Wake Forest comes in to Saturday’s contest versus NC State fresh off a disappointing, overtime loss at Boston College. However, the Deacs boast the ACC’s top offense and have been piling up the yardage of late. With the Pack coming to town, Wake Forest will look to notch their first conference win of the season. Pack Pride breaks down the Deac’s football program.
Wake Forest National Statistical Rankings
Look back at Wake Forest’s last game from CollegeFootballNews.com
at Boston College 27 … Wake Forest 24 OT
In a wild game, Boston College got a 23-yard field goal in overtime and Isaac Johnson came through with a stop forcing a Riley Skinner fumble to win the game. The Eagles got up 24-10 helped by three Dave Shinskie touchdown passes, including a 50-yarder to Jordon McMichael, but Wake Forest got a 76-yard touchdown dash from Brandon Pendergrass, and a furious rally from Skinner, who hit Chris Givens on a 12-yard score with 3:44 to play and forced overtime on a 16-yard pass to Marshall Williams with 11 seconds left in regulation.
Player of the Game: In a losing cause, Wake Forest QB Riley Skinner completed 25-of-35 passes for 354 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.
Wake Forest: Passing: Riley Skinner, 25-35, 354 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Brandon Pendergrass, 5-97, 1 TD, Receiving: Marshall Williams, 12-180, 1 TD
Boston College: Passing: Dave Shinskie, 18-29, 228 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Josh Haden, 17-93, Receiving: Justin Jarvis, 5-66
What It All Means: Wake Forest isn’t necessarily built to come up with big comebacks, but Riley Skinner was able to do it to get into overtime, but the Eagles came up big defensively. Ten penalties, three turnovers, and too many misfires in the first 50 minutes put the Demon Deacons in a hole, and that can’t happen against a hot NC State team. The secondary is struggling, and if it had problems against Boston College, it’s going to have a huge issue with Russell Wilson next week. The pass rush has to do more, and the front seven will have to manufacture pressure, to provide some help.
Wake Forest Game Notes
OFFENSE HAS BACK-TO-BACK-TO-BACK 400S
For the third straight game, Wake Forest’s offense put up more than 400 yards of total offense. The Deacons piled up 496 yards of total offense against Boston College, including 142 on the ground and 354 through the air. Against Elon, the Deacons rushed for 132 yards and threw for 294, a total offensive output of 426 yards. Against Stanford on Sept. 12, the Deacons had 251 yards rushing and 207 passing for a total of 458 yards. This marks the fi rst time since 2004 that Wake Forest has eclipsed the 400-yard mark in total offense in three straight games. In 2004, Wake opened the season with 410 yards at Clemson, went for 584 at East Carolina and added 405 against North Carolina A&T. Wake Forest has not posted four consecutive 400-yard total offense games since 1986. In Al Groh’s fi nal year as head coach, Wake Forest had 561 yards of total offense at NC State, 503 at Army, 550 vs. Virginia and 446 vs. North Carolina.
DEACS LEAD ACC IN TOTAL OFFENSE
Wake Forest is the ACC leader in total offense after the first four games of the season. The Deacons are averaging 412.2 yards per game of offense, 6.2 yards more than second place NC State. Wake has put up 400 or more yards in each of its last three games. The Deacons also had 269 yards in the season-opener against Baylor. Wake Forest last led the ACC in total offense in 2002 when it averaged 408.1 yards per game. The Deacons are on pace to set a school record for total offense yards in a season. The school record is 408.1 yards per game set in 2003.
IN THE RED ZONE
After the fi rst four weeks of action, Wake Forest has converted on 13 of 16 opportunities in the red zone, an 81.2 percent success rate. Wake was a perfect 3-for-3 against Baylor and 4-of-5 against Stanford. The Deacons followed that up with a 3-for-3 red zone performance against Elon before going 3-for-5 against Boston College. Wake Forest has produced 11 touchdowns and two field goals when reaching the red zone this season.
DEACS ADEPT AT TURNOVER CREATION
Over the 2007 and 2008 seasons, Wake Forest led the nation in creating turnovers with 72 takeaways. The Deacons led the nation with 37 takeaways in 2008 and were fourth in the nation with 35 in 2007. Last season, the Deacons recorded 19 fumble recoveries and 18 interceptions on the year. Wake was 15th in the nation in interceptions and third nationally in fumble recoveries.
Wake also concluded the 2008 season fifth in the nation in turnover margin, gaining 37 and losing just 20. Of Wake’s 273 points scored in 2008, 125 came off 37 opponent turnovers. In Jim Grobe’s nine+ seasons at Wake Forest, the Deacons are +64 in turnovers, having gained 229 and lost 165. In 2009, the Deacons fi nd themselves in the unusual position of being -4 in turnovers. Wake has thrown fi ve interceptions and lost three fumbles while intercepting 2 passes and
recovering two fumbles.
WAKE FOREST’S MAGIC NUMBER
Wake Forest’s magic number is 24. Under Jim Grobe, the Deacons are 45-14 when scoring 24+ points. When scoring fewer than 24 points, Wake Forest is only 11-32, including a 3-5 mark last season. Since the start of the 2006 season, the Deacs are 22-2 when scoring 24+ points. The only losses during that span have both come against Boston College. Wake lost 38-28 at BC in 2007 and also dropped a 27-24 OT decision last week.
DEACONS GO DOWN TO THE WIRE
Ten of Wake Forest’s 13 games in 2008 were decided in the fourth quarter. Wake won three games decided by a TD or less and lost four times by seven or fewer. The 2009 season started off in similar fashion with Wake dropping a 24-21 decision at home to Baylor in the season opener and posting a 24-17 win over Stanford in Week 2. Last week’s game followed suit with the Deacons dropping a 27-24 decision at Boston College. Since the start of the 2007 season, the Deacons have lost just four games at home by a total of 16 points.
WAKE WINNING CLOSE GAMES
Since the start of the 2006 season, Wake Forest is 12-8 in games decided by seven points or less. In the four seasons prior to 2006, the Deacons went 8-12 in games decided by seven points or less.
Wake Forest has 31 players who are in their fourth or fifth year in the program. The Deacs have 17 redshirt seniors, five fourth-year seniors and nine redshirt juniors on the roster. Wake Forest’s 22 total seniors make-up the greatest number of seniors in the ACC this season.
PENDERGRASS DIALS LONG DISTANCE
Brandon Pendegrass ripped off a 76-yard scoring run against Boston College on Saturday. It marked the longest rush from scrimmage by a Deacon since Josh Adams had an 83-yard scoring run against Florida State in 2007. Pendergrass’ run is tied for the ninth-longest run in school history. Pendergrass is tied with Kito Gary who had a 76-yard non-scoring run against East Carolina on Sept. 13, 1997.
BROWN & WILLIAMS DOUBLE DIP
For the fi rst time in 11 seasons, Wake Forest had a pair of receivers each go over the century mark in receiving yards in the same game. Against Boston College, Marshall Williams finished the
game with career-highs of 12 receptions and 180 yards. Devon Brown posted his first career 100-yard game with five catches for 101 yards. The last time Wake Forest had two players go over 100 yards receiving in the same game was Nov. 21, 1998 against Georgia Tech when Jammie Deese had 141 yards on 11 catches and Marvin Chalmers had 121 yards on nine catches.
SKINNER CHASING SCHOOL RECORDS
QB Riley Skinner has already set the school record for most career completions, but he is still chasing a number of other Deacon career marks. Against Boston College, he leapfrogged two former Deacon greats in his pursuit of all school passing records. Skinner completed 25 of 35 passes for 354 yards vs. BC to bring his career totals to 716 completions in 1,061 attempts for 7,575 yards. Skinner moved past both Mike Elkins (7,304 yards) and Gary Schofi eld (7,205 yards) and into second place on the school’s career passing yardage list. Brian Kuklick (1994-98) holds the school career passing record with 8,017 yards. Skinner enters the NC State game 443 yards shy of Kuklick’s mark. Skinner’s two touchdown passes against BC moved him to within two of tying the school record. Skinner remains fourth in school history with 42 TD passes. Kuklick and Schofi eld own the school mark at 44, while Elkins had 43.
ROBINSON MOVING UP CAREER SACKS LIST
Senior NG Boo Robinson is moving up Wake Forest’s career sacks lists. Robinson has one sack this season, giving him a total of 12.5 sacks for his career. He enters the NC State game ranked in a tie for seventh all-time in school history, along with Matt Robinson (2004-08). Mike McCrary (1989-92) is the Deacons’ all-time sacks leader with 30, but Robinson has a shot at the top three. He is 6.5 sacks back of Bryan Ray (1997-2000) for third place.
SKINNER DIALS LONG DISTANCE
Riley Skinner threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Marshall Williams against Elon that stands as the longest completion of Skinner’s storied career. The completion was also the longest by Wake Forest ever at BB&T Field, surpassing the previous record of a 79-yard completion from Cory Randolph to Jason Anderson in 2003. Skinner also connected with Chris Givens for a 54-yard
touchdown pass in the second quarter. Skinner now has eight career passes of 50 yards or longer.
In addition, Skinner became the fi rst Deacon quarterback to ever have two 50-yard passes in the same regular season game. The only time that had happened in school history was in the 2002 Seattle Bowl when James MacPherson threw scoring passes of 63 and 57 yards to Jason Anderson.
WILLIAMS, GIVENS AMONG ACC LEADERS
Wide receivers Marshall Williams and Chris Givens rank among the ACC statistical leaders through the first four weeks of the season. Williams is tied for the ACC lead with 5.0 receptions per game. He is trying to becoming the third-straight Deacon to lead the league in receptions. WR Kenneth Moore led the ACC in 2007 with 7.5 per game, and WR D.J. Boldin led the conference
with 6.2 receptions per game in 2008. Williams also ranks third in the league with 82.2 receiving
yards per game. Givens ranks 10th in the ACC in all-purpose yards, averaging 94.5 yards per game. Givens is averaging 22.5 rushing yards, 31.8 receiving yards and 20.1 kick return yards per game.
SKINNER’S GAME-WINNING DRIVES
QB Riley Skinner engineered his seventh career fourth quarter game-winning drive against Stanford on Sept. 12. Skinner brought Wake back from a 17-3 deficit en route to a 24-17 win
over the Cardinal. He completed his final eight pass attempts of the game and was 8-of-9 for 92 yards in the fourth quarter. The game was tied at 17 when Wake took over at its own nine with 3:49 to play. Skinner completed four passes for 65 yards before bulling in from the one for the winning score.