  • Chuck Amato is 14-12 at home in ACC games.
  • The game marks the 100th meeting between the two teams.
  • Daniel Evans is fourth in ACC games only in passing efficiency and fifth in passing yards-per-game.
  • Andre Brown became the 21st player at NC State to gain 1,000 career rushing yards and did so in 16 career games, the eighth fastest in school history.
  • Andre Brown is averaging 105 rushing yards-per-game against ACC teams, the third best mark in the league.

    DUNLAP CATCHING ON
    Junior wideout John Dunlap has quickly emerged as the go-to receiver the last three ball games. He has caught 10 passes for 136 yards and three touchdowns over the last three contests after having just one reception for 21 yards in the first two games of the year.

    John Dunlap
    Dunlap had the play of the season thus far when he snared the 34-yard game winning grab against Boston College with eight seconds left in the game. He followed that up with the game winning touchdown against Florida St. in the same spot of the same endzone as the catch against BC.

    Dunlap has been a favorite target of quarterback Daniel Evans, as the two connected on the first touchdown of either's career with a 21-yard strike against Southern Miss. The duo have connected seven times for 124 yards and three touchdowns since Evans got his first playing time at quarterback in the fourth quarter against USM.

    NC STATE VERSUS WAKE FOREST
    NC State and Wake Forest will meet for the 100th time this Saturday on the gridiron since the series started in 1895.

    The Wolfpack holds a 60-33-6 advantage in the series and leads 6-4 in the last 10 matchups. Wolfpack head coach Chuck Amato is 4-2 against the Demon Deacons after losing in Winston-Salem last season, 27-19.

    NC State has not lost to Wake in Carter-Finley since 1984 and it is the second oldest rivalry for the Wolfpack. Though the Deacons and Pack have played more times, NC State played North Carolina in 1894.

    AJ FEELING A-OK
    AJ Davis was back in the lineup against Boston College and Florida St. after missing the previous two contests and all but 11 plays of the opener with a hamstring injury. The redshirt-senior is a cornerstone of the Wolfpack defense and had played in all 36 games of his career until the injury forced him out.

    A.J. Davis

    Davis is the most experienced player on the defense with 1,622 plays in his career, and second-most overall on the team behind center/guard Leroy Harris.

    Davis started the BC contest and quickly set the tone with an early pass breakup, one of two on the night for the cornerback. He was a key part of the Wolfpack defense that held Boston College's quarterback Matt Ryan to just 149 yards in the air after averaging nearly 300 yards in the first three games this season, tops in the ACC.

    Davis was perhaps even better against Florida State, recording three PBUs and four tackles while holding talented wideout Greg Carr to just one catch on the game.

    Davis now has five PBUs in the last two contests.

    LAST TIME IN RALEIGH
    When the Pack and Deacons last met in Raleigh at Carter-Finley Stadium, the two teams staged a classic. The 2004 contest went to overtime before NC State prevailed, 27-21, as six of the 10 overtime games the Wolfpack has played have been against ACC foes.

    The Demon Deacons led 14-0 at the half before NC State exploded in the third quarter for three touchdowns to take the lead heading into the final quarter.

    Wake Forest's Micah Andrews scored on a 1-yard plunge with nine minutes remaining to send the game into overtime. Wake got the ball first and missed a 34-yard field goal, and the Pack's TA McLendon ran four straight times, including an eight yard touchdown for the game winning score, his second touchdown of the game.

    EFFICIENT EVANS
    In his first two starts at quarterback, redshirt sophomore

    Daniel Evans
    Daniel Evans has not only defeated two ranked ACC opponents, but he has done so with solid numbers.

    Evans, who would rank fourth overall in passing efficiency if he had enough attempts to qualify, he is however ranked fourth in efficiency in ACC games only.

    He has completed 28-of-53 passes for 369 yards with four touchdowns and just one pick in two games for an efficiency rating of 132.4.

    Evans also ranks fifth in the conference in ACC games only in passing yardage per contest at 184.5.

    NC STATE TOPS IN DIVISION
    With its impressive 2-0 start in conference play, the Wolfpack is currently one of two teams still undefeated in ACC play and is in sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division.

    Georgia Tech is the only remaining undefeated team as they lead the Coastal Division with a 3- 0 record. NC State will host the Yellow Jackets on Nov. 4 in Raleigh.

    DAPPER DAJUAN

    DaJuan Morgan
    Redshirt sophomore roverback DaJuan Morgan had a strong outing in the win over the Seminoles, posting nine tackles and the game-clinching interception, the first of his career.

    His nine tackles were the second most of his career after having 14 stops last season against Middle Tennessee St. Morgan, who was described as the team's best coverage safety by defensive coordinator Steve Dunlap, made a diving interception after fellow rover Garland Heath tipped a pass from FSU's Drew Weatherford to seal the win with just over two minutes left in the game.

    WOLFPACK IN REDZONE
    The team has had its struggles in the redzone this season on both sides of the ball. Heading into the Florida St. game, NC State had made just seven trips into the redzone and scored five times (four TDs, one FG). The defense had allowed 14 scores (nine TDs and five FGs) in 16 chances inside the 20-yardline.

    Those numbers took a backseat to the impressive performance from the team against the Seminoles.

    The offense produced a season-high five trips inside the redzone against FSU and scored three touchdowns and a field goal while the defense allowed three trips and held them to just one touchdown and two field goals.

    It was the first time all season that NC State had more trips inside the redzone than its opponents.

    GERON GOT IT DONE
    Redshirt freshman receiver Geron James (pronounced JERE-uhn) caught just two passes for 14 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown, last season before missing the remainder of the year and receiving a medical redshirt.

    Geron James
    He had played in just two games this season (nine plays) before breaking out in a big way against Florida State. James caught passes of 30 and 27 yards on back-to-back plays in the second quarter to setup the Wolfpack's first touchdown.

    He added a 10-yard touchdown in the third quarter with the Pack down 10 to trim the lead, then snared a 24 yarder in the fourth.

    James registered career-highs of four catches for 91 yards against the Noles.

    KNOCKING OFF RANKED TEAMS
    So far in college football this season the upsets have been few and far between. Only six times in six weeks did a unranked team knock off a ranked opponent, and NC State has done it twice!

    When the Wolfpack beat Boston College it became just the fourth unranked team all season to defeat a ranked team before knocking off Florida State for its second win over a ranked team in as many games.

    ANDRE BROWN FOR 1,000
    Andre

    Andre Brown
    Brown posted the fourth 100-yard rushing game of his career, and second this season.

    With his 113 yards versus FSU, the second straight year he went over 100 yards against the Noles, he became just the 21st player in Wolfpack history to rush for 1,000 career yards, and the eighth fastest to reach that mark.

    Brown had just 13 carries and 42 yards in his first five collegiate contests, but is averaging 16.2 carries a game and 92.5 yards on the ground in the last 11 games.

    Brown has scored seven rushing touchdowns in his last 11 games and had just one, against Eastern Kentucky, in his first five games.

    EVANS DEFEATS PAIR OF RANKED FOES
    Evans became the first Wolfpack quarterback (dating back to 1970) to play against and defeat two ranked opponents in his first two career starts.

    The redshirt sophomore earned his first career start on Sept. 23 against No. 20/21 Boston College and led the Pack to the dramatic win with a touchdown pass on the game's final drive.

    In his second start Evans was perhaps even better, throwing for 190 yards and three touchdowns against No. 17/16 Florida State, including the game winning score in the fourth quarter.

    ROLL IN THE TANK
    DeMarcus "Tank" Tyler had a monster game against Boston College with a career-high 13 tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble.

    Tank Tyler
    Tyler, who didn't start the Boston College game after being ejected from the Southern Miss game, responded in a big way by dominating Boston College's offensive line in the win.

    When Wolfpack linebackers Pat Lowery and Lerue Rumph combined to stop short-yardage specialist Brian Toal behind the line on fourth down late in the game before the final, game-winning drive, it was Tyler who perhaps saved the day.

    He got quick penetration at the snap and pushed the center back into Toal, who hesitated in the backfield to allow the linebackers to make the stop. After his impressive performance, espn2's Ron Franklin said Tyler "was a man among boys" on the field.

    Tyler followed that up with six tackles against Florida State, including a tackle for loss. On the season, Tyler is second on the team with 40 stops and leads the team with seven tackles for loss. His two sacks are tied for second on the team and he has pressured the quarterback three times.

    COSTLY TURNOVERS
    Chuck Amato preaches to his team that they must win the turnover battle each week. The Wolfpack is currently ninth in the ACC in turnover margin at -7, forcing a league-low five turnovers and losing 11.

    NC State has turned that around in the last two games after having 10 turnovers in the first three games combined.

    In the wins over Boston College and Florida St., NC State has just one turnover, a Daniel Evans interception on fourth down late in the Boston College game.

    Opponents capitalized off of the Pack's miscues in the first three games, scoring 27 points off of turnovers. That accounts for 40% (27 of 67) of the total points allowed in the first three contests. NC State did not allow a score after the late interception against BC.

    CUTTING IT CLOSE
    Chuck Amato has now coached in 50 ACC contests since taking over the Wolfpack program in 2000, posting a 25-25 record in those contests.

    Chuck Amato

    In 28 of those 50 games, the final outcome has been decided by a touchdown (seven points) or less, 32 have been decided by eight points or less and 36 have been decided by 10 points or less.

    His ACC record includes a 14-12 mark at home. The Wolfpack has lost just four conference games by double digits at home in the past seven years. In 14 home ACC wins, six have been by double digits, and the other eight have been by seven or less points, including the two-point win over BC and the four-point triumph over FSU.

    Under Amato, NC State has lost by 20-or-more points just three times and by more than 10 points just seven times in ACC games.

    NC State Two-Deep Depth Chart

    2006 NC State Depth Chart
    Offense
    Quarterback
    7Daniel Evans6-2/191So.*
    9Marcus Stone6-4/236Jr.*
    10Justin Burke6-2/195Fr.
    Halfback
    24 Andre Brown 6-0/232So.
    28 Jamelle Eugene 5-10/202Fr.*
    22 Toney Baker 5-10/228So.
    Fullback
    22 Toney Baker 5-10/228So.
    46 Pat Bedics 6-0/249Jr.*
    37 John Kane 5-9/239So.
    'X' Wide Receiver
    1John Dunlap6-2/210Jr.
    88 Geron James 6-4/185 Fr.*
    'Z' Wide Receiver
    80 Donald Bowens 6-3/195Fr.
    13 Lamart Barrett 6-1/190Sr.
    Tight End
    83 Anthony Hill 6-6/277Jr.
    89 Matt Kushner 6-4/241Fr.*
    Left Tackle
    78 James Newby6-5/295Sr.*
    61 Julian Williams 6-5/292Fr.*
    54 Merci Falaise 6-5/292Sr.*
    Left Guard
    69 Kalani Heppe6-3/300Jr.*
    64 Leroy Harris 6-3/300Sr.*
    66 Yomi Ojo6-4/320Jr.*
    Center
    64 Leroy Harris 6-3/300Sr.*
    72 Luke Lathan 6-4/292Jr.*
    74 Andy Barbee6-3/290Fr.*
    Right Guard
    76 Curtis Crouch 6-5/344So.
    60 Meares Green6-4/295So.*
    61 Andrew Redfern 6-2/288So.*
    Right Tackle
    79 Jon Holt 6-6/296Sr.*
    60 Meares Green6-4/295So.*
    50 Jeraill McCuller6-7/342Fr.*


    Special Teams
    Place Kicker
    12John Deraney6-4/224Sr.*
    Punter
    12John Deraney6-4/224Sr.*
    Long Snapper
    85William Lee6-2/235Sr.*
    Holder
    19Daniel Evans6-2/191So.*
    Kick Returner
    28 Jamelle Eugene 5-10/202Fr.*
    24 Andre Brown 6-0/232So.
    Punt Returner
    6Levin Neal 5-10/191So.
    Defense
    Right Defensive End
    41 Martrel Brown 6-2/290Jr.*
    97 Willie Young 6-5/230Fr.*
    55 John Amanchukwu 6-4/283Sr.*
    Right Defensive Tackle
    92 DeMario Pressley 6-4/293Jr.
    49 Alan-Michael Cash 6-0/291Fr.*
    73 Gerard Miller 6-3/292So.*
    Left Defensive Tackle
    72 DeMarcus "Tank" Tyler 6-2/305Sr.
    91 Teddy Larsen 6-2/285Fr.*
    93 John Bedics 6-4/283So.*
    Left Defensive End
    33 Ray Brooks 6-3/285So.*
    98 Littleton Wright 6-6/244Jr.*
    11 Audi Augustin 6-2/250Fr.
    Weakside Linebacker
    20 Reggie Davis 6-0/246Sr.
    43 Ray Michel 6-0/224Fr.*
    45 John Ware 5-10/210Fr.
    Middle Linebacker
    42 Patrick Lowery 6-1/242Sr.*
    48 Avery Vogt 6-2/225Fr.*
    56 Nate Irving 6-3/210Fr.*
    Strongside Linebacker
    52 LeRue Rumph 6-2/225Jr.*
    95 James Martin 6-1/236Jr.*
    26 Cedric Hickman 6-3/230Fr.
    Roverback
    19 Garland Heath 6-2/225Sr.
    4 Javon Walker 6-0/195Fr.
    Right Corner
    8 Jimmie Sutton 5-11/181Jr.*
    30 Jeremy Gray 6-2/190So.*
    24Phillip Holloman 5-11/194Jr.*
    Free Safety
    25 Miguel Scott 6-0/203 Jr.
    7 DaJuan Morgan 6-2/207So.*
    14 J.C. Neal 6-0/191So.
    Left Corner
    3 A.J. Davis 5-10/191Sr.*
    6Levin Neal 5-10/191So.
    34Robbie Leonard 5-10/191So.*


    Wake Forest Quick Facts

    BACKGROUND
    Location: Winston-Salem, N.C.
    Enrollment: 3,857
    Nickname: Demon Deacons
    School Colors: Black & Gold
    Stadium: Groves (31,500)
    Conference: ACC

    TEAM
    Head Coach:
    Jim Grobe
    Record at WF: 26-32 (5 seasons)
    2005 Record: 4-7 (3-5)
    2005 Bowl: None
    2006 Record: 5-1 (1-1)
    2006 Ranking: None

    Wake Forest Quotables

    Head Coach Jim Grobe
    On how they practiced after the Clemson game:

    "We practiced fine. We'll have a good week of practice, and our guys realize that we had a great opportunity and we let it slip through our fingers. We're going to play tough teams in tough environments a lot, so we just got to get ready to not lose momentum like we did against Clemson."

    On the concern of his team's ability to rebound after such a defeat:
    "I think the concern is that were playing a really hot football team. I think NC State, having beaten two top-25 teams is on a roll, they're very talented and playing really good football right now. I think that's our biggest concern."

    On how wide open the ACC is right now:
    "The thing is, everybody's got talent, and you got to play every Saturday and you just got to get your best effort Saturday because that's what it takes in this league."

    On how he addressed last week's performance to the team:
    "I tried to get them to put last week into perspective. You know, in reality, with 11 minutes to go in the fourth quarter we were tied 17-17 with the ball on the 40 yardline against the 15th ranked team in the country. I don't think there's a kid on our team who wouldn't have taken that scenario, but at the time it didn't feel very good because we had let a lead slip away. In reality, we were really in great shape and just didn't make it happen down the stretch, so I hope in the next six games that we'll keep things in perspective and we'll realize that there are going to be some ups and downs in a game, but we will not let one play effect the whole attitude of the football team."

    On how his team will respond this week:
    "You know that's the whole coaching adage `don't let one team beat you twice.' There's always that danger. I think it's more typical of young football teams to let that happen, and we've got enough older players who've been around awhile to handle that. The problem is that we're going into a real tough environment at NC State and facing a real good football team, so we got a lot of work in front of us."

    On the focus of the team after last week:
    "One of the most disappointing things for me is that we've been a great fourth quarter team. In the first five games you couldn't find many people playing better in the fourth quarter than we were. I'm really disappointed that we didn't finish against Clemson, and I'd like to think that would help our kids refocus."

    On what lies ahead of the team if they win:
    "I think you got to be careful about thinking about what could be and not taking care of business a day at a time. We have to have a good week of practice, but there are certainly some good things in front of us if we can win down the stretch."

    On NC State QB Daniel Evans:
    "I think he's made the difference. I think their defense is playing a lot better, but I think their defense is playing better because (their offense) is not turning over the football over. I think since Daniel has been the quarterback, they're maybe plus-two in turnover ratio. So I think he's not only finding ways to win for them, but he's also taking care of the football, and making them a much better team.

    On what to expect from an ACC road game in Raleigh:
    "There's always a worry when you're on the road in a tough environment. I told our kids yesterday, if they thought our fourth quarter the other day was intense, wait until they get to Raleigh when they get four quarters of that. "I think the big thing is they got to realize in every game we play, there's going to be some ups and downs. When you're on the road and the other team does something good, the crowds going to go crazy, or when you do something bad the crowd is going to go crazy. So the only way to approach it is that its going to be a tough environment and you got to play every snap."

    On his decision to have Jon Temple hold kicks for Sam Swank:
    "He works everyday with Sam. We used Ryan Plackemeier for four years, he was our punter and backup kicker, and now Jon's been doing that for awhile. We have no concerns with Jon. We've gone through five games and never had a problem. I mentioned to the team the other day, we've actually had some shaky snaps that Jon's done a great job with to get it down so we could make some kicks. The snap was good the other night and he mishandled the ball. But that's not something we've seen him do in the past, so it was a shock to us. We think he'll get it corrected and do a good job down the stretch."

    Josh Gattis, Free Safety, Senior
    On the first practice coming off Saturday's game:

    "Coming into yesterday's practice, I was expecting to see a lot of guys down. I saw a better team than the one that showed up on Saturday. We came out of practice with a lot of enthusiasm and trying to put Saturday behind us and we're looking forward to going down to Raleigh to play NC State this weekend."

    On locker room sentiments after the Clemson game:
    "The emotion going around yesterday was, `let's get back to work.' We approached this past Monday as we have every Monday practice all year. Everybody was anxious to get back and correct our mistakes. We're just going to get better. Saturday humbled us. Yesterday, we just went out and tried to get better."

    On Wake Forest's inability to win in Raleigh since 1984:
    "This is definitely a historical moment for everybody on this team. Most people on our team weren't born in 1984. We have a chance to make history and make something remarkable happen this weekend."

    On getting over the Clemson loss:
    "You have to learn from it and just put those bad things behind you each week. We could look back and say, `we could have done this better,' but now we just need to focus our attention to NC State and to not look back at last week. The only way we're going to be able to get over last week is to win this week."

    Chris DeGeare, Right Guard, Sophomore
    On NC State:

    "NC State is a great team and we have a great game plan coming out. We have to have great preparation this week. They're a great team and we'll see what happens on Saturday."

    On the failures of Wake's running game against Clemson:
    "Wake Forest is known for having a great running game and we just didn't do a good job running the ball on Saturday. When that shuts down, we have to look to the passing game to become a more balanced team."

    On Clemson:
    "Clemson was just a great team. They got to the ball really fast and had some stellar athletes. Their linebackers were all over the place."

    Wake Forest Scouting Report

    Riley Skinner, QB -- After Ben Mauk was lost for the season with arm and shoulder injuries in the season opener, the ball was handed to redshirt freshman Riley Skinner.

    Skinner's charge has been to take care of the football, manage the offense and get the ball in the hands of playmakers. So far, Skinner has done just that. He leads the ACC in completion percentage, passing efficiency and fewest interceptions. More importantly, he's 4-1 as a starter.

    Riley Skinner
    In slightly more than five games, the Jacksonville, Fla., native is 65-of-95 for 788 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

    Skinner's 68.4 completion percentage ranks first in the ACC and 11th nationally. His 146.4 rating ranks first in the ACC and 30th nationally — five spots ahead of Notre Dame's Brady Quinn.

    Skinner is one of seven quarterbacks in Division I-A with only one interception.

    De'Angelo Bryant, RB -- Bryant has been starting in the place of Micah Andrews, and the redshirt junior has performed admirably. He struggled against Clemson and will be looking to bounce back in a big way against the Wolfpack.

    Steve Vallos, OT -- Senior offensive tackle Steve Vallos played his 2,500th career snap during Wake Forest's game at Ole Miss. He has seen action on 2,670 plays during three-plus seasons.

    Vallos has started every game of his career, a streak of 40 straight games dating back to August 2003 — the seventh-longest active streak by an offensive linemen in Division I-A. Vallos was the ACC's Offensive Lineman of the Week after the Syracuse win. He graded out at 95 percent against the Orange.

    The native of Boardman, Ohio, is on the respective preseason watch lists for the Lombardi and Outland trophies. Vallos was listed by Lindy's Magazine as the ACC's best run blocker.

    Aaron Curry, LB -- Curry is all over the field for Wake Forest. Hailing from Fayetteville, N.C., Curry is second in tackles to Abbate and is a force off the edge for the Deacons.

    Jon Abbate, LB -- Junior linebacker Jon Abbate led the Deacons in tackles as a freshman and sophomore. With 48 stops in six games, he's doing it again. Abbate has a chance to become only the third player in ACC history to lead his team in tackles as a freshman, sophomore and junior. Virginia's Charles McDaniel (1982-84) and Duke's Ryan Fowler (2000-02) are the other two.

    Jon Abbate

    Abbate is averaging an ACC-best 11.5 tackles against league opponents.

    Abbate has registered at least 10 tackles in three games this year. In 26 career games, the native of Powder Springs, Ga., has tallied 10 or more tackles nine times.

    Abbate is a member of the Butkus and Bednarik Award watch lists. He was a preseason All- ACC selection by two publications.

    Josh Gattis, S -- A playmaker at safety, Gattis has eight career interceptions, including a pick last year against NC State that he returned for a touchdown.

    Gattis is a physical player and can play close to the line of scrimmage or line up in man coverage. The senior might be Wake's most athletic player.

    Wake Forest Game Notes

    History With The Wolfpack
    Saturday's game marks the 100th meeting between Wake Forest and NC State on the gridiron. It is the third-longest series in ACC history, trailing only the North Carolina-Virginia series (110 games) and the North Carolina-Wake Forest series (101).

    The Deacons have won the two most recent match-ups with the Wolfpack in Winston-Salem, but Carter-Finley Stadium has not been friendly to Wake Forest. NC State has won the last 10 meetings in Raleigh dating back to 1984.

    Last year, Josh Gattis and Alphonso Smith returned interceptions for touchdowns and Chris Barclay rushed for 117 yards in a 27-19 victory for the Deacons at Groves Stadium.

    In 2004, the most recent meeting in Raleigh, the Deacons sprinted out to a 14-0 halftime lead. The Wolfpack scored 21 points and took the lead in the third quarter. Wake Forest later tied the game on Micah Andrews' second touchdown of the afternoon, but NC State prevailed in overtime, 27-21, on a touchdown run by T.A. McLendon.

    Wake Forest has an opportunity to take three of four games from NC State for the first time since the late 1950's (more on the NC State series on page eight).

    Deacons Have Experienced In-State Success
    Since Wake Forest hired Jim Grobe before the 2001 season, the Demon Deacons have performed well against in-state competition.

    The Deacons are 17-5 against teams from North Carolina including 6-0 vs. Duke, 5-0 vs. East Carolina, 2-2 vs. North Carolina, 2-3 vs. NC State, 1-0 vs. Appalachian State, 1-0 vs. North Carolina A&T. During that same time period against in-state competition, the Tar Heels are 11-5, the Wolfpack are 10-5 and the Blue Devils are 3-14.

    Receiving Votes
    Wake Forest is on college football's national radar for the first time in four seasons. The Deacons received one vote in this week's Associated Press top 25 and three votes in the USA Today top 25. Two weeks ago, Wake Forest received votes in the AP poll for the first time since Sept. 21, 2003.

    The Deacons started that season 2-0 including a season-opening 32-28 road win at Boston College and a 38-24 upset against 14thranked NC State, led by Philip Rivers. Following the win against the Wolfpack, the Deacons debuted in the poll at No. 20. The stay in the top 25 was short-lived as the Deacs lost the next week to Purdue.

    Before that short stint in the top 25, the last time Wake Forest was ranked was 1992. Wake Forest and NC State are both just outside the top 25. The Deacons and Wolfpack have met 99 times in history, but only once when both teams were ranked. That was in 1992 when 13thranked NC State beat 25th-ranked Wake Forest.

    Grobe: One Win Away
    Jim Grobe needs one ACC win to become the school's most successful coach since the ACC was formed in 1953. He is currently tied with Bill Dooley (1987-92) with 14 career ACC victories. At Ole Miss, Grobe notched his 30th win at Wake Forest. In doing so, he became Wake Forest's second-winningest coach, passing Dooley. D.C. "Peahead" Walker is the school's alltime leader in coaching wins. He went 77-51-6 from 1937-50.

    Grobe Tabbed Early-Season Coach of the Year
    During the week leading up to the Liberty game, Pete Fiutak of CollegeFootballNews.com named Jim Grobe as his early season NCAA Coach of the Year.

    A September To Remember

  • Wake Forest's five wins in the month of September marked the most victories in any month of any year in Demon Deacon football history.
  • At 5-0, Wake Forest was off to its best start since 1987. The Deacons have been 5-0 only three times in program history (1944, 1987, 2006).
  • The five-game winning streak was only the fourth of its kind in school history (1944, 1987, 1992, 2006) and tied for the second-longest in school history. Putting Things In Perspective
  • Wake Forest has only had 37 seasons that have produced five or more wins.
  • The Deacons have already surpassed the win total in 67 of 104 seasons of football.
  • Wake Forest is seeking only its seventh bowl bid in program history.

    Opportunistic Defense
    The Deacon defense is gaining a reputation as a play-making unit. Wake Forest has scored 14 times since 2003, the second-most in the nation.

    Jeremy Thompson scored Wake's defensive touchdown this season on an 86-yard interception return against UConn. This year, the Deacons have intercepted seven passes and forced 13 fumbles.

    Sophomore linebacker Stanley Arnoux is tied for the ACC lead with three fumble recoveries.

    The Gold Curtain
    Clemson running back C.J. Spiller became only the third running back to rush for 100 yards against the Deacon defense in the past 21 games. Only P.J. Daniels of Georgia Tech and Cory Ross of Nebraska join Spiller in that club. Last year, the Deacons ranked 38th nationally against the run. This year, Wake Forest ranks 26th, giving up 101 yards per game and just 2.8 yards per rush.

    Wake Forest has held four of its six opponents to less than 100 rushing yards. Ole Miss totaled just 26 rushing yards on 31 carries, less than one yard per rush.

    I Hear You Knockin', But You Can't Come In
    The Deacon defense, which returned 10 starters from last season, ranks 37th nationally in total defense, measured in yards. The bottom line for defenses, however, is points allowed. The Deacons are keeping their opposition out of the endzone, allowing only 13.3 points per game to rank 14th nationally. Wake Forest has proven to have an excellent red zone defense. Opponents have reached inside the 20 yardline 18 times, but came away with only six touchdowns and four field goals.

    Wake Forest Depth Chart

    Offense

    QB 11 Riley Skinner 6-1 196 R-Fr.

    6 Brett Hodges 6-1 180 R-Fr.

    TB 18 De'Angelo Bryant 6-0 245 R-Jr.

    23 Kevin Harris 6-1 230 R-Fr.

    FB 35 Rich Belton 6-1 250 R-So.

    49 Damon McWhite 6-1 255 R-Sr.

    WR 21 Kenneth Moore 6-0 195 R-Jr.

    14 Kevin Marion 5-10 160 R-Jr.

    WR 83 Nate Morton 6-3 215 R-Sr.

    82 Willie Idlette 5-10 175 R-Sr.

    TE 84 Zac Selmon 6-5 250 R-Jr.

    89 John Tereshinski 6-3 240 R-Jr.

    LT 75 Steve Vallos 6-3 290 R-Sr.

    76 Joe Birdsong 6-4 290 R-Fr.

    LG 78 Louis Frazier 6-4 302 R-Jr.

    79 Matthew Brim 6-4 295 R-Jr.

    C 74 Steve Justice 6-4 280 R-Jr.

    67 Trey Bailey 6-2 290 R-Fr.

    RG 70 Chris DeGeare 6-4 360 So.

    60 Barrett McMillin 6-3 305 R-Fr.

    RT 64 Jeff Griffin 6-3 295 R-Fr.

    75 Steve Vallos 6-3 290 R-Sr.

    Defense

    DE 55 Jyles Tucker 6-3 268 Sr.

    48 Bryan Andrews 6-5 263 R-Sr.

    NG 90 Jamil Smith 6-2 294 R-Sr.

    96 Boo Robinson 6-2 325 R-Fr.

    DT 95 Zach Stukes 6-2 260 R-Jr.

    51 John Russell 6-3 250 R-Fr.

    DE 98 Jeremy Thompson 6-5 250 Jr.

    93 Anthony Davis 6-5 240 R-So.

    OLB 59 Aaron Curry 6-3 240 R-So.

    45 Mike Simmons 6-1 220 Jr.

    MLB 5 Jon Abbate 5-11 245 R-Jr.

    41 Eric Berry 6-1 260 R-So.

    OLB 43 Stanley Arnoux 6-0 1/2 245 R-So.

    34 Pierre Easley 6-0 250 R-Sr.

    CB 2 Alphonso Smith 5-9 188 R-So.

    10 Kevin Patterson 5-10 182 R-So.

    CB 7 Riley Swanson 5-11 188 R-Sr.

    29 Kerry Major 5-11 175 R-So.

    SS 30 Patrick Ghee 6-1 211 R-Sr.

    10 Kevin Patterson 5-10 182 R-So.

    FS 22 Josh Gattis 6-1 212 R-Sr.

    9 Chip Vaughn 6-2 215 R-So.

    Specialists

    P 38 Sam Swank 6-2 206 R-So.

    40 Dan Caldwell 6-2 235 Fr.

    PK 38 Sam Swank 6-2 206 R-So.

    20 Jon Temple 5-10 176 Jr.

    LS 92 Nick Jarvis 6-3 250 Jr.

    89 John Tereshinski 6-3 240 R-Jr.

    H 20 Jon Temple 5-10 176 Jr.

    83 Nate Morton 6-3 215 R-Sr.

    KR 82 Willie Idlette 5-10 175 R-Sr.

    2 Alphonso Smith 5-9 188 R-So.

    PR 82 Willie Idlette 5-10 175 R-Sr.

    21 Kenneth Moore 6-0 195 R-Jr.


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    Thanks to NC State and Wake Forest Athletics for much of the information in this preview.


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