Inclement Weather at Wake?

Ole Miss is heading to Wake Forest this weekend, but Tropical Storm Hanna may be joining the Rebels. See what is being said about the weather in this UM-WF notebook.

The site may be different than the last meeting, but the weather conditions are likely to be the same Saturday when Ole Miss is scheduled to visit Wake Forest at 2:30 p.m., in a game nationally televised by either ESPN2 or ABC.

With Hanna barreling toward the east coast, inclement weather is expected for the SEC/ACC battle. Conditions could be similar to the rain-soaked meeting between the Rebels and Deacs two years ago in Oxford. The game, eventually won by Wake 27-3, was delayed for more than an hour.

This time around, both teams have advance notice and are preparing for a less-than-perfect setting.

"I'm sure it's going to rain, and we'll work on wet ball drills each day," Houston Nutt said. "As long as it isn't lightning outside, we'll get some work done with the wet ball. That's going to be really important, especially our younger backs and ballhandlers, taking care of the ball."

Wake is confident that the weather won't pose an enormous problem.

"We're well prepared for the weather," wide receiver Chip Brinkman said. "We practice when we have inclement weather and that has helped us be really well prepared. It just makes us focus that much better. If it's raining come game time, I think we'll be fine. Our receivers can catch the ball and we will all be out there blocking and I think the running game will step it up."

Said defensive tackle John Russell: "I think they're a tough-minded team. I think they're going to be like us where it doesn't really matter; you just come out and play ball either way. Rain or shine, you're going to have to come and bring your `A-game.' Regardless of how the weather is, we've got to play as best as we can because we've got a great team coming up on Saturday."

The two teams don't share an off week this season, so a make-up date past this week would be unlikely.

Different year, different team

The Demon Deacons watched Ole Miss film Sunday and are expecting a better team than the one that was trounced two years ago.

Wake Forest threw the ball less than 10 times in the convincing victory, but the players and coaches know more balance will be needed this time around.

"The first thing I notice is how physical they are," Russell said. "They are the most physical team I've seen probably in about two years of watching film. That's just a testament to Coach Nutt. That's not the same team that we played down there two years ago.

"[Ole Miss] has a lot of great players on the offensive line, and I think the thing that just scares you the most is the athletes. They've got athletes everywhere you look. Everybody can play football, so I think it's going to be important for us to target them as best as we can and play our best game."

Wake unveiling renovations

Saturday, the Demon Deacons will unveil the new Deacon Tower, an expansion to BB&T Field that has taken 18 months.

Deacon Tower includes club seats, premium club tables and box suites, a new press box to include print and electronic media accommodations, and ground level restrooms and concessions.

"One of the primary benefits of investing at BB&T Field is our fans," said Barry Faircloth, Associate Athletic Director for Development. "Modern day fans expect better facilities -- better restrooms and better concessions, better options and better access. We are competing with youth soccer, and various entertainment options on Saturdays.

"Unless we address those basic issues, we can't fill our stadium. Fans also expect some premium options and the Deacon Tower phase really introduces those options in the form of box seats and club seats."

Wake is carrying a five-game home winning streak into Saturday.


When Ole Miss faces Wake, the ACC's Offensive Back of the Week will look to outscore the SEC's Freshman of the Week.

Deacon quarterback Riley Skinner completed 27 of 36 passes (75.0%) for 220 yards, no interceptions and a career-best three touchdowns against the Baylor Bears. He completed 12 of his first 13 pass attempts and distributed the ball to eight different receivers.

Ole Miss running back Brandon Bolden led the team in rushing in his collegiate debut, racking up 76 yards on eight carries and breaking several tackles in a 10-yard touchdown run. He also completed a 37-yard pass to Jevan Snead.

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