Scouting Report: Wake Forest

Vanderbilt (5-6, 2-6) travels to BB&T Field to take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6-5, 5-3) in the regular season finale. After a three game losing streak, the Deacons are coming off a bowl eligibility clenching victory over Maryland.

Led by sophomore quarterback Tanner Price who was 20 of 32 for 320 yards and three touchdowns, the Deacons overcame a slow offensive start in the first half and outscored the Terps 24-3 in the second half.

Junior receiver Chris Givens was named ACC Receiver of the Week for his fourth time this year with eight catches for 191 yards and a TD. Wake Forest got things done on the ground as well, with senior tailback Brandon Pendergrass rushing for 125 yards and a touchdown.

The Deacons field a formidable passing offense that throws for over 262 yards per game. In the last four games that average has dipped with Price throwing for just 206 yards per game. Five weeks ago after barely squeaking by Duke 24-23, the Deacons had five turnovers against North Carolina. The Tar Heels took advantage of the uncharacteristic Deacon turnovers and four of those were converted into TD's. Wake Forest has a +.55 turnover margin on the season. The Deacons were also dominated by the Tar Heels in total yards 562-331.

Two receivers, Givens and Michael Campanaro, are five catches away from breaking the school's combined receptions record set in 2007. Givens has 70 catches for 1207 yards and nine TD's while Campanaro has 57 catches for 660 yards and two TD's. Campanaro had a 50-yard punt return for a touchdown at Clemson and is also 3 of 4 using his arm; two of those passes went for TD's. Senior Danny Dembry is third on the team with 410 yards and a TD. Signal caller Price is 213 of 342 on the year with 18 TD's and 6 interceptions.

Wake Forest's rushing attack is led by senior Pendergrass with 676 yards and eight TD's. Second on the team is sophomore Josh Harris with 432 yards and three TD's. Harris has been bothered with a hamstring in the second half of the season that has given true freshmen Orville Reynolds an opportunity to get on the field. Prior to Maryland the freshmen had just four carries but against the Terps he rushed for 63 yards on 11 carries.

"He had two or three really nice runs and he's just doing a lot of good things right now," said Wake Forest Head Coach Jim Grobe of Orville. "Hopefully he can get more experience this weekend."

Strong safety Cyhl Quarles leads the team in tackles with 87 and two fumbles recovered. Red shirt freshmen Merrill Noel has 55 tackles on the year and leads the team in passes broken up and has one interception.

"They're a big, physical group," said Noel of Vandy, "They get after you with their blocking. Matthews is a big receiver. He's going to give me a lot of competition. Me and Kenny (Okoro) on both sides of the field." Okoro is opposite Noel at cornerback and has 32 tackles, an interception and seven passes broken up. Senior Josh Bush leads the team with six interceptions and five passes broken up. Bush also has 51 tackles on the year, two for a loss.

Inside linebackers Justin Jackson and Mike Olson combine for 107 tackles, 12.5 for a loss and one sack. Outside linebacker Kyle Wilber is third on the team with 55 tackles, 8.5 for a loss and 3.5 sacks. Wilber also has three forced fumbles on the year.

Nikita Whitlock anchors the defensive line at nose guard with 54 tackles, 12.5 for a loss and three sacks. At defensive end Tristan Dorty is second on the line with 34 tackles, with 1.5 for a loss.

With four teams tied at 5-3 in the ACC and five teams within a game of 6-5 overall the ACC bowl picture has become muddied. Wake Forest is 4-2 in home games this season and the Demon Deacons are 2-3 in their last five outings. Top Stories