Meet the Deacs

North Carolina (1-8, 0-5 ACC) hopes to stop its 10-game home losing streak Saturday versus Wake Forest (5-4, 3-3 ACC), while the Deacs try to make it 4-0 versus in-state competition for the first time in school history. The game kicks off at noon and will be televised locally by Jefferson-Pilot Sports.

Click here for a transcript of Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe's Tuesday press conference.

The Deacs come into Chapel Hill fresh off a 45-17 victory over Clemson, in which they jumped out to a 45-0 lead. Wake tallied a season-high 400 yards of total offense, including 321 yards on the ground against the Tigers.

Jim Grobe owns an 18-15 mark in his third season as head coach.

Wake is in a three-way tie for fifth place in the ACC standings and need one more win to become bowl-eligible for the third consecutive season. The Deacs are looking to make it three wins in a row over the Tar Heels, something they have not accomplished since 1987-89.

The Tar Heels were shut out in Winston-Salem last season 31-0. But most Carolina fans will remember the 2001 meeting in Chapel Hill, in which UNC led 24-0 at the half. However a Wake rally in the fourth quarter stunned the Kenan Stadium crowd, as the Deacs went on to win 32-31.

Here's IC's weekly trip through the depth chart of UNC's next opponent.

Wake Forest began the season as the only ACC school that did not have a returning starter at quarterback on its roster. But Cory Randolph (6-1, 188, So.) fit right into his new role, as he became the Deacs' first signal caller since Jay Venuto in 1979 to go 2-0 in his first two career starts. After completing 3-of-8 passes for 14 yards with an interception in the first half of the opener at Boston College, Randolph settled in and went 10-of-15 for 135 yards after the break, including a 43-yard touchdown pass for the game-winning score. Zac Taylor (6-3, 187, Fr.*), who directed a late touchdown-scoring drive at Florida State, is the backup.

Running Backs
Tailback Chris Barclay (5-10, 170, So.) has rushed for over 100 yards in three of his last four games. After gaining 703 yards and scoring nine touchdowns as Tarence Williams' backup last season, Barclay was hoping for a big season this year. However, he was slowed early by an ankle sprain against Boston College. Behind him on the two-deep is Cornelius Birgs (5-10, 203, So.), considered to be one of the fastest athletes on the team. He scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns in the first two games of the season. Veteran Nick Burney (6-3, 316, Sr.) was moved to fullback this year and has four touchdowns.

Q. Williams

Wide Receivers
Jason Anderson (6-3, 182, Jr.) is having an all-star type season, having caught four of the team's five touchdown passes – three of them were 38 yards or longer. For his career, he has 82 catches for 1,533 yards at 18.7 yards per catch. Willie Idlette (5-9, 169, Fr.*) is one of the league's top newcomers and ranks in the league's top 10 in all-purpose yardage – 809 yards. Anthony Young (6-3, 208, Sr.) caught a career-high six passes for 67 yards versus Purdue.

Offensive Line
Tackle Mark Moroz (6-4, 285, Sr.) was named ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week after being in on 61 of the Deacs' 67 offensive snaps and grading out at 90-percent with no missed assignments. The other tackle is Tyson Clabo (6-6, 314, Sr.), an All-America candidate, who is rated the 18th best offensive lineman in the country by The Sporting News. Center Blake Lingruen (6-4, 276, Jr.) has battled a knee sprain since the season-opener. Guard Steve Vallos (6-3, 302, Fr.) is one of six offensive players to start every game this season. Craig Jones (6-0, 300, So.) has started the last five games at left guard after playing center last season.

Tight Ends
Josh Warren (6-4, 245, Sr.), a three-year backup to Ray Thomas, has four catches this season for 33 yards. Big R.D. Montgomery (6-6, 229, Jr.) is loaded with natural ability, but is still learning the position.

Defensive Line
End Jyles Tucker (6-4, 250, Fr.) earned his first career start last week – the first true freshman to do so – and earned conference Rookie of the Week honors. He scored a defensive touchdown when he stripped the ball from Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst and returned it 12 yards for a touchdown. On the other end is Jerome Nichols (6-2, 274, Jr.), who leads the team with nine tackles for loss. Nose tackle Cori Stukes (6-0, 250, So.) had a sack and forced a fumble versus Clemson.


Middle linebacker Brad White (6-1, 226, Jr.) led the team in tackles last season with 94 and is currently second this season with 59. Kellen Brantley (6-3, 238, Sr.) returned an interception 64 yards for a touchdown versus Duke. Obi Chukwumah (6-2, 199, Sr.) is a versatile player who likes to hit and can really run to the ball.

Defensive Backs
Bandit Caron Bracy (6-0, 222, Jr.) and strong safety Warren Braxton (6-0, 207, Jr.) are both listed as probable after suffering minor ankle sprains in the win over the Tigers. Braxton scored the Deacons' first touchdown of the season, when he scooped up a fumble and ran 53 yards for the score at Boston College. Free safety Quintin Williams (6-2, 200, Sr.) had two pass breakups against Clemson and cornerback Eric King (5-9, 185, Jr.), who leads the ACC in passes defended, had one. The other starting corner is Marcus McGruder (5-9, 175, Jr.), who led the team in tackles last week and forced a fumble.

Special Teams
Lou Groza Award candidate placekicker Matt Wisnosky (6-1, 181, So.) has not missed an extra point or field goals since returning to the starting lineup versus Duke on Oct. 18. Punter Ryan Plackemeier (6-3, 230, So.), ranked third in the nation with a 46.7 yards per kick average, took over for an ineffective Wisnosky early in the season. Idelette is second in the ACC in punt return average and has ran one back for a touchdown already this season. King also returns kicks and punts for the Deacs.

Inside Carolina Top Stories