10 Key Facts About Wake Forest

With the fate of head coach John Bunting already determined, how will the 1-6 Tar Heels respond when ranked Wake Forest comes to Kenan Stadium on Saturday? Get to know Carolina's next opponent ...

1. No. 24 Wake Forest (6-1, 2-1 ACC) is ranked for the second straight week, the Deacons' first appearance in the polls since 2003 and their first consecutive weeks ranked since 1979. Prior to an idle week, Wake defeated N.C. State in Raleigh, 25-23. The Deacs' only loss was to Clemson the previous week, 27-17.

2. With a win over North Carolina (1-6, 0-4 ACC), Wake would claim its first sweep of the in-state ACC teams since 1987. The Deacs have beaten the Tar Heels just three of the last 15 times the two teams have played.


Morton
3. Head coach Jim Grobe is 32-33 in Winston-Salem, and 2-2 versus UNC. This season he's assured Wake bowl-eligibility for the third time in his tenure while seeking his first winning conference record.

4. Although the Deacs are challenging for a berth in the ACC championship game, they're total offense and defense numbers are middle of the pack. Wake's defense is yielding 303.9 yards per game – seventh best in the conference, while accumulating 295.7 – only UNC, UVa and Duke move the ball less.

5. Redshirt freshman quarterback and ACC Rookie of the Year candidate Riley Skinner (6-1, 196) took over for veteran Ben Mauk, who broke his throwing arm and dislocated his shoulder in the season opener. Skinner leads the league in passing efficiency (148.4) having completed 67.9 percent of his passes (74-of-109) with four touchdowns against just one interception.

6. Tailback Kevin Harris (6-1, 230), also a redshirt freshman, will make his second-career start, after rushing for 65 yards and a touchdown versus the Wolfpack. He leads the Deacs with 313 total yards at 5.1 yards per carry.

7. Senior wideouts Willie Idlette and Nate Morton provide the waiting arms of experience for the young Skinner's passes. Morton (6-3, 215) is well on his way to leading Wake in receiving for the third consecutive year. In the Deacs' run-first scheme, Morton has hauled in 112 career catches for 1,039 yards and five touchdowns. Idlette (5-10, 175) is currently ranked the ACC's fourth-best punt returner with 11.2 yards per return.


Curry
8. Defensively, All-ACC candidate Jon Abbate (5-11, 245) has averaged over 10 tackles per game against league competition. The junior middle linebacker leads the Deacs with 55 tackles, and has recorded three tackles for losses, two sacks and three pass breakups.

9. Sophomore outside linebacker Aaron Curry (6-3, 240), whose older brother Chris Curry played for the Tar Heels, is second in total tackles with 45, to go along with five tackles for losses, three sacks, two pass breakups and a forced fumble.

10. Wake's scoring leader (51 points) is sophomore kicker Sam Swank, and it isn't even close. The Deacs lead the ACC in red zone offense, primarily due to the toe of Swank, who has converted 11-of-15 field goal attempts (53 long) and is a perfect 18-of-18 on PAT conversions.


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