Scouting Report: Wake Forest

After an exhilarating 41-18 win over Tennessee, the Commodores have a chance to ruin a second straight team's bowl hopes. Vanderbilt visits Wake Forest (5-6, 3-5 ACC) and hopes to improve an already spiffy bowl resume. The Demon Deacons dropped their last two games at N.C. State and Notre Dame by combined score of 76-6.

In 2011's regular season finale against the 'Dores, Wake quarterback Tanner Price was held to 16 of 34 pass attempts for 157 yards. Vanderbilt running back Zac Stacy had an outstanding day, rushing for 184 yards and three scores. Wake Forest won't forget the 41-7 beating suffered at the hands of the 'Dores a year ago and will be focused on gaining bowl eligibility. The Commodores need to play disciplined and be prepared to face a Wake Forest team ready to throw the kitchen sink in hopes of getting a sixth win.

Wake Forest started the season 2-0 with a thrilling 29-27 win against North Carolina and a second-half comeback to defeat FCS opponent Liberty. Junior quarterback Price led the Deacs' on a game winning 93-yard drive to overcome a Tar Heels third quarter surge.

The Demon Deacons' offense ranks 114th in the nation, averaging 18.3 points per game. Wake Forest has struggled down the stretch and scored 16 points only once--in a 28-14 win over Boston College--since September.

Price leads Wake Forest completing 211 for 374 pass attempts for 2,118 yards passing, with a 12-6 touchdown-interception ratio. Price was held to 22 for 33 for 153 yards passing against the Fight Irish.

Wake Forest's rushing attack ranks 111th in the country and has felt the bite of an inexperienced offensive line. The Deacs' average 98.4 yards rushing per game, were being held to 55 yards against Notre Dame and just 16 rushing yards against N.C. State.

Junior Josh Harris leads the Deacs' with 137 carries for 608 rushing yards and five scores. Wake Forest's No. 2 back Deandre Martin has seen a fair amount of action with 412 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns, averaging 41.2 yards rushing per game.

The receiving corps is led by junior flanker Michael Campanaro, who tied an ACC record with 16 catches against Boston College and leads the conference in receptions (71). Campanaro is the main threat on a passing offense; he is ranked 93rd in the country with 665 yards receiving and six touchdown catches.

Campanaro accounted for the Deacs' only score of the day against N.C. State when he hit senior receiver Terence Davis for a 39-yard touchdown pass. Davis is second on the team with 39 receptions for 512 receiving yards and two scores; the senior receiver's 10-yard touchdown reception against Vanderbilt last season was the Deacons' only points of the game.

Senior fullback Tommy Bohanon has erupted in the latter half of the season with 18 receptions for 137 receiving yard; Bohanon has 22 catches for 203 yards, and tied the school record for touchdown receptions in a season by a fullback (5). Redshirt sophomore Brandon Terry leads the team, averaging 20.5 yards per reception. Terry caught a season high four catches for 87 receiving yards against North Carolina. Senior Garrick Williams is the only returning starter on the offensive line, while starting every game of the season at center.

Redshirt freshman Dylan Intemann had not played a snap coming into the 2012 season and has started the last three games at left tackle for the Deacs'. Next to him at left guard, redshirt junior Whit Barnes had little experience of his own--with just three snaps in 2011. Barnes has started nine games at left guard and has one start right guard in the 19-14 loss at Maryland.

On the right side of the line, redshirt junior Frank Souza--who moved from defensive line--has started 10 games at right guard. At right tackle, redshirt sophomore Colin Summers is one of the largest players on the team at 6-5, 315 pounds. Summers and Garrick Williams are the only two offensive linemen to start every game of the season at the same position.

Wake Forest runs a 3-4 defense that will attack the offensive line with a plethora of stunting and shifting to try to keep the Commodores on their heels. Vanderbilt center Joe Townsend will have to contain nose guard Nikita Whitlock, who the Deacs' will throw at him in every direction. The line will also have to deal with senior linebacker Joey Ehrmann who leads the Deacs' with 9½ tackles for a loss, including 2½ sacks.

Justin Jackson currently ranks 13th in the ACC, averaging 7.3 tackles per game; the outside linebacker leads the team with 80 tackles, including 8½ for a loss, and is tied for first on the team with 4 sacks.

The Demon Deacons have done a good job of getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks with 23 sacks through 11 games. Defensive end Zach Thompson is outstanding at disrupting opposing backfields with 5½ tackles for a loss and four sacks. Thompson and middle linebacker Mike Olson recorded a career-high 12 tackles against Army. Olson leads the team averaging 7.4 tackles per game, with 3½ tackles for a loss, and 3 quarterback hurries.

Riley Haynes is fourth in the team with 60 tackles, including 3½ for a loss. The redshirt senior inside linebacker had an interception to secure the win against North Carolina. Graduate student Hasan Hazime transferred from Akron and has done well for the Deacons' with 23 tackles, including 6 for a loss, and 1½ sacks.

A Wake Forest secondary that gave up 621 passing yards and five touchdowns through the air in its last two games, will have the task of trying to contain Commodore receiver Jordan Matthews.

Junior free safety A.J. Marshall leads the secondary with 69 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 4 pass break ups; the junior returned an interception 39 yards for a score in the season opener against Liberty.

Cornerback Kevin Johnson broke up three passes against Notre Dame, which puts him 15--a team-best on the season. The redshirt sophomore is second on the secondary with 57 tackles, including 3½ for a loss, and a team-high 3 interceptions.

Strong safety Chibuikem Okoro has also seen time in four starts and cornerback. The redshirt senior has started three games at strong safety with 44 tackles, and is second on the team with 5 pass break-ups.

Redshirt sophomore Merrill Noel has shared time with Okoro at cornerback, adding 33 tackles and 3 pass break-ups in seven starts.

Barring a punt return for 60 yards by senior flanker Lovell Jackson, the Deacons have been limited in the return game—only averaging 10.1 yards per punt return. Redshirt freshman Alexander Kinal punted 10 times against Notre Dame to set an ACC single-season record with 90 punts in a season. Kinal averages 40.5 yards per punt, with 12 punts of 12 yards or more.

Redshirt junior Josh Harris averages 12.8 yards per kick return on a team that ranks last in the ACC, averaging 16.7 yards per kick return. Redshirt freshman Deandre Martin has done little better, returning kicks for the Deacs' that average 18.4 yards per return, with a long return of 27 yards.

Redshirt freshman Chad Hedlund kicked each three of his field goals against Virginia with the long from 44 yards out. Outside linebacker Justin Jackson blocked a PAT attempt against Army.

The Commodores are going to get everything Wake Forest has thrown in their direction as the Demon Deacons try to notch their sixth win. The Vanderbilt defense has been excellent in the last few weeks, although they will need to remain vigilant against a dangerous receiving threat in Campanaro.

A win would give the 'Dores their eight win of the season for the first time since 1982, and would put them a bowl win away from the first nine win season since Dan McGugin was the coach in 1915.

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